Posted:
A massive earthquake measuring 8.8 on the richter scale shook Chile at 3:34 a.m. on Saturday morning, waking most people in the middle of the night. Buildings have been destroyed, hundreds were killed, and many remain missing.

Since then, we've seen videos documenting the earthquake and its aftermath pouring onto YouTube. News organizations have been covering the tragedy 24/7, and citizens who experienced the epic natural disaster are sharing their experience with the rest of the world through their own videos.

This video taken during the earthquake gives a sense of what it was like to jump out of bed in the dark as your surroundings shook for more than 90 seconds:



And here you can see some of the structural damage caused by the earthquake, as user edielv surveys his neighborhood the next morning:



To upload your own videos of the earthquake in Chile, visit the Google Crisis Response landing page.

For video updates on what's happening in Chile, be sure to check CitizenTube.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "Quake survivors reunited."

Posted:
Our Video Volunteers homepage lineup today features videos about nonprofits tackling important health issues: artist Jesse McCartney thanks you for standing up to cancer; themike99 tells a personal story about the tie between mercury poisoning and kidney failure; BangPopLA champions Whole Child LA and their work to help kids with chronic pain; and themattieboosh offers this animated take on the importance of funding leukemia research:



We had a record-breaking number of nonprofits participate in this round of Video Volunteers. Fifty health-oriented organizations signed up to have a member of the YouTube community make a video for them, and while we are only able to showcase a handful on the homepage today, we hope that many more nonprofits will have videos made for them. We'll leave these opportunities from health orgs up for a few more days on the Video Volunteers channel, so if you didn't make a video, but are passionate about helping one of these organizations, please reach out as soon as you can.

Next week, we'll launch our "Global Development" round of Video Volunteers. It's an issue that encompasses a number of different subjects, like poverty, sanitation and the need for infrastructure, and there are a number of nonprofits doing work in this area, like the One Campaign, Plan International, One Million Lights, and the Playing for Change Foundation. We hope you'll make one of them a video.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation."

Posted:
For over seven hours yesterday, the nation's top leaders gathered in Washington for a unique conversation on the future of health care reform. Moderated by President Obama, the health care summit revealed disparate views on current legislation, with Democrats arguing for comprehensive reform and Republicans pressing for a more incremental approach (or for starting over entirely). We streamed the entire summit on CitizenTube, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all agreed to answer some of your top-voted questions from our Google Moderator platform during the event. (We also offered the opportunity to Senator Mitch McConnnell, the Senate Minority Leader, but he was unable to participate due to a scheduling conflict.)

Though it's doubtful many of you were able to tune in to the entire meeting, the fact that it was broadcast online was an important aspect of the discussion. It spoke to one of the top concerns that YouTube users posed to President Obama in our YouTube Interview earlier this month, when they demanded that health care proceedings become more transparent.

We selected three top-voted questions and the two top-voted ideas that you submitted during the summit, and the lawmakers replied with the YouTube videos that we've embedded below, as well as posted on the YouTube homepage. (We didn't ask the top-voted question regarding putting legistlation online, as all the legislation is currently available on the Internet.) Seeing each lawmaker answer the same five questions affords an interesting perspective on where both parties stand with respect to the issues that matter most to the citizens who participated.

Here are the questions and ideas that each leader answered. We'll leave the full list up on CitizenTube for the next few days:

1. What is the explicit reasoning behind mandating the purchase of healthcare services?
- Chris, University of Florida

2. Do you believe that healthcare is a right, or that health insurance is a right?
- Brian, Student

3. Thompson Reuters had performed a study in which they concluded that 40% of healthcare waste was from unnecessary care. Unnecessary care is primarily a result of a fear of being sued, aka malpractice. What is being done to address malpractice?
- JatPat, Chicago, IL

4. Why not quit artificially limiting the market? Stop tying health insurance to employers and increase the market dramatically. Allow insurance providers to sell across state lines and increase it even more. The larger the market the lower the price.
- crodgers1981, Lincoln, NE

5. All people voting on these bills should be required to personally read the entire bill before being allowed to vote on it. It is ridiculous that these bills are thousands of pages long. Bills should be written in clear language.
- Blinn, Illinois

Here are Speaker Pelosi's answers:



Here are Congressman Boehner's:




And here are Senator Reid's replies:




YouTube has become the place where leaders can connect directly with citizens around key events in the political process. That opportunity for meaningful dialogue makes politics feel more personal, more democratic, and opens up Washington in exciting new ways. Stay tuned for more YouTube interviews, and let us know in the comments who you'd like the chance to speak with on this platform.

Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched "
White House Health Care Summit Part I."

Posted:
The video page overhaul that's underway now is one of the biggest redesigns in YouTube history. It's been a month since we offered a sneak peek of the new look and functionality, and in that time we've been gathering your feedback, looking at data, and tweaking elements to ensure that the page is as clean and useful as it can be. Here's what's changed since our last post on the topic:

New playlist interface: We've introduced a new playlist design and introduced an AutoPlay On/Off switch that controls whether you automatically go to the next video or not. When we have a robust set of videos for you to watch next, we'll default you into AutoPlay mode but you can turn it off easily.


Queue comes to search: When you search from the video page, you can now add videos to your queue. Many of you have indicated you enjoy watching and programming your 'next up' experience, so we've made it easier.

Integrated comments: The comments section now lists both text and video responses, bringing together the whole spectrum of conversation going on around a video. We'll be touching this up quite a bit in the coming weeks so keep an eye on this area and give us feedback.

We've got a bit more work to do before we'll roll this out more widely; right now, only a small percentage of users are testing the page. Until then, keep the suggestions coming by dropping a comment on this blog post or popping by our forum topic on the matter.

As always, you can opt-in to the watch page by clicking on this link. (To revert back to the old video page, use the opt-out link at the top of the new video page or opt out here.)

Shiva Rajaraman, Product Manager, recently watched "TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke - Key of Awe$ome #13."

Posted:
While some people are calling it the most important political event of the year and others deem it political theater, one thing is clear: today's health care summit, featuring President Obama and top legislators from both bodies of Congress, will be a fascinating look into the inner workings of Washington. Democratic and Republican party leaders will engage in direct dialogue on an issue that has consumed the political landscape for the past year, and we'll be streaming the summit live on CitizenTube (youtube.com/citizentube), so you'll be able to watch the conversation unfold in its entirety.

What's more, top legislators have agreed to address your questions and ideas on health care after the summit, exclusively on YouTube. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have all agreed to answer a selection of your top-voted questions about health care, the summit, and current legislation, which you can submit via our Google Moderator platform on CitizenTube during the event. The three lawmakers will upload video responses to your questions, and we'll feature those videos on the YouTube homepage on Friday.

The summit starts at 10 a.m ET today at the Blair House (located just across the street from the White House), so head to CitizenTube to submit your questions as you watch the proceedings. Be sure to ask your questions and vote during the event, since we'll close down the Moderator platform at the conclusion of the summit, which is slated to end around 4 p.m. ET.

This promises to be one of the most transparent moments in recent Washington history, so get your health care questions ready.


Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched "Stage Set for Obama's Health Care Summit."

Posted:
By now, you might have heard about the ruling in Italy, whereby three Google employees were convicted of violating Italian privacy laws for a video posted to Google Video in 2006. Because this is an issue of critical importance to all of us here at Google, particularly at YouTube, we wanted to direct readers of this blog to the Official Google Blog post on the matter: "Serious threat to Web in Italy."

The YouTube Team

Posted:
If you subscribe to the YouTube channel, you may have noticed a slew of new videos uploaded recently. They're part of an initiative called "YouTube 101," a series that explains basic features to new users. With hundreds of thousands of people creating new YouTube channels every day, there are a lot of folks out there who may not know that they can share a video privately, customize their channel or even how to upload a video -- in full HD, no less.

Each video has a unique flavor and you may even recognize some familiar faces helping us out (Happy Tree Friends, anyone?):



These tutorials will be embedded in our Help Center, the Creator's Corner, and other places where you're most likely to need quick, entertaining tutorials on how to use YouTube.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, particularly if there's a feature you find mysterious and think deserves the 101 treatment.

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "A Pluto Song."

