Trendspotting Tuesday: Rube Goldberg Contraptions
Monday, June 30, 2008
Here on YouTube, there's no shortage of odes to 20th century cartoonist Rube Goldberg. If you're not familiar, Goldberg penned a comic series starring the eccentric Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts -- who created elaborate contraptions to perform simple tasks in roundabout ways.
Well, the Goldberg followers on YouTube have that concept down to a T -- and, better yet, they offer complete explanations of how they built their devices and what to expect once things get set in motion. This week's
showcases those budding inventors whose complicated "machines" do everything from
putting dog food in a bowl
pouring a glass of beer
constructing a hamburger
. There's also the Rube classics, like the
Star Wars edition
office supply version
. Check out the full playlist here and on our home page:
Come back next Tuesday for another edition of Trendspotting Tuesday, where we highlight the amazing things people are doing on the site.
The YouTube Team
Green Guru Challenge with Michelle Kaufmann
Friday, June 27, 2008
The time has arrived for our next Guru Challenge, the ongoing programming initiative in which we ask a prominent or up-and-coming expert in their field to challenge you, the YouTube community, to use your creativity to new ends.
This month, it's all about using your talents in an eco-conscious way.
, a YouTube architect with a passion for green design, wants to see what you can create with items you would normally throw away:
So come on, gurus and non-gurus alike! Show Michelle (and us) your innovative ideas and we'll feature some of the best ones in our
HowTo & Style section
and possibly also on the home page.
Put your creative self out there and you just might inspire the YouTube community to do the same.
Our last Guru Challenge featured
the ZooYork crew
asking about your viral marketing ideas – in light of
their own stickers-on-cockroaches-campaign
- and you responded with videos that showed you
finding interesting places to place your art
fun ways you incorporated your friends and family in your videos
poking a little fun at the concept itself
Long live DIY,
YouTube HowTo & Style
France and Germany: Next Stops For The YouTube Partner Program
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We're excited to once again announce the expansion of the
YouTube Partner Program
. By joining the program, popular users in France and Germany -- like new partners
-- will now be able to generate revenue from ads that run next to their videos, and receive the same promotional benefits afforded to YouTube's other professional content partners.
Now in eight countries, the Partner Program showcases the global diversity of the YouTube community, reflecting our commitment to helping users around the world find an outlet for their creativity and pursue opportunities online no matter where they live.
So, if you've built a significant audience on YouTube -- whether running a cooking series in Bordeaux or talking football in Hamburg -- we encourage you to
The YouTube Team
Trendspotting Tuesday: Outside-the-Box Activism
Monday, June 23, 2008
What do you get when you mix a
ditty about testicular cancer
with a group of citizens
foraging for fruit on the streets of Los Angeles
? A pretty sweet trend on YouTube. You're probably well acquainted with the average activist -- the demonstrator, the lobbyist, the boycotter, the PSA-junkie...In this week's
, we're pleased to introduce you to a whole different kind of activist animal -- the unconventional activist -- whose creativity knows no limits when it comes to raising awareness about their pet issue.
You may have already encountered a few unconventional activists on YouTube, like the
who froze their butts off (literally) while taking an environmental stand or this fella whose penchant for recycling outweighs his need for mobility:
In today's feature, you'll witness a
colorful display of outrage
as an Italian man sends thousands of plastic balls down the Spanish Steps to protest lack of garbage collection and discover a
man who chose to live like a chicken
to show how cruel humans can be. And you might just learn how to do the "Gas Can Shuffle," the latest dance craze that's sweeping the nation in an attempt to make gas more affordable:
If this brief paddle in the civic participation pool isn't enough for you, keep checking the
Nonprofits & Activism category
for more examples of inspiring social change, of both the wacky and traditional variety.
The YouTube Team
New Personalized Homepage and Improved Email Notifications
Monday, June 23, 2008
The new features included in our most recent site update are geared toward a more personalized experience for you. Check out the details...
