Content Creators, if you will; a much kinder and accurate term, I reckon, especially since a lot of them either got their start elsewhere or have since branched-out. Or are just people making videos about their occupations, their passions and uploading them. They make content for us. They're experts, they're learners, they're both at the same time. They put in the work--research, filming, documenting, production, editing--to make the good stuff. Gosh, remember when a YouTube video had a firm limit of ten minutes, and rarely would one ever even come close to that? Now we have people like Philosophy Tube, ContraPoints, Baumgartner Restoration, spending MONTHS making a single 45min, one hour, TWO HOURS PLUS (looking at you, Sarah Z) video about a topic they just legitimately want to showcase to the world.
I don't know about you but I definitely spend more time watching YT than I do any streaming service. I can find longform essays about video games released 10+ years ago, or straight-up playthrough footage from a brand spanking new title. I can see artists in their studios struggling happily through a passion project, or just some goofy idea they thought was funny (looking at you, Simone Giertz).
YouTube as a platform isn't perfect, that's for sure. Here in the Web 2.0, for better or worse, the apps we frequent are what we + the algorithm make them, but I think I've curated a list of really cool content creators who are uploading some really cool stuff.
Moriah Elizabeth: arts & crafts, DIY, painting
I started watching because of her "Squishy Makeover" series, I stayed for her personality. She's so funny and brings a relatable chaotically organized energy into her art. She customizes everything, she's very insistent on rainbows being in the correct order, and she's just an absolute delight.
TurtleSoupBeads (Susan): beading, jewelry, polymer clay
Susan makes the absoulte most chill, reassuring, and impressive polymer clay demos I have ever seen. A master at leading you through her projects using so many self-taught and developed techniques (I love the "kitty cat" method of impressing texture), she will do much to put you at ease since she knows that clay can be such a fickle medium. Things don't look how you want them to? Hold onto that wonky flower that you accidentally cut in half, it'll come in handy later; some flowers are missing petals anyways. Don't have this particular specialized tool? Don't worry, you can use a pencil eraser. Worst case scenario? Roll it all up and add it your scrap clay. Susan's creations are so uniquely personalized to her aesthetic and so beautifully detailed down to the last tiny square millimeter. Also she customizes everything, down to adding layered handles using gold leaf to her needle tools.
GraysonsWorld: social commentary, video diaries
This is a sub-channel of grayson's projects, who I originally stumbled upon in a commentary video about The Tramp Stamps. What can I say, I just like her vibes! She puts a lot of research and care into her commentary videos, but is also not afraid to take the gloves off when necessary. She's since started uploding more personal diary-like vlogs onto a second channel. I particularly enjoyed the "Fixing My life" series where she does some time-lapse deep-cleaning and chatting about life.
Ask a Mortician (Caitlin Doughty): professional expertise, death rituals, dead bodies
Y'all I found this channel during a really fucking dark time in my life; You can infer as to what exactly that means based on the content, but suffice it to say I was strangely comforted by Caitlin's ... everything. She clearly knows what she's doing—a consummate professional—but she's also just another human being with human feelings helping other humans navigate the ultimate taboo of death. There's a dark humor to her videos in that she makes cleverly cheesy jokes without missing a beat, while being respectful to the sensitive topic at hand. Also her wardrobe is impeccible (signed, a fellow member of the large funky earring club)! She is, without a doubt, my favorite friendly neighborhood internet mortician.
I could definitely make another post like this about podcasts because they keep me company on walks and during long shifts at work. Slapping a sticky note onto the side of my brain for later.