Posted:
The deadline is quickly approaching in the first round of Project: Report 2010, a journalism contest done in partnership with the Pulitzer Center for non-professional, aspiring journalists to tell stories in their community that might not otherwise be be told.

The assignment for Round 1 is to document a single day in the life of a compelling person the world should meet and showcase how that person is making a positive impact in his or her community. All videos must be three minutes or less, and the deadline for submissions is this Sunday, February 28, 2010.

Ten finalists will be chosen from the pool of Round 1 submissions by a panel of judges at the Pulitzer Center. Each finalist for Project: Report -- which is made possible by Sony and Intel -- will receive a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera and proceed to the second and final round, where they will compete for five $10,000 travel fellowships to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project.

All five winners will also receive invitations to Washington, D.C., for a public screening of their work and the chance to participate in a special workshop with Pulitzer Center journalists.

You still have time to put together your Day in the Life piece if you get going today -- so find that person, tell their story, and submit your video on youtube.com/projectreport by Sunday.

We look forward to seeing your entries.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched "Arturo's Jerusalem Vlog: Episode One."

Posted:
Over the past year, we've been surprised, entertained and inspired by the videos that nonprofit organizations have uploaded to YouTube; content featuring everything from unemployed porcupines to hospital workers shimmying in pink gloves. Some videos have urged the community to donate through call-to-action overlays (we've seen some nonprofits generate tens of thousands of dollars in a day), while others have "scared" citizens into doing good.

Today, we're teaming up with See3 Communications to present the DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards and recognize those organizations that have used video to the greatest effect to create lasting social change in the past year:


One winner will be selected in each of the following categories: Best Small Organization Video, Best Medium Organization Video, Best Large Organization Video and Best Innovation in Video. A judging panel comprised of social media and nonprofit experts will narrow down the finalists, and public voting will determine the ultimate victors.

These winners will be recognized at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Atlanta and on YouTube. In addition, each winning organization will receive a $2,500 grant from the Case Foundation and a custom Flip camera.

To enter, organizations must be a member of the YouTube Nonprofit Program, a program that offers free benefits to nonprofits in the United States, the United Kingdom, and, as of today, in Canada and Australia. To apply to the YouTube Nonprofit Program, please click here.

Nonprofits, you have until March 12 to enter. Visit the Nonprofit Video Awards channel now to get started!

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "Australia Non-profit Program"

Posted:
News from the YouTube universe...  
Nonprofit program launches in Australia and Canada: Like their American and British cohorts, nonprofits in Australia and Canada can now apply to become part of the YouTube Nonprofit Program. Members receive free branded channels, custom thumbnails, longer video uploads, and call-to-action overlays. For more information, and to apply, please go to www.youtube.com/nonprofits.

Easier private video sharing: You no longer need to be friends with someone in order to share a private video with them. You can either generate a special URL that up to 25 people can click on, or select the "Private share with YouTube users" option on the video's details page and write in the username(s), separated by a comma, with whom you'd like to share (see screenshot below). After you click "send," the recipient will see the video in his or her inbox.  


Streams retired: Streams was an experimental product launched in TestTube, our ideas incubator, three years ago. We know some of you enjoyed watching videos while chatting with other users, but we've not been able to give Streams the time and attention needed to make it a more mainstream offering. Thus, we've decided to retire it for now as part of our pre-spring cleaning effort, though we hope to build other features that make it easier for you to share and talk about videos with friends.  

Spotlight enhancements: The homepage spotlight is a periodic module featuring thematic or timely content selected by YouTube. (If you don't see it on your homepage, add it here.) Used to be we *had* to feature four videos and a channel in the module. But now we have a lot more flexibility: we can spotlight just one video, as we might in a breaking news situation, or multiple videos rotating randomly every time the page refreshes, as we might for a guest curatorship or spotlight featuring many contest entries. This might be hardly noticeable to you, but we're excited about the programming possibilities this change brings.  

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Tiger Woods will emerge from his silence tomorrow morning, speaking publicly for the first time since December 2009, when he admitted to marital infidelity -- a scandal that tarnished his squeaky clean image and stymied his golf career.

Many sports fans are eager to hear if and when he'll return to competition. Woods should address this tomorrow at a small press conference in Florida, which we'll be live streaming on youtube.com/citizentube beginning at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET. (You'll also be able to access the press conference via our homepage spotlight at www.youtube.com.) Be sure to tune in immediately because the conference isn't likely to last that long.

