This week in the Spotlight, Senator Joe Biden asks what you're willing to sacrifice in order to free America from dependence on foreign oil.

Energy independence is one of Senator Biden's top issues. As a member of the Senate's Foreign Relation's Committee for three decades, Biden has made a career in the Senate working on American foreign policy. Elected to the Senate from Delaware in 1972, Biden has a unique style of speaking on the Senate floor - he often quotes poetry, a skill he picked up to stop stuttering as a child.

Senator Hillary Clinton's week in the Spotlight ended last Wednesday when she posted this video about the challenge she posed to the YouTube community: to choose her campaign theme song.

Keep an eye on her YouTube channel to see which song wins in her contest...


Steve of Citizentube

YouTube News & Politics

I started here at YouTube a few weeks ago, taking the leap into video from my previous life as a radio broadcaster (FM and Internet). I'm still wearing headphones, but here at YouTube I'll be developing a whole new, ahem, vision for how to share my passion for music.

I'll be on a perpetual hunt for good sights and sounds while reaching out to the talented musicians on the site (signed and unsigned). I'll be working hard to make sure that YouTube is the music destination you expect it to be, and I'll be launching a few new channels to make it even easier for music fans to track down their favorite videos and discover new ones (with plans to include a few highly original sock-monkey serenades). Think of me as the one-stop-record-shop for YouTube’s music community.

After all, there is so much music on the site, from Scottish indie pop to electronic blip-hop, swing jazz to psychedelic folk, Brazilian funk to string quartets, alt country twang to hardcore screamo. I'm here to help you navigate through it all. Write a new song last night? Want to show off your mean drumming skills? Need to tell the world about a great band you just discovered? Alert me at or better yet fire up that camera, show me who you are, and let's yak muzak!


Michele Ktel

YouTube Music/YouTunes

Do you want the IRS to disappear? That's the question that Governor Mike Huckabee asks YouTube as he steps into the You Choose '08 Spotlight today.

The Governor of Arkansas (1996-2007)/Republican presidential candidate comes from the same small town as President Clinton – Hope, Arkansas. Huckabee was named one of the five best governors in America by TIME magazine in 2005, and received national attention when he lost 110 lbs. in 2003. (He later became a national health advocate.) The Gov. also plays bass in a rock 'n' roll band called "Capitol Offense."

Congressman Duncan Hunter's week in the Spotlight was a competition that asked users to submit videos answering the question, "Who's your hero?" The Congressman has chosen the three winners and has been featuring them on his YouTube channel. Here's the first one he
featured, from RogCBrand:

Keep up the posting,

Steve of Citizentube

YouTube News & Politics

We understand that some of you are disappointed that our comedy contest,
the Sketchies, is only open to U.S. residents. We wish we could include everyone, but many countries have different laws about running contests and we weren't able to make a contest with rules that are fair and work the same for everyone around the world. That said, we hope to have other opportunities for international users in the future, and we plan on taking a close look at some of the international entries for possible featuring in the Comedy section or even on our home page.



YouTube Film/The Storyboard

Here’s a glimpse at some of the new features we rolled out several days ago. Enjoy!


We first introduced this three weeks ago and since then you’ve told us that you like being able to see who’s watching your videos as well as what others are watching. We made a few improvements to this feature: we're now showing up to 25 users in the 'who's watching now' area on each playback page; once Active Sharing is enabled, it will stay turned on until you log out, close your browser, or turn off the feature; and when you click on the username of someone in the 'who's watching now' area you will be taken directly to the part of their channel that shows their most recently watched videos.


Don’t log into YouTube every day? (Gasp!) Now you can get a weekly email digest of all the new videos from your subscriptions (or pick and choose which subscriptions to be notified about). Go here to select this.


Three weeks ago we added a way to browse our partners’ channels; now our advertisers/sponsors have their own browse pages too – in “Most Viewed” and “Alphabetical” flavors. Check it out!


Now you can put a video in full-screen mode and the video keeps playing. Push “esc” to switch page back to regular size seamlessly!

All our best,

YouTube Team

Just like you, The Lonely Island started out as Just Two Guys (OK, three) making hilarious videos for the web. Of course, now they're superstars who write for one of the longest-running shows on television and have a feature film coming out this summer.

Good news. As of today, you, too, have the opportunity to use your sketch comedy shorts to catapult yourself to stardom with the YouTube Sketchies, a contest for the best episodic sketch comedy on the web.

This contest isn't for the occasionally funny, however. This is about proving your ability to consistently create comedic content through three rounds of elimination. After an initial culling by a panel of experts, the YouTube community will vote 10 of you on to Round Two, five of you on to Round Three, and one of you on to glory.

And as if glory weren't enough, you'll also get new gear, a trip to the premiere of Hot Rod, a chance to direct a short for Sierra Mist, and the opportunity to meet top talent agents.

Check out the details here and then stay tuned to my film channel, TheStoryboard, for updates, recaps and more!

Rise up and be discovered,


YouTube Film/The Storyboard

Senator Hillary Clinton may have many talents, but she'll be the first to admit that singing isn't one of them. (She's been known to warble a bit off-key.) This week in the You Choose '08 Spotlight, Clinton makes light of her lack of singing talent and asks YouTube users to help her choose her campaign theme song.

