Posted:
We mentioned the upcoming limited release of a New Experimental Personalized Homepage on our blog a few days ago. As of today, the page is now available to a small, randomly selected group of users. But even if you're not in this group, you can still give it a whirl. You only need to login to your YouTube account and click this link to opt in to the experiment.



We want to know what you think about this new personalized YouTube experience. The more feedback we receive the better, so don't forget to leave your comments here. We'll be watching!



The YouTube Team

Posted:
If you've been following the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, you've probably heard a lot of talk about super delegates. But what exactly are they? And just how might they affect who gets the Democratic nomination? Listen to Ari Berman explain on The Nation's YouTube channel:







YouTubers are weighing in on the validity of super delegates and how they should vote. In this video, ADamnProudAmerican gives a stern warning to the Democratic Party that if super delegates decide the outcome of the convention, a lot of swing voters won't be happy — himself included. In this video, JoeFelice has one simple message: "Don't sweat the super delegates." He reminds voters in upcoming primaries and caucuses that they — and not the super delegates — will ultimately decide who becomes the Democratic presidential nominee.



What do you think? Upload your thoughts to YouTube and let the world know your thoughts on the Democratic nomination.



Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
With winds clocked at 60 mph on Pier 39 and rain pouring off and on (mostly on), the weather was hardly ideal for the As One user gathering last Saturday, February 23. The precipitation couldn't put a damper on spirits, though, as approximately 200 'Tubers braced against the storm and embraced their friends from YouTube. To make the occasion extra memorable, Mr. Safety, the organizer of the event, arranged a free cruise around the bay.



This was my third time attending a gathering in the last year, and I must say that each event has been a unique experience. While this was the first time out for some users, many veterans of previous community meet-ups attended as well. There were some awkward smiles as people met for the first time in person, but it seems these events have become quite natural. Several YouTube staffers stopped by to chat and give out T-shirts, and we walked away feeling the love flowing freely amongst the community.



For those of you who couldn't make it out, here's a playlist of some of the videos from As One. Hopefully these will inspire you to make it out to one of these community-organized events in the future.



And if you are hosting an upcoming gathering, do reach out and let us know.



Until next time,


Big Joe Smith

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Something we chat a lot about here at YouTube are ways to make it even easier to discover great videos that you'll find interesting. That's why, in the coming days, we'll make an experimental version of a new YouTube homepage available to a small group of users chosen at random. If you're not in the initial group that tests the experimental homepage, but want to give it a whirl, you'll be able to in the near future. We'll post another blog with a link to give everyone access.



What will this homepage look like? Glad you asked!



Alongside homepage regulars like Featured and Most Popular videos, the experimental homepage will include personalized recommendations, the latest videos from your subscriptions and an easier way to see what your friends are uploading, favoriting and rating. Here's a bit more information on what this means:



Recommendations: With tens of millions of videos on YouTube, finding the perfect video to watch can sometimes be challenging. That's why, based on what you've viewed and favorited in the past, you'll see an algorithmically-selected set of videos that you otherwise may never have discovered.



Latest From Your Subscriptions: It's no secret that many people jump for joy when their favorite video creators upload new material. To help you keep track of the most current activity, we've changed the layout that displays newly added videos from your subscriptions. You'll be able to see videos from your three most recently updated subscriptions.



Friend Activity: The experimental YouTube homepage includes a "Friend Activity" feature to make it easier to stay in the loop on all the great vids your buddies are buzzing about. If you already display your favorites, ratings, or uploaded videos on your channel, then your existing, confirmed friends will receive a feed of updates when you favorite, rate, or upload. Remember, you control your list of friends on YouTube. You also control the activities that appear to others on your channel and now in your friends' feeds. Just click on the "Channel Design" link once you've clicked on the "Account" link at the top of any page to turn on features or turn off features you don't wish to share publicly or in your friends' feeds.



In addition, we include a dashboard that places stats about your Inbox and information about your videos front and center. The new display also showcases stats such as your uploads, total views, number of honors and more.



The goal with all of this is to gauge people's interest in having a YouTube that's tailored to the individual. Ultimately, we want to get you one step closer to the videos you'll enjoy most every time you come to the site. We're excited to hear your thoughts on the personalized YouTube experience and we welcome your feedback.



Again, when the link to the new experimental homepage is available, we'll let you know so keep your eyes on the blog!