Here's a peek of what to expect, from the Associated Press:



The YouTube Team

Posted:
We recently wrapped up our first Product Ideas series, where you let us know which features you wish we'd launch, what we could improve, maybe even what the site would be better without. Over a period of four weeks, 26,563 people offered 2,996 ideas, and those ideas received 321,541 votes. We responded to many of the most popular ideas and launched a few features that directly addressed some of your requests -- namely, an HTML5 Beta (there were many HTML5 advocates who participated) and a sneak peek of our new cleaner video page (some desired a "less cluttered" YouTube). In fact, it was great to see the feedback from people as interested in the idea of de-cluttering the site as we are. This is a 2010 theme for us, and recent changes to the home- and video page, as well as our renewed effort to streamline comments, reflect this.

We will launch another Product Ideas series later this year; until then, feel free to comment below if you've got requests or feedback, and stay tuned to this blog for product announcements.

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "Ann Cooper: Reinventing the school lunch."

Posted:
When we registered the YouTube domain on February 14, 2005, we set out to create a place where anyone with a video camera and an Internet connection could share a story with the world. Five years into it, we're as committed as ever to the core beliefs and principles that guided YouTube's creation:

Video gives people a voice – From classrooms to war-torn countries, the Queen of England to the King of Pop, the Pope to the President of the United States, and the hillsides of Port au Prince to the streets of Tehran, video has the power to give rise to the most diverse set of faces and voices ever seen or heard in human history.

We succeed when our partners succeed – Our content partners run the gamut, from major Hollywood studios to aspiring filmmakers and vloggers who can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary on the turn of a dime. Content creation isn't our business; it's theirs. But breaking open access to media and distribution means delivering the world's largest global audience and the revenue models they need to succeed, as well as the tools they need to control their content.

Video evolves fast, YouTube must evolve faster – The Internet evolves at break-neck speed. We launch products quickly and constantly iterate to stay one step ahead of it. Our goal? To set the standard in online video delivery. Fast loading, high quality videos need to be able to play on any device, anywhere, anytime. And whether we're supporting 1080p, 3D, or deploying auto-speech recognition technology, we innovate with an eye toward providing the best possible experience for all of you.

Thanks for being part of the YouTube community and for shaping what the site is today. We're looking forward to celebrating our fifth anniversary throughout the year and hope you'll keep watching, keep uploading, keep sharing, keep informing, keep entertaining, and keep discovering the world through video.

Chad Hurley, Co-Founder & CEO, YouTube

Posted:
This week, I've been in Long Beach, CA, attending the TED Conference. If you're not familiar with it, TED is an annual gathering of thought leaders from a variety of fields: science, music, education, health care, politics, environmentalism, entrepreneurialism, technology, design, and more. The goal of the conference is to share "ideas worth spreading." A few years back, the TED organizers decided to share videos of these talks with the world, and we are delighted that they host them on YouTube, as well as their own site, TED.com. If you've never seen a TED talk video before, you're in for a treat. There is truly something for everyone.

Each year while attending the conference, I take careful notes of the session in my sketchbook. It's the best way for me to ensure that I really pay attention to what's being said and also that I absorb as much of the ideas and information as possible. As it turns out, people have told me that my sketchbooks are a pretty nice way to "page through" the conference, so I'd like to share my notes from the 2009 conference with the YouTube community. For the talks that have been posted online, I've linked from the name of the speaker to the talk on YouTube. Here are just a few of my favorites from last year's conference:
Let me know if you enjoyed seeing the notes; I'm taking more this week at the conference and will be happy to share those too! And if you're interested in TED, check out this playlist of talks, curated by 2010 TED Prize Winner Jamie Oliver.

Margaret Gould Stewart, User Experience Manager, recently watched "Rethink Scholarship at Langara 2010 Call for Entries."

Posted:
You may have recently seen all of the videos uploaded for the 2010 YouTube Davos Debates. Because the audience for these videos is truly global, we want to make them accessible and available to as many people as possible. We've now added captions for over 500 videos from The Davos Debates. Try a Google search for captioned video on thedavosquestion to see some of the results.

