Posted:
The highly trained monkeys have been very, very busy here at the ’Tube, rolling out these changes to the site:



PUT YOUR VIDEOS AND FAVORITES IN THE ORDER YOU CHOOSE

Re-arrange your videos and favorites however you like. Go to Organize Videos under My Account to change the order. (Coming soon: the same thing for subscribers, subscriptions and friends.)



FRIENDS-ONLY COMMENTS AND FRIENDS MODULE

This is something many of you have been asking for for some time. For each of your videos, there is a new setting that automatically approves comments from friends, but requires approval for comments from anyone else. (Go to Edit Video Info and scroll down to “Allow Comments” to choose this option.) At the Channel level, you can now set it such that only friends can comment – go to My Profile to do this. Finally, after a brief hiatus, the Friends module is back as an option on Channel pages.



VIDEO BROWSE ON CHANNEL PAGES

Find a user who’s got tons of videos and don’t know where to start? Now you can sort videos on anyone’s channel by Most Recent, Most Viewed and Most Discussed.



ACTIVE SHARING: SEE WHO’S WATCHING YOUR VIDEO AND VIDEOS OTHERS ARE WATCHING

TestTube has a new look and a new feature called Active Sharing. When you turn this feature on, the last six videos you watched will display on your Channel page. In addition, when someone visits one of these videos, they are likely to see your username listed in the "Who's Watching" box to the right of the video. To turn this feature off, click on History and hit “Stop Active Sharing.”



IMPROVEMENTS TO SIGN-UP PROCESS

When you sign up for a new account, we added quick feedback that lets you know immediately if a username is available or if you’ll have to think of something else. We also made changes to the backend so that when you create a new Channel you’ll be able to preview it and make changes a lot more quickly.



COMMENTS LIMIT RELAXED

This is another thing many of you asked for. We relaxed comments limits so that after four comments you’ll be asked to type in a CAPTCHA (those letters you to type in to prove you are a real person and not a machine) and once you do you are free to comment some more!



PARTNER BROWSE

Partner channels can now be browsed by Most Viewed or through an alphabetical listing.



UNBLOCKING USERS

Let’s say in haste you blocked someone and you want to take it back. Go here to unblock users.



BLOG FACELIFT

This little puppy right here has had a makeover and is now not only better looking, but also faster to load and with archives that are easier to navigate. You can also comment on our posts (be kind, we’re sensitive).



S-S-S-S-SATISFACTION SURVEY

We always want to know more about how you’re interacting with the site and how happy you are with the overall YouTube experience. Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey, which you can access by clicking on the "Got Feedback?" link in the bottom right corner of the home page.




So let us know what you think about these new features and what you think we need to address next.



Thanks,

Mia

The YouTube Team

Posted:
I arrived in San Francisco just a few weeks ago to start my new life as YouTube’s Film Editor. Behind me were the first five years of my adult life, spent working in independent film in New York, where I had built up a network of much-loved friends and colleagues. Ahead of me stood life in a new city, a job with a new company (and in a new industry that used words like "Java" and "Python"), the challenge of making new friends, and, apparently, really cold summers.



And I couldn’t be happier, because I have a great mission: to help the YouTube community discover the exceptional filmmakers within our midst and to create a space within the increasingly large world of YouTube for aspiring filmmakers to share their work, their ideas, their concerns and their goals. Welcome to the TheStoryBoard, my YouTube film vlog.








One of my first undertakings will be attending the Tribeca Film Festival from April 26th to May 5th, where I’ll be looking for great short films and new filmmakers to introduce you to. If you’re a filmmaker with a project at Tribeca, be sure to let me know at filmz@youtube.com so I can come support you! And, in recognition of this important and influential film festival, created after 9/11 to revive Lower Manhattan, I’ll be featuring trailers for festival films on the Film & Animation page daily during the festival’s run. If you miss a feature, you can check out the TFF Trailer playlist here:







I'll also try my own hand as a filmmaker while I’m there and bring you back a little video from the fest (expectations low, please).



I want to give a shout out to the San Francisco International Film Festival, too, running here in my new hometown from April 26th to May 10th. I’ll be checking out their program when I’m back from Tribeca and I hope you Northern California locals will do the same! They’re the first American film festival to turn 50 this very year.



Be sure to start emailing me with feature-worthy videos for Film & Animation, Comedy and Entertainment, and with film related comments, questions and ideas.




Long live the digital revolution!



Yours,

Sara

Posted:
Next up in the You Choose '08 Spotlight is Senator John McCain of Arizona. Senator McCain's question for the YouTube community comes directly from his famous campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express. Traveling the country and telling Americans exactly what he thinks is a John McCain trademark – and now he's asking YOU for a little "straight talk" of your own here on YouTube.









