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September 30, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

By Ryan Thorne

Entertainment is easy to come by these days. Especially in the form of videos on the internet thanks to a website called YouTube. YouTube allows users to upload their own videos, which become available for the public to watch. There are videos of just about anything, from homemade pranks to educational videos. It is a popular source for the latest music videos, sports clips, and even news and politics.

When someone uploads videos on YouTube, their account is called a "channel," much like on TV. Users can subscribe to any channel, which then notifies them when a new video is posted from that account. Anyone can create a channel and post their own videos. Countless organizations, musicians, and news companies have channels, but YouTube is chiefly used for entertainment.

Thoughtless videos of people getting into accidents, pulling pranks, or just doing random things occupy many people's YouTube history. Joshua Townsend, a freshman at North Tama, uses YouTube for comedy and music. "I just watch random funny videos like Charlie the Unicorn or music videos." Music videos, gaming clips, and sports are other forms of entertainment found on the website. North Tama sophomore Emily Pargeon says, "The only thing I really go to YouTube for is music videos."

Something not everyone would expect from a site like YouTube are videos about politics. But that's right, there is a channel for President Barack Obama. It was used before the election to inform voters about Obama, and is still up, posting videos of speeches, information, etc.

YouTube provides yet another way for people to find fame. Becoming well known on YouTube has benefited certain people by giving them chances to appear on other channels and even make money. Mitchell Davis, founder of the popular channel LiveLavaLive, has jumpstarted his own clothing line of t-shirts and various items with phrases and images from his videos on them, and appears on other YouTube channels such as PopTub. Davis has also been given the opportunity to appear in one of his favorite bands' music videos. In another case of music, the band Weezer created a video including famous YouTube personalities appearing in their known formats, but singing the lyrics to the band's song.

YouTube allows people to entertain, inform, do business, and even connect on a personal level with a previously unreachable audience. It provides easy access to entertainment, news, and almost anything a person would want to see.



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