I am fascinated that my YouTube Channel has reached 20,640 views. On the 8th April last I posted about reaching 10,000 views. In four months this has doubled, running at over 80 views per day. My "How To...Create a Pareto Chart in Excel" is the most popular with 8,837 views.
Elliott Masie has written about the phenomenon in his post How-To Videos Abound! He notes that "People want to get short bursts of high-value instruction on a wide range of topics" and that there "is significant growth happening in the use of short instructional video". Two things that came to mind when I read his post: First, I am a Lecturer in the National College of Ireland, (since 2002) and have reached far more students via YouTube than in my classroom (probably about 200 per year). Secondly, my academic publications over 20 years only have about 25 citations in total by other authors (very poor I agree). A lot of work went into my academic papers, while each of my short videos took only a few minutes to create. Perhaps we are reaching an era when academic output will be measured not only by the number of peer-reviewed publications, but also by the amount of on-line material and its subsequent viewing figures.
With YouTube, I have a vast world-wide audience. Most of my videos are viewed in the USA, India, and Australia. I can teach far more students using this medium than in the classroom. Of course there's no danger of me moving permanently to YouTube as I don't get paid. But I have had very good comments posted about my videos from viewers - including a proposal of marriage!