NEW PERSONALIZED HOMEPAGE
Our goal is to give a simple answer to the question, "What should I watch today?" with a personalized, customizable homepage that makes it easy to find the videos and people that you care about. After reviewing results from our beta test and feedback from the community, we're happy to now release the new personalized homepage to all logged-in users. Since launching the
in February, data has shown an increase in the number of users visiting the homepage, the frequency of visits, and the number of subscriptions users make over time. So, this optimized version of the homepage not only means a customizable experience for you, but more exposure for your cool videos and channels on YouTube (Note: if you are logged out or do not have an account you won't be able see the personalized homepage).
IMPROVED EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS
The email messages you receive from YouTube have been updated with a new layout. In addition to a streamlined design and many wording changes, any comments or messages are now included directly within the body of the email, saving you time.
We're eager to hear your feedback, so please
let us know what you think
of this latest round of improvements.
The YouTube Team
Spore is Spreading All Over YouTube
Saturday, June 21, 2008
YouTube is in the middle of a creature invasion, courtesy of our creative community of video gamers and
, the much-anticipated new game from
, the creator of The Sims. Countless new species of lovable aliens have popped up all over the site, and you don't have to be an expert gamer to get in on the action. You can
download the Spore Creature Creator
for free, create your own alien, make in-game movies and upload them to your YouTube account directly from the Creature Creator. Then you're ready to share your unique vision with your friends and fellow "Spore" enthusiasts. Once you've got the hang of things, you can even enter the
Ultimate Spore Creature Creator Dance Off
for the chance to have your creature's dance moves voted on by the community as well as a trip to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
Whether you're an outspoken vlogger or a camera-shy YouTube user who prefers to leave comments, uploading your own unique life-form is an exciting new way to express your creative vision and get more out of your YouTube experience. Since EA launched the Creature Creator on June 17, we've seen literally thousands of eye-popping uploaded life-forms, including oddball creations from
and the legendary
, a man who knows a thing or two about dreaming up new characters. And as you check out this video player packed with "Spore" goodness, don't forget that your own contribution to the great "Spore" invasion is only a download -- and upload -- away.
The YouTube Screening Room: Now Playing
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Today, we're pleased to announce the launch of
the YouTube Screening Room
, a platform for films from around the world to find the
audiences they deserve.
Every year, tens of thousands of films are produced, but many of them
never get a chance to be seen by a wide audience. Until now.
The YouTube Screening Room will connect films and audiences in the
world's largest theater, not only providing filmmakers with a
much-needed showcase, but also helping you find new high-quality
content every two weeks.
While some of these films have played at film festivals around the
world, others will be showing to a wide audience for the first time.
Our debut shorts include an Academy Award nominee from the United
States, an Academy Award winner from Norway, the world's first
animated opera from Sweden, and a poignant short from indie favorites
Miguel Arteta and Miranda July, also from the United States.
In the next few months, you'll see films from the UK, Canada, Germany,
Ireland, Australia, Austria, France, Kenya and more. Every Screening
Room film is displayed in our High Quality player, and has been posted
with the filmmaker's involvement. So be sure to rate, share and leave
comments. This is your chance to not only watch great films from all
corners of the globe, but also to converse with the filmmakers behind
And if you're a filmmaker interested in playing in the YouTube
Screening Room, send an email about your film to
. We look forward to hearing from you!
The future of film on YouTube starts now,
Watchmen Contest: Last Chance to Vote
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Calling all film aficionados! Earlier this spring, director Zack Snyder (
Dawn of the Dead
) asked a favor of the YouTube community. His request? To create a slew of fake "Veidt Enterprises" commercials for his upcoming movie,
Using visual assets available online, hundreds of talented YouTubers heeded the call. Now, 40 finalists are competing for an unprecedented opportunity: a shot at being used in the actual feature film. That's right -- your voting will help determine which of these filmmakers make the jump from your YouTube player straight into a major motion picture.
