Watching YouTube with purpose by Lihsa

How many of you out there regularly watch YouTube videos? Mostly people randomly watch videos. But it is possible to follow YouTube in much the same way you follow a podcast.

I’ve been a YouTube subscriber for about 7 years and really active for the last 4 – 5 years.

It is a great way to learn the learn new skills, follow a hobby or even catch up with cable TV shows. Many times, I’ll go straight to the government agency to watch speeches that I might have missed on TV.

How to subscribe to YouTube videos for CLE self-study, watch news and learn new skills

Not to mention that if you really get into YouTube, you can opt into YouTube Red for $9.99 a month and have an ad-free experience.

YouTube perks and channels

Another perk is that any movies that you bought through GooglePlay for Android will be accessible through your YouTube account.

I am currently subscribed to around 50 channels like the New York TimesVanity Fair, BookTVMayor Sylvester TurnerFood WishesTexas State BarHarris County Law LibraryThe Financial Diet, Last Week Tonight, ExcelIsFun and car mechanic Chris Fix. I also have a lot of guilty pleasures that I won’t divulge here (did anyone say make-up or home decor?).

UPDATE: Since posting this blog, @NYT notified me of a new Museum of Modern Art docu-series, At The Museum. At this time, it is only available for streaming on YouTube.

How to subscribe to a YouTube channel

Let me show you how to subscribe to a channel. You want to subscribe to at least 20 because not everyone consistently produces content and there can be large gaps between videos.

To subscribe, search for the channel in the YouTube search box, then hit the red “Subscribe” button either to the right of the channel search result or underneath the channel’s masthead. There is also a similar button within every video.

How to subscribe to YouTube videos to earn CLE self-study, watch news and learn new skills

Now, when you log into YouTube, you can access your subscriptions and watch the latest videos by moving into the left navigation and select “Subscription.” Plus, the latest videos will display in the center pane.

How to subscribe to YouTube videos to earn CLE self-study, watch news and learn new skills

How to get notified of new YouTube videos

If you want to be notified more quickly when your subscribed channel posts its latest videos, you can opt to get “notified.” Within a selected video, click on the bell icon to the right of the “Subscribe” button  on the YouTube video. The bell icon also appears next to the subscribe button in a YouTube channel search result.

Channel listing in a search result:

Video display:

How to subscribe to YouTube videos to earn CLE self-study, watch news and learn new skills

This will then push a notification via YouTube or, if you opt in, via email. To set this, go to “Settings” > “Notifications” and then scroll down to “Channel subscriptions” and select “Occasionally notify me … .” You can then choose to either get a push notification or an email notification.

How to subscribe to YouTube videos to earn CLE self-study, watch news and learn new skills

YouTube subscriptions and auto-play

The biggest drawback I have with YouTube subscriptions is that YouTube subscriptions don’t autoplay one right after the other. I have to actively go in and select the next video.

The only way I can get my subscriptions to auto-run is if I am watching a savvy YouTuber who has playlisted his/her videos. But even this is quite right–what happens is that if I am watching a Food Wishes post roast video, the next auto-play video will be another Food Wish’s beef recipe from his beef recipes playlist.

However, I’m confident that YouTube will soon fix this glitch.

Let me know if you are as avid as YouTuber as I am and if you have any favorite channels that you enjoy watching.