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I still love me some YouTube videos, so I'm always looking for the best ways to watch them and ensure that I get informed when my favorite creators make stuff. If you want to turn on email and / or mobile notifications for Vlogbrothers...I sure wouldn't mind!

Hope this video was helpful. I hated my life until I learned about "K pausing!"

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Good morning, John.  This video's gonna be purely instructional because your YouTube experience could be better if you knew some YouTube secrets.  For example, I just flashed some text on the screen, but you couldn't read it because it was only there for one frame.  But what are you gonna do, you gonna go back and then try to pause at the exact right second?  No, you're not! 

Instead, you're gonna watch this video which has eighteen tips for how to use YouTube better including how to find that text.  First though, let's talk about subscriptions.  If you're logged into YouTube and you go to, you will find a page of content that YouTube has decided that you probably will want to watch and will probably keep you on the site.  But it will not be a feed of videos that you control. 

The only way to get to that is click on this little weird icon at the top and go to subscriptions.  Also under that icon is your history so you can see videos you recently watched, and your watch later playlist, which is a wonderful thing because often you see a video that you want to watch but you don't have time to watch at that exact moment.  Every YouTube video has a little clock if you hover over it.  You can click that; it adds to you watch later list.  Then, you can click on that either on you desktop, or on your phone, whenever you want, and watch those videos. 

The majority of Nerdfighters who answered the Nerdfighteria census get their YouTube videos from the subscriptions feed.  And that is wonderful, for us, because it's the only page on YouTube where you can go and actually make sure you're seeing all the content your favorite creators are making.  But the subscription page, if you've got a lot of subscriptions like I do, can be a bit of a fire hose.  It makes it easier to miss content from the people I never want to miss stuff from. 

Which is why for certain channels, I have notifications turned on.  It's a little bell thing, you click on it and decide how you want to get the notification.  You can also do this from your subscription manager page, you can see all the people you're subscribed to--maybe take out the ones that you're not watching so much anymore--and for the ones you never want to miss a video from, you can turn on notifications.  You can also set up notifications on your phone.  The little bell on a channel page, you can get push notifications every time a new video gets uploaded, and you can join that coveted group, the notification squad, if you've ever seen that comment. 

Your subscription feed is actually easier to find on mobile--it's one of the big buttons at the top.  And now that some YouTubers, including us, have the ability to post community posts that aren't videos but will show up in your mobile subscription feed, you can decide whether or not you want to see those community posts.  For now, I'd suggest turning that on, trying it out, because we're gonna be messing around with it some in the coming weeks. 

Now this is all fine and good when you're on your phone or on your computer, but what about if you want to be on the big screen?  Well, if you have any kind of Smart Enabled television, that's sharing a WiFi connection with your phone or your computer, a little icon will show up and you can click it and send your YouTube straight to your TV.  And if you're on your phone while you're watching your the video, you can queue up the next video, and the next video, and then it's great--it's frickin'--it works like a dream!  YouTube has it's problems; this is not one of them.  I use it all the time. 

Now finally, back to desktop to talk about hot keys.  Now because of a weird confluence of things it's not really worth talking about, sometimes if you press the space bar, it will pause the video, sometimes it will jump down to the comment box which will be extremely frustrating, cause then you have to scroll up and then press pause and you're like why didn't the space bar just work?  But, if you push the 'k' key, it will always pause the video.  'L' will advance ten seconds, and 'j' will go back ten seconds. 

These keys being used for this purpose is actually a hold over from old video editing software and a lot of people think that it's annoying and weird and like it doesn't make any sense that it's those particular keys but I actually kind of love it.  And there are a bunch of other hot keys.  'M' will mute the video, the up and down arrows will make the volume go up and down, the left and right arrows will advance and reverse the video five seconds. 

The numbers on your keyboard will advance the video to that point in the video.  So if you like hit 6, it will go to 60% of the way through the video, if you hit 0 it will go back to the beginning.  The greater than or less than keys will speed up or slow down the video.  And finally, the period and comma will advance and reverse one frame at a time, allowing you finally to catch that weird one frame of text that the creator decided to put on the screen just to mess with you. 

If you're on your TV or phone though, I got--I got nothing for you, you just gotta pause and unpause real quick.  If anybody else has any tips or tricks for how they use YouTube most efficiently, I really want to see those in the comments.  John, I'll see you on Tuesday.