Voting ends this Friday, June 20, so
get out those ballots
and help your fellow 'Tubers make their big screen debut.
Trendspotting Tuesday: UkeTube
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The ukulele is a tiny guitar that many associate with
at Hawaiian luaus or even Merry Prankster
. But leave it to YouTubers to prove that, actually, ukuleles are everywhere if you just do a little looking. From parodies to
, to heartfelt
to blazing displays of
, it's time to reconsider the many sounds and styles emanating from this humble instrument. On today's
, we bring you UkeTube!
Bosko and Honey
lead the way with their
Ukulele Safari USA
series. Based in Australia, they are traveling the world, performing and interviewing some of our favorite UkeTubers, like
from Japan (who decorated her ukulele with cake!).
Also featured is the uke community's Next Big Thing Julia Nunes (aka
), who submitted a brand new
just for this special ukulele celebration, right before she takes her wee guitar on tour with Ben Folds this summer. Julia was also spotted attending this summer's first annual
Bushman Ukulele Luau
in Nashville, Indiana -- along with ukers/users
There are so many stellar examples of ukuleles from all around the world on YouTube, uploaded from
, that there was no way we could include all of them on this list. We even found some good how-to-make-your-own-ukulele
; once you have yours, there are folks like
who can teach you how to play indie rock on it.
And finally there's
(of the Moaning Myrtles) and
(of the Butterbeer Experience) who bought their ukes, immediately wrote a song about guacamole, and then filmed
right there in the store's parking lot. Only on YouTube…
Yours in Uke,
The YouTube Team
YouTube in your Living Room
Friday, June 13, 2008
We've heard many users say, "YouTube is the new TV!". Well, the YouTube Syndication team is excited to now offer a number of options to actually consume YouTube on your television sets. We're also proud to have helped many leaders in the consumer electronics space create YouTube experiences on TV.
Getting YouTube right on TV is extremely challenging from both a design and technology perspective. Each of our partners' engineering and design teams had similar questions:
- What would users, accustomed to a simple remote control interface for their TVs, expect given their typically much richer interaction options when surfing
- How could the YouTube experience be personalized for TV?
- How could the extra computing power and memory often required to make this work on their devices be added effectively?
- What were the most important YouTube features to retain, and how would they translate to a 10-feet user experience?
All these partners used the
to build their products. One partner's summary of their experience with the APIs: "The YouTube API was very simple, but powerful. It enabled us to develop our user interface flexibly and quickly." Music to our ears!
Here's a quick overview of some products that enable you to access YouTube from your living room...or anywhere else you may have your television(s)!
this became the first product to offer a way to watch YouTube on your TV.
Sony Bravia Internet Video Link
: Last week, Sony announced the general availability of YouTube content on their Bravia TVs via the Internet Video Link. Some clips from the YouTube team at the event are linked below.
HP announced availability
of YouTube as part of the HP MediaSmart platform.
, Panasonic announced
, which allows you to
directly from your TV. The device will be available later this month.
Samsung: Samsung launched their IPTV device which supports YouTube (currently only available in South Korea) in early May.
Announced that YouTube would be available
on their devices.
: A startup in the IPTV space, has
of a YouTube-enabled device.
Videos from the Sony announcement in NYC:
We're excited that the YouTube APIs have enabled these products and look forward to sharing information about even more products, upgrades and innovations from our partners. We're determined to see more devices and applications
"Powered by YouTube"
so that our vision of
feels even more real to our users. Head over to the
to read more about where you can expect to see YouTube other than
The YouTube Team
Targeting Your Political Demographic on YouTube
Thursday, June 12, 2008
For years, politicians have relied on small focus groups to test new messages, measure public opinion, and squeeze as much actionable information as possible out of a dozen or so pre-screened subjects. But as with everything else in the age of Internet politics, YouTube is providing political campaigns with new ways to evaluate information and formulate campaign strategy. Our new analytics tool, YouTube Insight, allows any video uploader to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload to the site, including aggregated information about the age, sex, and geographical location of their viewership over time. You can also see
people found your video -- whether by searching on YouTube or Google, browsing related videos, or visiting blogs and other websites.
