Posted:
Is vacation planning giving you your first case of the summertime blues? With gas prices and airfares skyrocketing, embarking on an exciting/bank-breaking getaway is probably the least appealing thing on the thrifty traveler's mind.



Some travel gurus on YouTube feel your pain and are here with helpful tips for turning those dollar-draining days into dog days. For instance, to avoid the costs of pricey hotels or hostels, you might try Couch Surfing:







In case you're not into the whole Bohemian thing, these tips on booking travel arrangements might be more appropriate:







Finally, for those who just can't stomach opening up their wallets, there's always the lure of the Great Outdoors (available in your own backyard):







Have some crafty travel ideas of your own? Then send them along -- we're always looking for more tips and tricks.



Happy Travels,



The YouTube Team

Posted:
As summer officially approaches (at least here in the U.S.), it's time to move the cooking outside. Luckily, your fellow YouTubers have no shortage of advice on how to blow everyone away with your grilling skills. You'll find a plethora of videos on making many of the staples everyone loves, including baby-back ribs, chicken, and hamburgers. Expertvillage has a series that teaches you everything you need to know about barbecuing sausages, thanks to Lawrence Holmes of L.A.'s Big Papi's BBQ joint.




For something lighter, try seafood. Bobby Flay from the FoodNetwork has a recipe for lobster that looks fast, easy and delicious, while ChefAustralia will show you how to cook salmon on a smokeboard. Dave at BBQMyWay is convinced you will be loved forever if you grill his Mediterranean scallops, but if that doesn't work, try any of these BBQ-centric recipes:









Grill it up and chow down,


Sadia H.


YouTube Howto & Style

Posted:
On June 7th, the UEFA Euro 2008 Football Championships (that's soccer to us Americans) kicks off with Switzerland – who share hosting duties with Austria – taking on the Czech Republic in Basel. Over the following 23 days, the 16 finalist countries will play 31 games to see who gets to raise the trophy – and enjoy bragging rights across Europe until 2012.



One of the defining characteristics of the European Championships is its unpredictability. Since its launch in 1960, the 12 stagings of the event have produced nine different winners – a fact that seems to drive players to produce some of the best play of their careers and whip fans into a frenzy.


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Where YouTube sees excitement, it sees opportunity. Cue our 23 Days program, which is designed to share your skills, passion and soccer knowledge with the wider world. To this end channels have
been set up in Germany,France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Russia – not to mention a "http://www.youtube.com/23days">pan-European channel – designed to showcase your soccer skills (All About Football), your passion for the game (Fans In Action) and your analysis of the on-pitch
action (Football Reporter).


So, whether you're inspired to show your footy skills, want to root for your favorite European team or looking to talk through the drama as it unfolds, 23 Days is for you. Head for the channel, do your thing and who knows – maybe the world will get to experience an important slice of Euro 2008 through your eyes.



Have fun,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
If you notice a significant change in your subscriber count within the next few days, don't be alarmed - this is due to a fix we are running to rectify a bug which has affected subscriber counts on some users' channels. Normally, when a user subscribes/unsubscribes from your channel, this change is reflected in your subscriber count almost immediately. We discovered an issue which was preventing these numbers from being updated. We expect the fix to take just a few days to reach affected accounts. Once it is complete, everyone's channels will reflect the current and accurate number of subscribers.



Thanks for your patience,


The YouTube Team

Posted:
Domo arigato, YouTubers, especially those who love all things robotic. We hope you'll enjoy this week's Trendspotting Tuesday, for which we can truthfully say, "The robots are taking over!"



Robots are running rampage through pop culture these days, from disco 'droids Daft Punk to Pixar's much-anticipated new movie, WALL-E. Of course, not all robots are CGI film stars or French funksters. Real-life robots are rolling out of university tech-labs and inventors' garages, wowing people at events like the Bay Area's Maker Faire, where robots and their creators are the rock stars of the do-it-yourself community.



Whatever your favorite aspect of robo-culture, you should be able to find footage of it on YouTube. This homepage takeover is only a taste of the mechanical menagerie that's just a search and a click away. From a giant robot spider that doubles as a vehicle to a Guitar Hero-playing Slashbot, robots are taking new shapes and taking up new hobbies. Check out this playlist for examples of ways in which 'bots are all around:







Presuming that robots haven't taken over the planet by this time next week, you can tune in for another slice of video culture next Tuesday. And if there's a trend you'd like us to highlight, leave a comment or drop us a note on the Trendspotting Tuesday channel, where you can find playlists from our previous trendspotting features.