To turn on captions, hover over the arrow-shaped icon in the lower right corner of the YouTube player and click the caption button. Captions on The Davos Debates videos can also be automatically translated right in YouTube: choose "Translate Captions" from the caption menu to try machine translation to 50 different languages.

You can learn more about captions and subtitles here.

Naomi Bilodeau, YouTube Captions team, recently watched, "The YouTube Davos Debate: "Redesigning an Important Cause."

Posted:
It was 25 years ago when a star-studded supergroup, led by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, came together to lend their voices to support an important cause. This song, "We Are The World," topped the charts and was the first-ever single to be certified multi-platinum. Within a year, nearly $50 million dollars were raised for Africa's humanitarian fund.

Today, YouTube, in partnership with Visa, presents "We Are The World 25 for Haiti," featuring more than 75 musicians and celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Barbra Streisand, the Jonas Brothers, P!nk, Lil' Wayne, members of the Jackson Family and others singing to raise funds for earthquake relief in Haiti. Back in 1985, the original "We Are the World" aired on MTV and was sold on vinyl; the 25th anniversary edition can be viewed on the We Are The World YouTube channel, where there's a "Donate Now" button to help Haiti.



We asked Grammy-award winning producer Quincy Jones a few questions about the project. His answers are below, including his call for YouTube viewers to join the chorus by uploading their own version of a classic verse.


YT: What about the old version of "We Are the World" (WATW) still makes the song relevant today?

QJ: "First and foremost, Lionel and Michael wrote a great song. There is a saying that 'a great song can make a bad singer sound good, but the greatest singer in the world can’t make a bad song a hit.' The message of ‘We Are The World’ is universal and timeless. It’s a message of caring for and helping those who are less fortunate, especially when catastrophic events take place, as in the case of the earthquake in Haiti. Haiti was far from being in the best place on the planet before the earthquake, but when that happened, it just destroyed the country. How can you look at those images and not stand up and do something? Everyone recognized the need right away; it wasn’t hard to get mobilized."

YT: What's the importance of using YouTube to get the "WATW 25 for Haiti" message to a wider audience?

QJ: "Are you kidding me? When we talked about the coming ‘information age’ a decade ago, most people didn’t understand the immediate impact that it would have. With the stroke of a key on your keyboard or cell phone, images and messages can be transferred all around the world to hundreds of millions of people in seconds. That’s an enormous amount of power. How can you not try and harness that resource to help people in need?"

YT: How can "WATW 25 for Haiti" viewers on YouTube take action towards social change -- in the case of Haiti in particular?

QJ: "Well, first you can ‘Download to Donate,' but I would love to see everyone take it to the next level and get involved on a more personal level by posting video responses. But it doesn’t stop there. As long as you pay attention and are aware of what is going on in Haiti and places like Haiti around the world, there are always ways to get involved. People who are suffering and in need will never turn their backs on someone offering them a compassionate hand."

YT: YouTube viewers are encouraged to make their own videos with original lyrics based on the WATW chorus. What tips would you give these rising producers?

QJ: "I don’t know that I can give any tips, but I can tell you that I’m really looking forward to seeing the different interpretations that people come up with. There are some really talented, creative and funny people out there."

YT: What's your favorite YouTube video?

QJ: "Without a doubt I think it has to be the prisoners in the Philippines dancing to ‘Thriller.’ It’s amazing that more than 25 years later, that song and those albums -- Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad --still hold up. No matter where I go in the world, in every club, at midnight the DJs come with songs from those albums. It’s a perfect example of what I said earlier: a great song is universal and timeless."

Watch, sing along and donate your support.

Michele Flannery, Music Manager, recently watched "Rock n' Roll Birdies," and Ramya Raghavan, Non-Profits Manager, recently watched "Too Late to Apologize - A Declaration."

Posted:
Comedy fans are rarely starved for laughs on YouTube, especially when there's a new edition of Best in Jest, our long-running comedy program. B.I.J. is back for three weeks of concentrated comedy capers, sponsored by Warner Brothers' Cop Out, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan.