For campaigns with "Politician" channels on the site, this means improving their ability to understand -- and engage with -- the millions of voters that make YouTube the world's largest focus group.
For example, Steve Novick, who the
New York Times declared
the first major YouTube candidate, narrowly lost the Democratic Senate nomination in Oregon. While the campaign knew their success on YouTube was substantial, the site itself still seemed like a black box. A Novick strategist told the New York Times, "We don't know how many people who saw the ads were Oregon voters, as opposed to people in Norway."
Here's what the Novick campaign could have learned using Insight:
* The most views in the United States did, in fact, come from Oregon. (The most views in Scandinavia came from Sweden, not Norway.) Novick also had a strong following in California.
* His viewers skewed older and the vast majority were men (84%). Over 30% of his viewers were in the age range of 45-55.
* Throughout the entire campaign,
was the main source of traffic for his videos. However, in the week prior to the May 20 Oregon primary, the political blog
TPM Election Central
was responsible for over one-third of all views coming from external websites. Novick's own website was a distant second.
There are many ways both national and local candidates can use this information on and off of YouTube. Is an ad about Iraq more popular in Virginia or Colorado? Do videos about health care skew old or young? Does an ad targeted on television to New Mexico get most of its views online from the same state? Are there national pockets of support from which a local candidate might fundraise?
With five months until November, look for more and more politicians using Insight to determine how effective their content is for which demographics. Online video is a new tool in 21st century political campaigning and this kind of data is invaluable to understanding how to use it.
-The YouTube Team
YouTube Comedy Creators Live at SketchFest NYC
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sketch comedy and online video go together like deceased parrots and pythons called Monty. Online video gives sketch crews and improv teams the opportunity to create humor in
the great outdoors
play with visual effects
and, of course, reach a global audience without having to water down their work for broadcast television. Where else but online could you enter the world of
twisted kids' TV
Project Runway Vs. Werewolf
Elders of the Dark Tower
, or revel in
guns, grease and lewdness
Still, there's no denying the power of live performance, and
has assembled a bill of impressive talent performing no-holds-barred sketch at New York's famed
Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater
from June 12-14. In addition to the above-mentioned artists, other sketch crews with YouTube channels who will be appearing include
the Harvard Sailing Team
A Week of Kindness
. And if that doesn't sound like enough, one of our favorite comedy culture podcasts,
The Sound of Young America
, will be presenting a live performance on the 14th at 4pm ET. You can preview some of these sketch stars in this video player.
Trendspotting Tuesday: Random Acts of Kindness
Monday, June 9, 2008
Who doesn't love that feeling you get from helping someone out or saying something truly heartfelt? Our latest takeover is all about such acts of kindness, particularly the kind that YouTube facilitates. It feels like a pretty special time in history when you can do something nice, so easily, for someone you've never met and have it broadcast – and maybe even repeated – throughout the world.
Take, for example, Juan Mann's "Free Hugs" campaign, which is now a worldwide phenomenon. It started in
, with Juan embracing strangers in a shopping mall and setting it to an emotive soundtrack by the Sick Puppies. Soon after, local versions sprung up in
, and even
There are many other ways people are using YouTube to carry out their kind acts. Once you delve in, you'll be amazed the types of videos you will discover, from reaching out for bone marrow donors to catching the reaction of someone innocently given a rose at random to simply complimenting each other in a collaboration video. The videos selected today show only a few of the ways people show passion for their selected causes: we hope the features inspire you to commit an act of kindness yourself.