As the Senator says, this is your opportunity to tell him and the other candidates what topics aren't getting enough "straight talk" in the campaign so far. It's a provocative question and one I hope you take him up on.



Presidential candidates only define the terms of the national dialogue if we let them. The You Choose Spotlight is your chance to speak up and speak out on what you think the candidates should be addressing. Let's see how Senator McCain and the other candidates respond…



To those who haven't tuned in to the Spotlight so far, the concept is simple: Watch the candidate's video, then upload your response. Then stay tuned for the candidates' reply to the videos they’ve seen.



Yours,

Steve

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Thanks to all of you who wrote to us telling us the site was running more slowly than expected. We're happy to say that last Friday night our engineers rolled out a profound set of changes to our database architecture. YouTube's growth has been breathtaking (thanks to you!), and our infrastructure has had to grow very quickly to keep pace.



These changes were in the works for quite a while and they represent a lot of hard work by a dedicated team. What happened was that millions and millions of accounts and videos were migrated one by one to new database clusters while the site was up and running. It takes a huge amount of time to perform this kind of operation -- you can think of it as the equivalent of changing the motor in your car while you are actually driving on the highway.



With these changes in place, you should see all manner of improvements, including speedier comment and profile updating. We've also just added extra machines to process videos much more quickly, so that should be noticeable too.







Rock on,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
It's been one week since the tragic shootings on the Virginia Tech campus claimed the lives of 27 students and 5 professors. While no amount of consolation can bring back those who were lost, the outpouring of support that has come in from around the world has been, in a word, incredible.



What do you say to people who've lost a loved one in a senseless act of violence? You say what's on your mind. It may be anger, grief, sorrow or confusion. No matter what the message, it's the act of speaking itself that counts.



Many of you have used YouTube to do just that -- to speak out, to reach out and, sometimes, to lash out. We wanted to recognize all of the positive ways people are coming together by highlighting some of the tributes and thoughts posted by Tubers in Blacksburg and beyond. Here are just a few:








If you know of any more related videos that deserve to be seen by a wider audience, please tell us about them and we'll continue to feature and share the global response to this tragedy.




Yours,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Occupying our minds and monitors…





Joe:


If you've ever been a fan – or, better yet, if you've never been a fan – of blaxploitation films, you need to check this out. TheWoodcreekFaction have been favorites of mine for a while now because of their off-color humor and prank calls. Now with “GhettoMan” in the lineup, I'll never stop checking for new episodes. Tell me it doesn't make you crack up "Fo' Treal." Episode 2 is also available if you enjoy this as much as I did.










Steve:


Ever wonder why elections in the U.S. are held on a Tuesday? So did Jacob Soboroff and Barnett Zitron, who launched "Why Tuesday," an organization dedicated to starting a national conversation on election reform. Their take is that if the election were held on a weekend, or made a national holiday, more people would vote. (National turnout in the 2006 midterm elections was 41%, though I'm proud to say my home state of Minnesota had the highest turnout rate, at 60%.) So last winter Jacob and Barnett held a video contest in which they challenged people to get elected leaders on camera answering the question, "Why do we vote on Tuesday?" This trailer shows several of their efforts to chase down such political figures as Sen. Richard Lugar, Sen. John Kerry, and Presidential hopeful John Edwards. It's a great tactic, a great campaign, and a great use of YouTube. Be sure to subscribe because their efforts are just now gearing up for 2008.









Mia:



As the mother of a five-month-old, my son and I aren’t getting into arguments just yet. He has virtually no choice about when he eats, sleeps, bathes, and all the rest of it. But I know there will be a day when our wills collide, and I’m bracing myself for it now. I appreciate the honestly of this rant and the courage it takes to admit that though of course you love your children you may not like them at times. We’re still in the honeymoon phase at my house, but I’m realistic about the fact that there’s going to be a day when I’ll need to vent like this.










Sadia:


Oh how I love Dntel. Let me count the ways. D’oh...word count limit. Oh well, all I can say is any man who can make the almost-perfect sounds of Ben Gibbard even better is a god in my eyes. I love seeing what machines he uses and how he creates all of his sounds. It's like watching a painter describe his brushes and showing us how they affect his strokes. To me, they're massive and complex, but to him each one brings its own individual sound that gives him exactly what he needs. I love getting this inside view of his studio and finally being able to see how he makes those magical beats that keep me dancing until the wee hours of the morning.










Bye-bye,

YouTube Programming Team

Posted:
Next up in the You Choose '08 Spotlight is Senator John Edwards, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. Edwards was a U.S. Senator from 1998 until 2004, when he ran as the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States. Here's his video made just for YouTube:






A reminder of how the Spotlight works: Each candidate from our You Choose ’08 platform has a week in the Spotlight, during which they post a video asking the YouTube community a question. You have a week to upload response videos to their question, and before the week is through, the candidates will post another video reflecting on what they've seen.



