YouTube allows us to instantly replay clips from an incredible database of films, TV shows, you name it. The first video I ever saw was of a Family Guy episode where the Kool-Aid man busts into court room yelling, "Oh Yeahhhh." This clip was what brought me to the show, and I have enjoyed it ever since, but without YouTube, who knows how long it would have taken me (if ever) to start watching it.
YouTube is also a great academic tool. My teachers constantly use it in class whether it is for informational purposes, a quick laugh, examples to supper their lectures, or because other websites' clips don't work. Some students find it easier to learn via example instead of reading words off of paper, and YouTube provides this for students. Why read a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. when you can watch it online and see his passion? Personally, I'd rather watch it. YouTube can be used to teach a vast array of things, including how to tie a tie.
YouTube for social change. Social media as a whole is what can get our country moving forward and really working to create change, but YouTube can be especially powerful. Non-profits could use this free medium to create short clips exemplifying what needs to be done and how people can help, and then further embedding these clips in their blogs, Facebook pages, etc. Showing viewers the problem the non-profit is working to alleviate can greatly increase awareness. Yes, they use commercials as a means of marketing now, but people tune out of commercials and prefer to have control over what ads they see. But, if people are already reading a non-profits blog, chances are they are going to want to see what the video entails. Furthermore, if a school held a serious protest and it was uploaded to YouTube, I would assume that the video would spread like wildfire and hopefully, if the cause was just and meaningful enough, would lead to more action. I strongly believe we could change our futures by using YouTube as a means of communicating. It's not just words on a screen or piece of paper. It's a movement, recorded, and one that can be played over and over again from now until, well, it could be forever I suppose. Obama used new new media to communicate with the younger voters, why wouldn't we use it to communicate with him?