Cheers,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
This week, the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival kicked off its seventh year in lower Manhattan. Like YouTube, the festival is known for its eclectic mix of content, with a little bit of something for everybody. Which is why we're excited to let you know that IFC, a long time member of the YouTube community, will be bringing you red carpet coverage, celebrity interviews, Q&As and more. Another reason to pay attention to this year's fest? YouTube's own ArtieTSMITW, aka Brandon Hardesty, will be making his big screen debut in the official Tribeca selection, Bart Got a Room.







To hear more about other films and events taking place, read on...



For lovers of independent cinema, the 24 films in competition represent filmmakers from 18 different countries, more than half of whom are at the festival with their first ever feature film.



For those who prefer bigger budget fare, Gala screenings include the Wachowski Brother's much-anticipated adaptation of the 1960s animated series, Speed Racer, and the comedy Baby Mama, from Manhattan's own Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.



For music lovers, there's the Breaking the Band music showcase, curated by Grey's Anatomy and The OC music supervisor superstar, Alexandra Patsavas, featuring performances by The Hold Steady, The Virgins, Republic Tigers and Bad Veins.



For sports fans, the festival is teaming up with ESPN once again to present a showcase of films focusing on the spirit of competition.



Sound good? Then stay tuned to the Film & Animation Featured Videos page for IFC's daily coverage.



And to any YouTubers lucky enough to be there in person: send us your videos so we can share!



Ah, the ease of festival-going these days…



Enjoy,



Sara P.


YouTube Film

Posted:
It may be three months away, but the GOP has been planning the Republican National Convention for some time -- and YouTube is a key part of their strategy. The Party plans to use the site to help you to get involved in the action, and they're starting today with their American Neighbor contest.



Between now and June 26, the Convention staff is asking you to upload video profiles of someone from your community who goes "above and beyond the call of duty." Senator John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis explains here:






The YouTube community will get to vote on the best videos, and the winner -- plus the person he or she is profiling -- will get to attend the Convention this fall in St. Paul, Minnesota.



In addition to launching the American Neighbor contest on YouTube, the Convention has been quite busy using their YouTube channel to build buzz around the big event this fall. They've upload clips of great moments from past conventions, like this video of Ronald Reagan's 1980 acceptance speech. They also asked YouTubers to help them name their Convention blog (the winner: "Grand Old Blog"), and they uploaded this clip from an interesting -- and surprising -- visit to the Convention offices by a Democratic superdelegate...dressed as a donkey.



Yours,

Steve Grove

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
The challenge: To create a short video addressing the theme, "What Matters to You."



The prize: A scholarship to an internationally renowned film school.







After parsing through hundreds of amazing entries, Vancouver Film School has narrowed down the field to ten finalists. Hailing from five different countries, these filmmakers, designers, and animators represent some of the best emerging young talent on YouTube.



Now, it's up to you to decide which 3 of these deserving artists receives a full-tuition scholarship to the VFS program of their choice. To vote for your favorite videos, just visit VFS's YouTube channel. The competition ends on May 27, so go ahead and cast those ballots!



Good luck,

Sara P.

YouTube Film

Posted:
Do a quick search for "how to YouTube," and you'll find thousands of videos offering advice, tricks and tips on the art of online video. This week, Trendspotting Tuesday is dedicated to those 'Tubers who want to give back to their fellow users by offering free, genuine advice on how to make the most out of your YouTube experience.



These seasoned experts have learned that making a quality video is easier then it seems, and they're sharing their hard-earned knowledge so that your videos can also be well lit, tightly edited, and even graphically innovative. One of the UK's Most Subscribed channels, Blade376, gives great advice on how simple vlogging can be, while experts like digitaljuicetv dig deep into more technical questions, such as how to make video with a green screen. Meanwhile, users like natashahenare realize that not everyone on YouTube makes videos, so instead she offers great advice on how to personalize your channel page. Here's the full playlist:







So, as you can see, help is usually just a quick search away and there's no shortage of helpful YouTubers eager to offer a hand. We'd expect nothing less from this community!



Cheers,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Last week, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) contacted us to voice his concerns about seeing videos from several Islamic terrorist organizations on YouTube. We appreciated our dialogue with Senator Lieberman and his staff and wanted to explain to the YouTube community how we responded to his concerns.