The YouTube Team
AgentChange, Reporting For Duty
Monday, June 9, 2008
I'm Ramya and I'm the new Nonprofits & Activism Manager here at YouTube. I'm thrilled to be here, highlighting the best uses of YouTube to create meaningful social change and helping you leverage the power of YouTube for good.
Last September, we launched the
YouTube Nonprofit Program
with the help of 13 nonprofit partner organizations. Today, thousands of nonprofits have joined the program and are using YouTube to raise awareness about important issues, fundraise for their causes, and engage with their supporters. But there are lots of nonprofits out there who still haven't ridden the YouTube wave. Take it from a former nonprofiteer--it's totally worth it. If you're a U.S.-based 501c(3) organization, you can
sign up now
for a designated "Nonprofit" channel, which comes with a slew of awesome perks like increased branding and video uploading capacity, the chance to be featured in one of the "promoted videos" areas on YouTube, and the option to embed a Google Checkout gadget on your channel to drive fundraising.
Also, I want to give a shout out to all of my activists out there who aren't affiliated with a particular organization. Whether you're a filmmaker trying to
expose new AIDS prevention techniques
, a student organizer
working to make your campus greener
, or a citizen who just wants to
make the world a better place
, we want to help you share your ideas and experiences through YouTube. Just a few months ago, YouTube debuted the
Nonprofits & Activism video page
, a place where your content can bubble to the top and get seen by YouTube's global audience. Our goal is to build a vibrant community that draws attention to the world's most pressing issues.
I'll be checking in with the YouTube community on my channel,
. And I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas about nonprofits and activism on YouTube - email me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you see brilliant uses of YouTube popping up on the
Nonprofits & Activism page
, please let me know!
YouTube Nonprofits & Activism
Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Calling all Reporters
Friday, June 6, 2008
The new media revolution has been changing the media landscape for several years now, and we've had a front row seat to the action here at YouTube. People around the world have been using YouTube to report on the events and issues affecting their lives, shedding light on stories that might otherwise not be told and offering new perspectives on events covered by the traditional media. Today, to highlight these journalists on YouTube, we're announcing the launch of the Reporter channel type.
Reporter channels are just like other YouTube channel types –- such as Comedian, Guru and Musician -- but are specifically intended for citizens and professionals dedicated to informing others about the news and events in their local communities and around the world. This includes but is not limited to:
People who tote around their cameras offering
of local news and events
Students producing their own
Active community members who conduct
interviews with local leaders
Engaged citizens who love providing
commentary and analysis
on important issues affecting the world at large
using YouTube as an additional outlet for their work
If any of this sounds like you, simply go to the
Channel Info page
within My Account, click "Change channel type" and select "Reporter" from the pull-down menu. Soon, we'll start surfacing Reporter channels on their very own browse page under the Channels tab, so it will be much easier to find news content on YouTube.
We look forward to welcoming a new fleet of Reporters to the site, and don't forget to keep us posted on your best news content by emailing CitizenNews@youtube.com.
YouTube News & Politics
How Can the Internet Make the World a Better Place?
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Trying to remember what life was like before the Internet gets a little bit harder every day. How did I buy a plane ticket again? We wrote letters by hand and sent them in the mail, you say? What did I do when I needed driving directions?
The Internet has become a necessity in the daily lives of people all around the world, and on June 17 and 18, ministers from more than 40 countries will meet with global business leaders, technical experts, and academics in Seoul, Korea, at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)'s meeting on the "Future of the Internet Economy." Here they will discuss how the World Wide Web can make the world a better place, and they want to hear from you.
Similar to YouTube's Davos Question framed around the World Economic Forum back in January, the OECD wants to give you the opportunity to ask questions and share your ideas with global leaders about the future of the Internet and how it can be used for good. The best videos will be shown during the meeting in Seoul, and responses from the ministers will be posted on YouTube during the event.