Last week, we kicked off the Spotlight with Governor Mitt Romney, whose question, "What is America's single greatest challenge", inspired almost 70 video responses and over 400,000 views. You can check out Governor Romney's YouTube channel to see the reply videos he made after watching your videos and comments, or watch one of them here:









Spotlight highlights the revolutionary way that YouTube politics is giving us access to speak directly to our leaders -- in this case, the future President of the United States. And as we've already seen, they are listening!



Yours,

Steve

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Ever wanted to speak with the future President of the United States? Using the power of YouTube, you can! Announcing the newest phase of our You Choose ’08 platform, the Spotlight. Starting today, every Presidential candidate will have one week in the Spotlight on our News & Politics page, where they'll be available to engage YouTube users in a video dialogue.



Here's how it works: Candidates will post a video asking the YouTube community a question, and you'll have a week to upload response videos. The candidates will monitor your reply videos and, before the week is through, will post another video reflecting on what they've seen.



This is your chance to engage the leaders who are competing for the most powerful position in the country. Let them know what you think and keep an eye on their replies. This is a great chance to get to know the candidates better by speaking across the level platform that is politics on YouTube.



So who's first in the Spotlight? Watch the video below or go to the News & Politics page and check out the top video...then post your response videos. The more thoughtful and creative the better -- see if you can get the candidates to respond directly to your issues and ideas.







Yours,

Steve

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Hi there! Hope you all had a good weekend. I wanted to start the week with a quick clarification about Damien Estreich’s role. Some YouTubers are under the impression that Damien is able to suspend accounts or feature videos. While we rely on our Community Advocate for many things – most notably to be out there listening to what the YouTube community needs and wants – these two things are not part of his super powers. So if your account has been suspended and you’re wondering why, check out the Community Guidelines to get up to speed on YouTube etiquette. The guidelines have all the details, but in a nutshell they ask that you use common sense and respect copyright and each other. Read ’em carefully, and live by them.



Have a great week,

Mia

YouTube Team

Posted:
What issue matters most to you? What do you think about the politics of your neighborhood, your district, your state, your province, your country…your world? And what are you going to do about it?



This week we're launching Citizentube, a channel designed to explore these questions and inspire more. As YouTube's political video blog, Citizentube's mission is to add fuel to the revolution that is YouTube politics.



What is YouTube politics? The answer to that question is as varied as the users who jump onto the platform. But it's one thing for certain: a place where everyone, from users to candidates, has the same chance to be seen and heard. Let the best ideas win.



Already we've seen players from all over the political spectrum using YouTube in powerful ways. A bone marrow drive broadcast on YouTube brought 1,000 donors to help a stranger. A video series on Iraq has begun to bring a human face to the war. And a message from an American politician in Spanish reached across cultural barriers through YouTube.



And there's LOTS more to come.



So if you're packing a political punch, or you've just got "issues," you've got a pretty (well, extremely) large audience here that's waiting to hear from you. Fire up those cameras and send us links to the political videos you think more deserve attention. People are watching…







Waiting to hear from you,

Steve

Citizentube/YouTube News & Politics Editor

Posted:
Every week, we weigh in on some of the videos that speak to us on a personal level.



Joe:

While I don't agree with all of his opinions and diatribes, there is one arena the NewWarriorMan owns. Just the other day, he sent me an email called "Taking Original Poetry Seriously at YouTube,” proving that beneath his "warrior" exterior there’s someone sensitive; someone who can dig deep and share his soul via artfully placed words. I'm still not brave enough to share my poetic ramblings so publicly, so Reid provides me with inspiration. His "Hands" is a moving, reflective piece about being powerless in a dim situation.






Sadia:

I love street art. I grew up surrounded by it in Chicago’s Hyde Park and have been lucky enough to see it as a valid form of expression, not vandalism. I've lived in L.A.’s Silverlake and S.F.’s the Mission, which are adorned with some pretty vibrant street paintings, and I nearly cried when my copy of "Bomb the Suburbs" went missing. The moral of the story? I really love street art. Perry Farrell created a cool interview series called "Lolla Lives", and one of his interviewees is Shepard Fairey, an artist well known for taking street art in a different direction. Here Fairey takes Farrell around southern California to show him works by Banksy, whom I consider to be one of the most socially poignant artists working today. Is it art or is it vandalism? That’s up for debate, but you have to admit it's worth looking at.






Steve:

Art and politics meet in this vignette of a young woman coping with the loss of her husband to the Iraq war. Set in the California desert, the video is well shot and has a sharp shift in perspective about halfway through that kept me interested. The director, Ken Sheetz, gets political with the dialogue in a few spots, though overall I think this tells a very basic human story about love and loss.







TTYL,

YouTube Programming Team