The YouTube Team

Posted:
Calling all comedy troupes, sketch commandos and improv teams -- Sketchies is back! Our sketch comedy contest blew up big in 2007, and href="http://www.youtube.com/Sketchies2">Sketchies II promises to be even better, with a new creative challenge on the table and a stack of cash to be won. This year's winner will take home $25,000 in cash and $15,000 in video production gear.



You can check out all the details of this year's contest on our Sketchies II channel page: how to enter, what you can win and the deadlines you simply can't miss. If you love to make comedy videos, this is your chance to shine. And it doesn't hurt to have a bit of a competitive streak, because the winner of all that cash is going to have to survive the first round of voting, then make a second video for the final Sketchies II showdown. Last year's contest drew over 5,000 entries and saw many talented video makers rise to the challenge.



Sketchies veterans Lisa Nova and last year's winners, Awkward Pictures, are set to kick off the program and get the comedy rolling. If you need a little extra inspiration, check out last year's winning video:








Think you can do better? Then show the world, and you could end up living your big-bucks comedy dreams.



Cheers,

Mark D.

YouTube Comedy

Posted:
This weekend, the 58th annual Berlin International Film Festival wraps
up and, with it, the sixth annual href="http://www.youtube.com/BerlinaleTC">Berlinale Talent Campus, a
summit for 350 young filmmakers to attend lectures, classes and panel
discussions and to work on their own projects in hands-on workshops.



For the second year, the href="http://www.youtube.com/BerlinaleTC">Talent Campus also
featured a special program called the Garage Studio, a production
platform for four lucky filmmakers to shoot and edit a short film for
the Internet under the tutelage of master filmmakers and using amazing
production resources. (Mike Figgis, the award-winning director of
Leaving Las Vegas and Internal Affairs, was one such mentor.)



The best part? You can see the final four films, plus behind-the-scenes
footage from the href="http://www.youtube.com/BerlinaleTC">Campus, right here:



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height='430'>




For more information on the href="http://www.youtube.com/BerlinaleTC">Talent Campus, visit the
website and
think about applying next year - for any aspiring filmmaker, it is an
opportunity not to be missed!



Happy viewing,


Sara P.


YouTube Film

Posted:


This weekend marks one of the biggest moments of the basketball season with the NBA's midseason showcase event: NBA All-Star. This year, the league's brightest stars will be gathering in New Orleans, Louisiana, for various events, including the Dunk Contest, Skills Competition, Rookie Challenge Game, and, of course, Sunday's All-Star Game. These events will be broadcast on TNT, but here on YouTube, we'll have a unique slice of All-Star action.




Two groups of intrepid students from the Laurel School, located in Orleans Parish in New Orleans, were given video cameras to document the rehabilitation of their outdoor courts and the re-opening of their gymnasium, all of which were damaged by Hurricane Katrina two years ago. NBA players Al Horford and newly-anointed All-Star David West will be on site to lend a hand to the students and volunteers. Here's an interview with Horford at the unveiling ceremony:









On Friday, another group of Laurel School students will be given special press access to the Rookie vs. Sophomore Game. All of the footage captured by these aspiring sports journalists will be living on the NBA channel and on the NBA Cares channel. So in-between the spectacular dunks and behind-the-back passes, log on to YouTube for a special behind-the-scenes look at All-Star in the Big Easy.




Thanks,


Andrew B.


YouTube Sports

Posted:
The 50th annual Grammy awards on February 10 marks the final crescendo of our MyGrammyMoment contest. All 15 musicians chosen by your votes have been in L.A. this week rehearsing their orchestral contributions to the Foo Fighters' song "The Pretender," but only one will be selected to step out from the crowd as a featured soloist. And did we mention Led Zeppelin bass player and multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones will be conducting all this?



This group of amazingly talented violinists, cellists and trumpet players from all over the U.S. has been having a whirlwind week in L.A., juggling rehearsals with the Foos and Jones with Grammy Foundation events (where they got to walk the red carpet and rub shoulders with Musiq Soulchild, Natasha Bedingfield and Jerry Lee Lewis). Friday's rehearsal at the Staples Center gave them a chance to watch their fellow Grammy night stars tune up for the big show. (Wasn't that Alicia Keyes who just passed by?) Peek in on the rehearsals, complete with jokes supplied by Dave Grohl and a Foo fan visit from Juliette Lewis:















Tune in to the Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 10, to see all Top 15 YouTube instrumentalists in this once-in-a-lifetime performance; you can also vote right up until the performance for which talented 'Tuber -- Ann Marie Calhoun, Brian Fitzgerald or Tara Klein –- should step out as a soloist. In addition, we're featuring everyone's audition video on the home page today so you can see what sparked this whole experience in the first place.



