Despite my love of Boxee, Hulu and tv/movies on the web, I'm not really an avid YouTube user. Well, there was that one time I got sucked in watching clips of Steve Martin doing stand up. But, really, who wouldn't? He's hilarious! What I really use YouTube for is how-to guides. Like a lot of people, I am a visual learner. Sometimes reading instructions from a book is enough. Other times, it really just helps to watch someone else.
For instance, if I ever lose my way in a knitting project, YouTube is a terrific resource for me. Hmmm, an example. Over spring break I went to visit a friend of mine and she getting started knittng a pair of socks. So, I asked her, how do you work the heel, since this is by far the hardest part in knitting socks. She tried to tell me in the abstract, but I wasn't really getting it. Then I looked at these YouTube videos about:
making the heel:
and then turning it:
And voila! Like magic I got it. Thanks YouTube! Oh, and thanks to the nice British lady, too.
Podcasts are another great web tool that, for whatever reason, I don't really use as much as one would think. In fact, I don't really listen to them at all. I often daydream about downloading a lot of episodes of This American Life and listening to them on the train or while I'm putzing around the house or something, but somehow I always go for the tv remote first. (Video really did kill the radio star for me I guess.) I got really excited about the This American Life tv series but really, it was built for radio and is much better in audio-only format. So really, I have no excuse. I just need to get down to it and download the podcasts! To get started, here's this week's episode which is still free.
At any rate, I really like YouTube and podcasts as a way to help maintain my lifestyle as a lifelong learner. As for audiobooks...well, I'd rather read. They do come in awfully handy on a long drive. Then I'll gladly download a couple from my local library, upload them to my mp3 player and hit the road.
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