First, some background: hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. Because it is not possible to pre-screen this much content, we have developed an innovative and reliable community policing system that involves our users in helping us enforce YouTube's standards. Millions of users report potential violations of our Community Guidelines by selecting the "Flag" link while watching videos.



Senator Lieberman's staff identified numerous videos that they believed violated YouTube's Community Guidelines. In response to his concerns, we examined and ended up removing a number of videos from the site, primarily because they depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech. Most of the videos, which did not contain violent or hate speech content, were not removed because they do not violate our Community Guidelines.



Senator Lieberman stated his belief, in a letter sent today, that all videos mentioning or featuring these groups should be removed from YouTube -- even legal nonviolent or non-hate speech videos. While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds. Of course, users are always free to express their disagreement with a particular video on the site, by leaving comments or their own response video. That debate is healthy.



We appreciate Senator Lieberman alerting us to videos that violated our policies -- and encourage our users to continue to do the same through the flagging tool. And while we disagree with him about the details of our policies, we respect his views and thank him for giving us the chance to respond to his concerns.



The YouTube Team

Posted:
Hey, YouTube!



My name is Olivia, and I'm the new News Manager here at YouTube.



Thanks to better, cheaper, and easier access to video equipment, there's an amazing amount of news being reported on YouTube every single day by citizens in all corners of the globe. You're conducting interviews with local community leaders, doing weekly reports on the latest campus news for your school television station, and investigating untold stories you think the world should know about. This stuff is fantastic, but we want to see more from you all and to bring more citizen journalists into the fold.



So here's where I turn to you guys for help! If you see examples of fellow YouTubers doing great work in journalism and reporting, please let me know. If you're a citizen journalist yourself, tell me how YouTube could better serve you. I want to hear how you guys envision news on YouTube and what you'd like to see. My ultimate mission is to make the site a go-to destination for news on the web.



I'd love to hear from as many of you as possible, so please email me any thoughts, suggestions, questions and feedback at citizennews@youtube.com.










Signing off from San Bruno,

Olivia M.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
According to the Chinese state media, there are nearly 600 million cell phone users today in China, resulting in a corps of citizen journalists equipped with the technology to give eyewitness accounts without a moment's notice. Last week's devastating earthquake in China's Sichuan province produced an enormous number of photos and videos uploaded by Chinese on their mobile devices. Users documented the havoc wrought by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the deadliest the nation has seen in more than 30 years, and within hours, raw footage of trembling buildings and panicked citizens began to appear on YouTube. Many of these videos presented an emotional, firsthand account of what it was actually like to experience the disaster:







Several users uploaded footage from surveillance cameras that kept on rolling throughout the disaster -- like this eerie video from a parking lot in Chengdu, comprised of a single, stationary shot of four parked cars throughout the six minutes before, during, and after the earthquake. People run frantically in and out of the wobbling frame, but the video has no sound to accompany the alarming visual.



People have also been using YouTube in a range of other ways relating to the earthquake: as an outlet for educating people on the science of tectonic plates, a place to pay tribute to those who have died, and a vehicle for raising money and supplies for those whose lives have been damaged or destroyed.



While the situation in Sichuan will undoubtedly get much worse before it gets better, China's reaction has been encouraging -- not only with its effective and unified emergency response to the tragedy, but also the Chinese people's eagerness to humanize the tragedy by broadcasting their experiences and sharing information with each other and the rest of the world.



Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Hey 'Tubers, it's time for another round of site updates. We added some new features to improve searching for videos, inbox and managing your contacts on YouTube. Check it...



QUERY SUGGESTIONS FOR SEARCH



A query suggestions option is now available for search. To opt in, click the "advanced" link next to the search button, then choose "Display query suggestions as I type" from the search settings. As you type in your search terms a menu will appear with suggested results to choose from to help you more quickly find the videos you're looking for. On the search results page you'll also get an additional list of recommended searches by clicking on any of the terms listed next to the new "Also try" menu.



GOOGLE CONTACT IMPORTER



To import your Google contacts into YouTube, click "Import" on the "My Contacts" page, then log in to your Google account. Once we've finished importing, click "Share" to easily send a video you're watching to any of your contacts. You can even "friend" your YouTube contacts and we'll help you stay up to date on the videos they're favoriting, rating, and uploading.



INBOX IMPROVEMENTS FOR COMMENTS



Based on your feedback, we've made some improvements to the notifications for video comments in your YouTube Inbox. Comments made to your videos are separated from comments left in response to your comment on someone else's video. The actual text of the comment is also now displayed and you can approve or reject a comment in-line.