Live from La-La Land,

Michele K-Tel

YouTube Music

Posted:
This week marked the start of the fall fashion season with New York Fashion Week 2008, seven days of runway shows, parties, after-parties, parties after the after-parties, and all-around fabulousness. If your schedule doesn't allow you to jet off to the Apple, darling, our Fashion Week 360 channel is the one place where you can experience New York Fashion Week from all angles. For starters, we've got our very own freewheeling fashionista William Sledd in New York giving you the play-by-play:









In addition, Elle Magazine brings you into shows by top designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Malandrino and Carolina Herrera; Ford Models takes you backstage where designers and models are furiously suiting up for the catwalk, and NylonTV takes in-depth looks at the hottest new talent like Erin Fetherston, Yigal Azrouel, and Rag & Bone.




Here's just a sampling:









The FashionWeek360 channel is updated daily, so check back to get the latest from the Big Apple. And it doesn't stop there: we'll have Fashion Week video from London, Milan, and Paris through March.




(Air) kisses,


Sadia H.


YouTube Howto & Style

Posted:
Today is the biggest day in the U.S. presidential primary race so far, and you can follow all the action right here on YouTube. Check out our Super Tuesday platform to see videos from voters, candidates, and news organizations from around the country. We're featuring some of the best ones on our home page all day today.



Here's a highlight reel:







Come back to our Super Tuesday channel throughout the day as videos pour in from the 24 states holding primaries. Add your own video to the mix to have your voice heard alongside everyone else's. If you're looking for ideas on the kind of video to make, we've got some suggestions here. But most importantly -- get out and vote!



Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
On Saturday, when around 1500 rebel forces attacked Chad's capitol city of N'Djamena, the American organization Stop Genocide Now got stuck in the middle of the fighting. Sequestered in a Hotel just a few hundred yards from the presidential palace, the group turned to YouTube to broadcast reports back home.



The video are powerful. With gunfire in the background and personal commentary from the group's leader, Gabriel Stauring, you get a real sense for the gravity of the situation as the Chadian government tries to beat back the rebel forces. Friends, famliy, and supporters tuned in via their YouTube channel and blog.







Stop Genocide Now had been reporting from refugee camps on the Chad/Sudanese border, where hundreds of thousands of refugees remain displaced from the genocide taking place in neighboring Sudan. Gabriel and team had been filing YouTube dispatches from their trip every day, until the rebel invasion of the capitol left them stuck in their hotel in the city. It wasn't the first time the group had used YouTube to bring attention to the situation in Darfur - the video question they shot from a refugee camp was used in the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate back in July:







Lucky for the group, they were evacuated from their hotel to a French Military complex on Sunday. But the fighting continues in Chad - French troops have been sent to beat back the rebel forces but progress has been limited.



The conflict in Darfur and Chad is one of the most tragic on the planet, and it deserves our attention. Keep your eyes on YouTube channels like Stop Genocide Now to keep learning more about what's happening there, and what we can do to help.



Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Hi YouTubers,



I'm very excited to introduce myself. I'm your new Comedy Manager, Mark Day. Some of you might know me as a bald guy ranting in front of a yellow wall, in what some believe to be "a pretend Scottish accent." But given the countless number of users on the site, I'll be a new name to many of you. Either way, I'll be doing everything I can to bring you the full range of comedy available on YouTube today -- from the best sketch groups and the latest movie parodies to up-and-coming stand-up comedians and the kind of videobloggers who love to make their subscribers laugh.



I've been a YouTube user since March of '06, and I've been lucky enough to meet and even collaborate with many talented people since then. I know just how much work people put into creating original content, and I'm looking forward to helping our finest comedic talent find the spotlight to shine.



Now that I'm part of the YouTube team, you won't be seeing much of my big bald head any more (which is, perhaps, a blessing). But I do want to thank everyone who made it fun for me to get in front of a video camera in the first place. Now I hope I do my part to encourage more users to post their own rants, skits and amusing opinions. As for my yellow wall, it's currently hoping to film its own sitcom pilot as soon as the writers' strike is over.



Cheers,

Mark D.

YouTube Comedy