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YouTube is more than just cute cats

YouTube.com, it’s not just a place for cats playing the keyboard.

By now I’m sure most of us have at least heard of the Web site YouTube.com. If not, a quick synopsis — YouTube is a site for posting user-created videos. These videos can be anything from a vlog (that’s video log) to rants or raves and everything in between. It is a distribution center for aspiring artists, both of the theatrical and musical variety. Basically, if you want to make a video of anything and put it up for millions to see, YouTube is the site to use.

Now if you bypass the silly dog tricks, soon-to-be divas and political soap boxing, you might learn a few things. By adding “tutorial” to your search criteria, your results will be much more edifying. For instance, say you wanted to learn how to up load photos to Facebook.com but were unsure of how to go about it. Simply search YouTube.com for “Facebook tutorials” and boom, there for your learning pleasure are 9,000 tutorials covering every topic imaginable in relation to Facebook.com.

Once you select your tutorial you are then off on a magical journey of learning and excitement. You may have to try a video or two before you find one that meets your needs. With the wealth of results they provide, it shouldn’t take too long to find one that has the info you are after and presents it in a easy manner.

I have personally used YouTube tutorials to learn how do many things. For example, I learned how to add a nice zombie effect to my digital pictures, great around Halloween. Another clip visually showed me what a fugue is in musical terms, and another described how to make a mean chicken marsala.

One word of caution — view the tutorial in its entirety. That way you can make sure it is a complete tutorial. You don’t want to be searching YouTube.com again when the chicken is on the stove. Also, you want to make sure that what the tutorial is telling you sounds legitimate. As with any site that relies on user generated content, there is a chance of misinformation, whether through ignorance or malice.

So next time you need to know how to do something on a computer, hold off on asking that techy nephew of yours and check out YouTube.com. You might just surprise him and yourself.

Korey Fonner, an A+ certified technician with Computer Renaissance in Bradenton, can be reached at (941) 753-8277.

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