Thanks to Pzottolo for another video version of our latest site update:







Don't forget to share your feedback with us via video, email or throw some comments on this here blog.



Best,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
The Rolling Stones were the first official Living Legends to join the program that connects luminaries with the YouTube community – they asked for questions, you heeded their call, and now they've responded with gusto. Here's a sneak peek:







The questions submitted to the band came from old fans as well as new recruits, and ranged from Zapterazor's query about internet piracy (which he asked dressed as a pirate) to Banteron's probe into Mick Jagger's voodoo past. TheBladeRunnerShow wondered how they thought they would be judged by the American Idol gang at the start of their career, but our nod for cheekiest question goes to Jamieroko, who offered her opinions on the band's "hotness" throughout the years, ultimately asking if they still feel "exhilarated":







Intrigued? You can find all of Mick and Keith's answers and plenty of off-the-cuff rock star remarks on our Living Legends channel. You also have the opportunity to answer a question that Keith pitches back to the community:







With sticky fingers,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
When we first announced YouTube Insight, our free video analytics tool for YouTube, we were excited to see just how users, partners, and advertisers might creatively use information about the viewing trends of their videos. We've since learned that some users and partners are modifying their upload schedules based on when they know their audience is tuning in, and advertisers are studying geographic traffic patterns to assess the effectiveness of regional ad campaigns.



Today we've added some new features to Insight. One is a new demographics tab that displays view count information broken down by age group (such as ages 18-24), gender, or a combination of the two, to help you get a better understanding of the makeup of your YouTube audience. We show you general information about your viewers in anonymous and aggregate form, based on the birth date and gender information that users share with us when they create YouTube accounts. This means that individual users can't be personally identified.



Insight now also displays statistics based on the combined total views of all the videos you've uploaded. Just as you can explore the view counts and popularity of individual videos, with this feature you can see your account's total number of views, and your relative popularity on YouTube compared to other users, based on geographic location.



As with Insight's other features, we hope this new information helps you learn how to create more compelling content that best engages the audiences you want to reach. You can find these new metrics under the "Demographics" tab within the Insight dashboard. Click on the "Insight" button under Account > My Videos.



Enjoy,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Generally speaking, Cannes is considered the grand-mère of all film festivals. For 11 days every spring, the cinematic world descends on this beach town in the south of France to celebrate everything film, from the lowest-budget student shorts to the summer's biggest blockbusters.



Starting today and for the next 11 days, we'll be featuring a diverse selection of content from the French Riviera in our Film & Animation section, including industry panels from the Short Film Corner and the 2008 Real Ideas Studio Community Documentary Challenge, which consists of short works from the best student documentarians.



Finally, what would the world's most glamorous festival be without coverage from the red carpet, courtesy of IFC? With Clint Eastwood, Charlie Kaufman and Steven Soderbergh in the running for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize, and world premieres from Stephen Spielberg and Woody Allen, there should be plenty to talk about.



So tune in to YouTube throughout the festival and get those cameras rolling. Whether you were there or not, we want to hear your perspectives on Cannes -- the films, the fashions, the French fabulousness!



Happy Festival-going,

Sara P.

YouTube Film

Posted:


Over the past couple years, more internally-powered, easily-mounted micro video cameras have come on the market for consumers, and the result has been a ton more first-person point-of-view sports footage available on the net. Sports enthusiasts now use these lipstick-sized helmet-, wrist- or foot- mounted cameras to capture the essence of the sports they love. Besides being fun to watch and re-live, these videos can also be extremely useful to athletes, riders and drivers for improving technique, selecting a better line on a track or off-road course, or adjusting speed for the sake of maximum efficiency or safety.




From a viewer's perspective, these videos put you right in the action. You can get a sense of the speed at which the athlete is moving, the angle of the slope, the sheer force of wind, and the total concentration required to pull off a tricky maneuver:







We hope these inspire you to get out on the course, run, slope or track, shoot some videos and share 'em with everyone you know. (And, of course, please be safe while you're at it…)




In the meantime, let us know if there's a trend we should be covering. (You already told us about a few, which we're currently exploring.) Leave a comment below or leave a note on the Trendspotting Tuesday channel, where you can also find previous trendspotting playlists.



Cheers,

The YouTube Team


Posted:
The Short Film Corner at Cannes is one of the world's premier destinations for shorts. But you don't need to make the trip to France to see the best of what the festival has to offer, thanks to the National Film Board of Canada's Online Film Competition Cannes 2008.



