When I used to go on YouTube I used to waste a lot of my time. This is the problem I decided to fix.
I think the following illustration just sums it up:
After all, YouTube is 2nd most visited search engine on Internet after Google. This means that we need YouTube, but we may want to do something about the distracting content that it offers. This YouTube manifest is therefore written as a way to increase effectiveness of using this platform.
1 – YouTube.com – Landing Page
YouTube does a very good job in selecting videos that it thinks you will like and to give suggestions for next video that you may want to watch. Result is, again, instead of 5 minutes of YouTube, people spend hours watching at different videos.
One of the most suggestion heavy pages that people should avoid therefore is YouTube landing page– www.youtube.com.
So how do we browse YouTube without going to “www.youtube.com”?
The simples answer is to chose another page, which does not have any distracting suggestion, i.e., “www.youtube.com/[other page]”.
Personally I prefer my Favorite List (part of Playlists – see bellow).
So instead of landing on YouTube.com main page Bookmark a Favorite page, which is by the way not www.youtube.com/favorite, we want to land on something like:
Too long, I know. This is because your playlists will be unique to you on YouTube.
So this is what we have to do.
Open your Favorite Playlist, which will be located in a left side bar visible from virtually any YouTube page.
Bookmark this playlist by pressing Contor + D or Cmd + D (depending on your browse and computer), or just go to options and find “Bookmark this page” option.
Be sure you chose Bookmark Menu, rather than other bookmark locations. This will allow the bookmark to show in you browser just as it is shown on image above.
(If you have any question leave them in comments section bellow.)
2 – YouTube Playlists
Listing to individual songs on YouTube can be unproductive, so considering that people watch many video over and over again, specially if they are music videos, it is a good idea to create playlists.
The process is fairly simple. Select a video that you like and go to “Add to …” button located under “subscribe” button beneath any video. Select for example “Favorite” or create a new playlist and name it as you want.
3 – Ad Blockers
Another big distraction is YouTube ads.
They take few seconds to few minutes and just waste our time and energy, so lets get rid of them for good.
Now I heard some people go into YouTube setting to remove ads, but this is a bad way. It is not in YouTube’s interest for you to stop watching ads so all options offered by YouTube will not do much good. We need an external control.
A right way to do it is to search your search engine for “Ad blocker”. Select one that you like and install it.
These ad blockers block virtually all Pop-ups, ads, commercials and any other sort of advertising not only on YouTube, but Internet overall.
People who try it for the first time are astonished how well they work and wonder why they never did it before.
[Read more on how you can use productively Internet use here.]
4 – Stop looking at “Fun videos”
Majority of videos on YouTube have little to no informational value and waste our time very well. How much education can we get from “How to talk to a giraffe” video?
Videos that we want to watch are the ones that offer you content that is useful for you in your life, from which we can learn something.
Video that we should not watch are all other videos specially if they have purely entertaining value.
A “how to talk to a giraffe” video teaches you arguably something, but is it important for your life?
[Read here what videos are good for your life here].
Now, there is always a person that comes to me and says: “Isn’t entertainment good for you? Fun makes us feel good, so there is probably a really good reason for it, right?”
There are already too many distractions in our lives, so lets take tare of the ones we can. People are not perfect and given a chance we will relax. Moderate distractions are too many and there will always be something that will grab our attention.
5 – Lyric videos
There is a difference between watching an informational video and to listen to some music on YouTube.
When we are watch an informational video, sometimes it is helpful to be looking at a video, because an image can help us better understand the content, by for example showing some examples or body language of the speaker.
When we are listening to music, on the other hand, we gain nothing extra except to get distracted by catchy video.
One trick we can do is to select video with only lyrics and not a video clip (i.e., just type “Lyrics” next to any music video you want to listen to).
6 – Open a New Tab
Another thing you can try is to open a new tab in your browser (i.e., Contol + T or Cmd + T depending on browser or you computer).
Even if the lyrics are on the screen, they will be moving and can unintentionally grab our attention and distract us from thing we really want to be doing.
An easy to fix is just to open another tab in the browser and just to leave it on as a main page.
You might not be working in your browser and occasional changing between programs can make you unintentionally see the YouTube video, which you want to avoid. By having an empty browser page open, whenever you are changing between the pages or programs you will always see an empty page before you see a video page.
7 – YouTube to MP3 Converter
YouTube is not perfect. It requires us to have Internet connection on our computer or smart phone. In later case, if a smart phone is not connected to WiFi, YouTube can eat a big chunk of out data. Not good.
Furthermore, some videos are only accessible on YouTube, but often we want to have them available on go, when going to work, for example.
An easy solution is to use a YouTube converter. I suggest that people convert to MP3 because it is an audio format. You can then easily download it to your phone or MP3-player.
Just write in your browser “YouTube to MP3 converter”.
So if you want to listen to your favorite music, an e-book, or a one of these awesome videos everywhere you go use YouTube converter.
8 – YouTube Currency
Lastly, there is always about 0,1% of all users who like, dislike, comment, and subscribe. These are all forms of free Social Networking Currency available to users to show their opinion about the content.
To big companies that use social media this form of contact is very important, with some companies paying as much as 1 to 3 dollars per new subscriber.
Besides this, by pressing “Like” button, the content you liked goes into a special “Liked” playlist.
Channel subscription go to landing page (www.youtube.com), updating it whenever a new video on a specific channel is posted.
This may be a very important resource if you want to see old videos you liked or just know if any old channels you liked have some new good content.
So use YouTube currency to organize your YouTube in a way you can see old videos and to see new content posted by good YouTube video producers.
[If you liked YouTube Manifesto, try Facebook Manifesto, which works on similar, but different rule.]