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YouTube IS a social network. Even if you don’t have a channel of your own, YouTube can be useful for interacting with the community.
One of the best ways to really communicate with other people online is by using video content. This is why so many people have taken to video based social networks like YouTube, Periscope and Meerkat. It’s so much quicker to create lasting relationships when you know how a person looks and what they sound like.
But why would you want to get to know random YouTube creators? And how?
Meet Inspiring People
Everybody knows something interesting worth sharing, and most people are fascinating characters when they get talking about things they love. So, when you stumble upon a channel made by someone truly passionate about something you want to learn, it’s a perfect match.
But also when you watch enough of these videos, you start to actually care about the people behind them. They inspire and mentor you through all the twists and turns of learning interesting things. And through the comments, you can actually ask them for clarification on a point, or to cover something related that they haven’t yet done a video on.
Find Passionate YouTubers
Often great YouTubers are also running great blogs. So, by just following the YouTube icons from your favorite blogs, you can quickly find great YouTube channels filled with content you know you’ll love.
My favorite suggestion for finding new YouTubers is to search for a very specific video topic in Google or the top search bar of YouTube and watch all the videos you find in the results. Only subscribe to the channel if you actually like the presenter’s style and the rest of their content fits your needs. And always be sure to check out the related videos — I often find great new channels this way!
Browse YouTube Forums
Now, there are two ways to approach finding active YouTubers in forums. One way is to head to forums about YouTube creations, then filter down to find people that talk about the things you care about.
Another way to do it is to head to your favorite niche forums, then browse around until you find the conversations about YouTube creating. There is almost always at least one thread of people saying “Hey, is anyone here on YouTube?”, and if there isn’t one you can always start the thread.
As for the best forums on YouTube creation, check out /r/YouTubers and DamnLag. Here you’ll find all sorts of tips to make your channel better, plus occasional opportunities for collaboration. Or, you can just follow links and subscribe to random interesting channels.
Contribute Actively to YouTube
If you are an active video creator, you can really use this to connect with other YouTube creators you respect and admire. Talk about them in your videos and link to their videos to offer added information to your audience. Perhaps you’ll even find a way to collaborate on a video in the future.
But even if you don’t create videos yourself, you can be active in the community by commenting on videos you’ve enjoyed, sharing videos you like on social media, and curating playlists of videos on particular topics that interest you, like photography, STEM subjects, or engineering.
You can even go a step further and blog about the videos you watch, adding these videos as embedded media in your post or even using a full playlist you’ve made. YouTube creators really love it when people make the effort to continue the conversation and share ideas further.
Filter to See the Best Videos
Ideally when you head to your YouTube “Home” page, it should be a wonderland of amazing videos for you to peruse. I used to hardly ever find anything intriguing here, honestly — I think my YouTube history is too eclectic for YouTube to make sense of it.
But this is easy to fix. When looking at this page, be sure to make good use of the “Not Interested” option to clean this up quickly.
Also, you’ve probably been subscribing to channels in YouTube for years and it’s no doubt a huge list. Head to Manage Subscriptions and unsubscribe from anything that’s no longer of interest, else YouTube will keep recommending you watch it.
You used to be able to put your subscriptions into neat folders here, but YouTube doesn’t seem to think separating kids channels from yoga channels and music channels is of interest to anyone anymore. Thanks, YouTube. If you’re facing an agonizingly huge subscription list, try the search window for finding the channels you want.
Another good idea, if you have more than one Google account and/or YouTube channel, is to subscribe to relevant work-related and fun channels in separate accounts to keep your recommendations relevant to the task at hand (and get your kids their own Gmail account!).
YouTube’s Top Channels
From the Browse Channels section, you can find some very popular channels to add, though. It’s worth looking at once, at least, to subscribe to the “PopularOnYouTubeInYourCountry” channel, though if you’re more interested in what’s popular elsewhere just change your country at the bottom of the page.
You’ll also find other top channels in various categories. Note changing the country will also change the channels recommended in some of these other recommendation sections, so I suggest browsing what’s popular in a few countries.
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If you’re thinking of searching other topics for YouTubers to follow though, don’t search in the Browse Channels section as the recommendations are usually way off-topic and not often very popular channels. Instead, search for specific videos as recommended previously.
Who Do You Follow?
Which YouTube channel is the best you’ve found? Do you know any amazing vloggers you think we’re unlikely to have heard of before? Are you a YouTuber yourself?
Tell us about these great YouTube channels in the comments!