In its fourth year, the contest features ten shorts, selected from among 650 films from over 40 countries. Representing an eclectic mix of languages and genres, the finalists are all available for viewing on the NFB's YouTube channel. The prize? In addition to bragging rights, the director of the winning short film will receive a professional DV camera and a portable computer with post-production software.



Ready for the best part? You determine the winner. That's right -- the winning film will be chosen by audience voting, based on the one-to-five-star rating scale you know and love.







Film jurors, it's time to cast your votes.



Sara P.


YouTube Film

Posted:
Last Saturday's devastating cyclone in Myanmar has so far claimed the lives of over 22,000 people and that toll continues to rise. Yet in what has become the largest natural disaster since the 2004 tsunami that ravaged Sri Lanka, aid to Myanmar has had trouble reaching those in need. The military government that runs the small Southeast Asian country has let in little aid from agencies and is not granting visas to aid workers to enter the country.



On YouTube, the effort to raise awareness around the need to help Myanmar has grown in the last 48 hours. Reporters are uploading videos of footage from the devastated region, such as this video from NoCommentTV, whose simple approach of showing news images "without any opinion or bias" paints a compelling portrait of the disaster. Al Jazeera posted this clip to give viewers an overview of what's taken place in the region since Saturday. And YouTube users such as relex109 are posting picture slideshows from Myanmar.



Others are using YouTube to raise money for the effort. World Vision's Executive Director uploaded a call for donations via his organization's YouTube channel, and U Uttara, the Secretary General of the International Burmese Monks Organization, made an appeal for funds on Avaaz.org's YouTube channel. (You can donate directly here.)



But perhaps the most unique call for donations came from YouTube user Nightwatcher1982 of the Netherlands. In the video below, he makes a personal pledge to the YouTube community: between now and May 25, for every video response to his video, he'll donate $5 to the Red Cross. And if your video is "really good," he'll donate $10:







Let's hope more and more money is raised to provide relief to the stricken region -- and that Myanmar's government lets it in.



Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Updates made to the Inbox and My Contacts features are now live for all YouTube users. After announcing the beta launch for these features a couple of weeks ago, we made some changes to the Inbox based on your feedback. Now mini-thumbnails appear on the list of messages for video responses and videos users have shared with you. Also, the link to view all comments has been restored in email notifications for comments made to your videos and responses to comments of your own.



We'd really like to hear what you think about the newest versions of Inbox and My Contacts, so please share your feedback with us via video, email or leave a comment on this blog.



The YouTube Team

Posted:
In case you hadn't noticed the athletes sprinting, crawling and vaulting all over our homepage today: we're happy to present videos of the growing sport of parkour, selected by Julie Angel aka SlamCamSpam. Julie is a London-based filmmaker who has been documenting the sport for the past four years, mainly with an organization called Parkour Generations -- a team of incredible athletes based in London, including some first- and second-generation parkour practitioners, dedicated to teaching and displaying the sport.



So, what is parkour? Dan Edwardes, a member of Parkour Generations describes it this way:



"Parkour is the art of moving through your environment using only your body and the surroundings to propel yourself. It can include running, jumping, climbing, even crawling, if that is the most suitable movement for the situation. Parkour could be grasped by imagining a race through an obstacle course, the goal is to overcome obstacles quickly and efficiently, without using extraneous movement."



Parkour traces its origins to Lisses, France, and a soldier named Raymond Belle, who worked to develop efficient methods "to reach or escape." He handed down these lessons to his son David Belle, who has spent a majority of his young (34) life working on these principles, and is featured in one of Julie's 12 selections. The sport, or discipline, has drawn on myriad sources, been inspired by a number of notable individuals and evolved through several traditions to arrive at the modern iteration known as parkour. The sport's beauty and broad appeal may lie in the fact that it's not that different from what we all did as children: run, jump, roll. Parkour turns our confining concrete landscapes into a big playground.



We couldn't help notice the rising profile of parkour on our site and are proud to play a role in spreading it worldwide. The sport's bounding popularity is growing, in part, thanks to the spread of online video sharing, and, well, YouTube. Parkour may be the first such sport in history to have this symbiotic relationship with online video.



We hope this inspires you to learn more. Before you go running into the street, though, please understand that parkour can be dangerous if not practiced correctly, please seek experienced trainers and practice diligently!



Allez!


Andrew B.


YouTube Sports