Go to her campaign website to vote on which song she should use or suggest your own. Or upload a reply video with your own rendition of the song you like could even write your own!

A few days ago, Senator John McCain posted not one but three reply videos to users from his week in the Spotlight. His question was, "What's the most important issue that's not getting enough straight talk?" Here's one of his replies. You can see the rest on his YouTube channel.


Steve of Citizentube

YouTube News & Politics

We're back with our weekly weigh-in of videos we like. A lot.


So I'm not quite sure if Steven Beacon and the Beaconaters are the best or worst band ever. All I know is that I can't stop watching this video. Is it the fact that I can't quite identify the song? Is it the harmonica player who has no idea what he's doing? Could it be the guitarist that plays the same three unidentifiable chords over and over again? Or maybe it's the drummer who looks like he could be a reject from a New York subway. Whatever it is, I love it. Well done, Beaconaters, well done.


Susie Flynn may not be on our You Choose '08 platform, but she's already announced her run for the presidency here on YouTube. The 10-year-old is running a one-issue campaign "to help the nine million children in American with no health insurance."

"Susie" isn't really Susie, however. She's part of a very creative ad campaign by the Children's Defense Fund's Healthy Child Campaign to raise awareness around the millions of uninsured children in the U.S. You can go to her YouTube channel and see a series of videos in which she takes her campaign to the streets -- and even to the White House. I like seeing a creative use of YouTube like this to raise awareness for political goals, and I think "Susie" has the kind of pluck that just could win her the White House...some day.


One of the first amazing short films I came across after joining YouTube was Hardcore Bingo. Beyond providing me with 2 minutes and 47 seconds of top quality entertainment, it introduced me to SCADshorts, a collective of filmmakers from the Savannah College of Art and Design who also post videos under the name DandyDwarves -- which, in turn, brought me to Taxi Love, one of my favorite videos on the site. Not only is the film shot with the same expert technique demonstrated in Hardcore Bingo, but beneath its quirky humor, it also seems to celebrate the many ways we individuals are able to connect with one another, whether through sight, sound, smell or touch. Maybe if we all paid this much attention to our senses, we too could get lucky with strangers in the back of a cab.

Happy Monday,

YouTube Programming Team

Ever wish you could get on the phone and talk with your political leaders directly? Well, this week in the You Choose '08 Spotlight, Congressman Duncan Hunter is giving you that chance. Hunter asks the YouTube community to make a one-minute video answering the question, "Who is your hero?" By the end of his week, he'll select the three most compelling videos and give the YouTube users who made them a direct phone call to "ask you your ideas about America."

Hunter kicks off the conversation by talking about his hero: his son, Duncan Jr., a Marine who is currently serving in Afghanistan. Rep. Hunter is in favor of a muscular national defense and is probably best known for his positions on securing American borders.

On the other side of the fence (er, aisle) is Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who finished up his week in the Spotlight today. He asked users to tell stories about moments when they were most proud of America, and he posted two reply videos directly aimed at YouTube users. This one, to Razela, responds to her video on music and education, and offers the Congressman's thoughts on education policy:

Looking forward to learning about your heroes,

Steve of Citizentube

YouTube News & Politics

**Updated to include link to partnership form.**

Over the past year and a half we've been excited and amazed by all of the original content that’s been created by members of the YouTube community. We've seen the content many of you create evolve to become elaborately developed series, concept videos, and sitcoms with tens of thousands of subscribers. Many of you have gone from creating videos in bedrooms and living rooms on webcams to becoming YouTube celebrities with fans and audiences all over the world.

Up until now there’s been a distinction between the content you create and the content created by YouTube's professional content partners. We want to start changing some of the perception here. Which is why we’re adding several of the most popular and prolific original content creators from the YouTube community to our partnership program. Now some of your favorite YouTube members, including Lonelygirl15, LisaNova, renetto, HappySlip, smosh, and valsartdiary, will begin to participate in the same revenue sharing and promotional opportunities that are available to YouTube's other partners. These include thousands of mid-sized to large content creators who range from video game companies to universities to production houses.

Initial user participants have been selected from the content creators that you have helped popularize by watching their videos and subscribing to their channels. Because they have built and sustained large, persistent audiences through the creation of engaging videos, their content has become attractive for advertisers, which has helped them earn the opportunity to participate on YouTube as a partner.

Participating user-partners will be treated as other content partners and will have the ability to control the monetization of the videos they create. Once they’ve selected a video to be monetized, we’ll place advertising adjacent to their content so participating user-partners can reap the rewards from their work.

So now that you’ve read this, you’re probably wondering, “How can I get in on the action?” This is only available to the initial participants. But if you create original content, have built and maintained an audience on YouTube, and think you might qualify for this program based on what’s above, you can express interest on our partnership lead form.

We hope that this program inspires people to keep creating original videos, building audiences and engaging with the YouTube community. What we’re really excited about, beyond our new partners, is that literally, at any given moment, thousands of creative people from throughout the world are posting new, original content to YouTube. It’s this community that’s shaping what the YouTube experience is now and will be in the future, and we’re incredibly excited for the prospect that holds.


The YouTube Team