So share your questions and ideas on YouTube now! Visit the OECD's
"Future of the Internet"
channel and tell the world what you think by submitting a video to it.
The YouTube Team
New Beta Feature: Video Annotations
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
We're happy to announce a new way to add interactive commentary to your videos -- with Video Annotations. With this feature, you can add background information, create branching ("choose your own adventure" style) stories or add links to any YouTube video, channel, or search results page -- at any point in your video.
Uploaders have control over creating and editing an unlimited number of annotations on their videos. To start annotating, first make sure you have videos uploaded into your account. Log in, then go to view one of your videos. On the Video page, click the blue "Edit Annotations" button to the right of the video.
As you play your video, you can insert commentary by adding speech bubbles, notes and highlight boxes anywhere you want. You can also use the menu on the left to save a draft, delete commentary, edit start/stop times or add links to your annotations. Once you save the final version, click "Publish" to reveal your annotated video to other users. (Note: Video Annotations are shown by default, but the viewer can turn them off while watching a video through the "Menu" button on the bottom right of the video player).
Looking for some creative ways to use annotations? Check out these examples: a
For more information on how to use annotations, please visit the
We're really looking forward to the endless ways you'll annotate your videos and will add more fun tools and features soon!
Don't forget to
share your feedback
The YouTube Team
Trendspotting Tuesday: Citizen Reporting on YouTube
Monday, June 2, 2008
A friend just called to tell you that there's an abandoned convertible teetering over the edge of a bridge, about to fall into the river just a mile from your house.
a) Return to the couch and finish watching the season finale of Lost, which you TiVoed last week.
b) Turn on your laptop to see if CNN has published a story yet on its website.
c) Grab your video camera and sprint to the scene of the action, ready to capture the car's dramatic plummet into the rushing waters below.
If you answered c, you might be one of the many citizen reporters here on YouTube -- those who may not be practicing journalism for a living but are certainly helping to tell news stories that might not otherwise be covered by mainstream media outlets. More and more users are reporting the news on YouTube every day, which is why we're dedicating this week's
to the burgeoning community of citizen reporters on the site offering alternative perspectives on the news.
A few weeks ago we spotlighted how users in China had used YouTube to share
video clips from the devastating earthquake
in the Sichuan province. We've noticed lots of other types of on-the-scene accounts: from
raw tornado footage
captured by dare-deviling storm chasers facing harrowing twisters to
rarely seen perspectives
from soldiers in Iraq on life in a combat zone. Still others have contributed more in-depth investigations on social issues like the
in urban America and
that haven't gotten much attention in the press. Here's the
Today, anyone with a camera can participate in reporting and spreading the news, and they're doing it right here. So make sure to check out the latest breaking news stories on YouTube, and stay tuned to this blog on Friday for an announcement about a new channel type that will officially recognize citizen journalists on the site.
As always, if you see great reporting and journalism being done by your fellow users here on YouTube, hit me up at CitizenNews@youtube.com.
The YouTube Team
VFS / YouTube Scholarship Winners Announced
Monday, June 2, 2008
Back in March,
Vancouver Film School
and YouTube announced a first-of-its-kind competition. The challenge was to make a three-minute video about the theme, "What matters most to me." The prize: three full-tuition scholarships to one of VFS's world-class programs. After months of submissions and many fantastic entries, our judges whittled the competition down to ten worthy finalists. Now, after a week of voting by the YouTube community, we are pleased to announce the winners of the VFS/YT Scholarship Competition.
From Mexico in the program of Digital Design, Jorge Rolando Caneda Estrada:
From Germany in the program of Foundation Visual and Art Design, Stefan Ramirez Perez:
And from the United States in the program of Digital Design: Christopher Harrell:
Congratulations -- we know the YouTube community will be waiting with baited breath to see what you all do next!
Finally, to everyone who submitted videos to the competition and to those of you who voted for your favorite video, thank you from everyone here at the YouTube Team for making this great competition possible.
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