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The YouTube revolution, from "how to" videos to master classes

We stumbled upon an interesting article this week, about how YouTube has completely changed the way people get information. We already knew this was a trend - who hasn't watched a video showing a new recipe or how to deal with a tricky tech issue? Indeed, the IN 30 MINUTES YouTube channel has thousands of subscribers, with videos on everything from 401k accounts (see below) to Microsoft Word.

But blogger Samo Burja notes that the knowledge transfer goes far beyond learning how to fix a leaky faucet or figure out the basics retirement savings. He writes:

"Through these videos, learners can now partially replicate the master-apprentice relationship, opening up skill domains and economic niches that were previously cordoned off by personal access. These new points of access range from the specialized trades, where electricians illustrate how to use multimeters and how to assess breaker boxes, to less specialized domestic activities, where a novice can learn basic knife-handling techniques from an expert. YouTube reports that searches in the “how-to” category has grown 70% year-on-year."

The link to Burja's blog post is here. While the spread of knowledge is helpful and encouraging, it must also be noted that there is a lot of outdated information on YouTube, and potentially unsafe advice. Be wary of people promoting untested products or solutions, as well as outright scams posted to YouTube by supposed gurus.

Speaking of scams, we received a comment on our Facebook page about Google tech support. Google does NOT offer human tech support to users of its free software applications, so beware of scams lurking in search results, often preying on senior citizens who are directed to bogus 800 numbers by search engine queries.

Bogus tech support