YouTube videos still trickling along

Information is both hard and easy to get hold of on the Internet. Getting it is easy; verifying its veracity is hard. The Internet is a double-edged sword in this respect.

It's a free and open forum, where anyone can post information in order to educate. There are very few obstacles, like fickle publishers with one eye on their balance sheets or TV executives with precious little space to spare in their schedules. With just a little webspace, you can put up whatever you like and anyone can see it.

For certain disciplines, like science, health or journalism, where factual accuracy is essential, it matters whether or not information is really true. When it is so easy to post information, how can you trust its reliability? YouTube has been an online battleground of science education for several years now, although you might have missed it among all the Rick Astley videos. A number of video-makers from various backgrounds (many of them working scientists) have provided many hours of good-quality material, often in response to almost overwhelming amounts of misinformation from types such as young-earth creationists and climate change deniers.

I've been part of the audience for a few years now. I'm still entertained by people such as Aronra, Potholer54, Thunderf00t and many others who wish to see what is true and verifiable prevail over misconceptions, inaccuracies or outright lies.

I even tried to contribute in my own humble little way. While I could never hope to achieve to popularity of the people above nor the relevance of their subject matter, the truth regarding the field I am passionate about still meant something to me. I saw many misconceptions, inaccuracies and outright lies about free/libre/open source software around, and, inspired by the YouTube gurus, I put together a small handful of videos trying to be clear and informative about FLOSS for the general audience.

I had many ideas for more videos -- there's still plenty to tell in the FLOSS story -- and I enjoyed making them, but alas, my PhD took over my life, then moving countries to a job which keeps me very busy ensured that video-making disappeared off the radar. It surprises me how I still receive a trickle of messages on YouTube complimenting me on the videos; some even ask for more. Some of the existing videos, I would change a little if I had the chance.

It's tempting when I consider it, but is the audience and the interest really there?




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