When compiling this edition of the program, we noticed that comedy on YouTube seems to be evolving: the most popular comedy videos are often collaborations between visible personalities like TheStation's ShayCarl and KassemG. While scripted comedy is going strong, YouTube "star power" seems to be in the driving seat. Does a great comedy video need a successful face to make it shine, or do channels like TheLandline demonstrate that sketches don't need celebs to make a splash? Is your favorite comedy creator being overlooked, or do videos with online stars feel more like a uniquely YouTube experience?

Let us know in the comments what you think of the state of comedy on YouTube these days and who's worth noting. We'll spotlight the most interesting suggestions in the comedy section soon.

Mark Day, Senior Associate, Ad Programs, recently watched "The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's Take on Star Wars."

Posted:
Hundreds of fresh protest videos from Iran are appearing on YouTube today, as pro-reform protesters take to the streets in Tehran on the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. This marks yet another outbreak of protests since the disputed election last June.

Within hours of the protesters hitting the streets of Iran today, videos began streaming onto YouTube that document the large crowds chanting anti-government slogans and violent clashes with anti-riot police forces. Once again, these extraordinary videos provide an exclusive window into what's taking place on the ground, as foreign press have been banned from the country. YouTube remains blocked in Iran, but dissidents are passing videos to friends out of the country and using Internet circumvention technologies to post the footage, according to news reports and correspondence with those on the ground.

We're tracking the videos on Citizentube, and here's a selection that have come in so far today. A playlist can be found here.

A young man is dragged and beaten by members of the Basij police forces:




Protesters face-off against the the police:




Citizens flee from tear gas:




Security forces stand in the streets, armed and ready:




Protests in the Metro in Tehran:




Large groups gather in the streets to demonstrate:




UPDATE: This photo taken by GeoEye at 10:47 AM local time shows downtown Tehran filled with people. You can explore the area using this KML layer in Google Earth.



Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "Mass Rallies, Protests in Iran"

Posted:
Your YouTube video speed can mean the difference between a fast and fun video viewing experience, or a slow and frustrating one. That's why, today, we're launching a YouTube video speed dashboard to make the speed information available to you.

YouTube video speed depends on many different factors some of which are the speed of your Internet connection, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) you are using and the distance to the video servers. The goal with this dashboard is to give you insight into what your YouTube speed looks like compared to the YouTube speed of users in other regions and different ISPs. We may also list the YouTube speeds for users in you neighborhood but with different ISPs. The speed numbers are calculated by measuring the speed at which YouTube video is received by the browser. This is then averaged over the previous 30 days provided you've used the same browser during this time period.



So, what can you do with all of this new data about your video speed? Well, that's entirely up to you. Some users will find it interesting to compare their city's average YouTube speed with the rest of the world's. Some will discover they're running at slower speeds compared to other users with the same ISP. A higher YouTube video speed translates to a better and faster experience not just for YouTube videos but for the Web in general; and by making this speed data available to users we would like to continue our ongoing efforts to make the web faster.

If you're interested in checking this feature out, go to http://youtube.com/my_speed and see just how fast your YouTube video speed is. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Kevin Carle, Engineer, recently watched "Charlie Brooker - How To Report The News," and Arvind Jain, Engineering Director, recently watched "Google's Experimental Fiber Network."

Posted:
UPDATE (2/17/10): Xeni wanted to add to two more videos to her picks: "Goat Rap" and "Wilkinson's Family Restaurant," both by Liam Lynch. She writes: " Liam Lynch is the one-man-band video genius behind the surreal and long-form 'Lynchland' video podcast at lynchland.net. He is a musician, puppeteer, writer, music video director, and frequently collaborates with Tenacious D. He co-created the Sifl and Olly Show (MTV), and directed Sarah Silverman's film Jesus is Magic. These two clips, uploaded by fans with his permission, give you a taste of the wacko world of 'Lynchland.' " The playlist is updated here.

+++

We're pleased to have Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing curate our homepage today. She goes deep into the Boing Boing archives to give you her personal take on the interesting, funny and sometimes out-there videos that thrive on Boing Boing and YouTube. Below is a video she made just for the occasion, as well as some insightful notes about her selections. To view the full playlist, click here.



"Boing Boing started 20 years ago as a photocopied paper 'zine for "happy mutants," who explore the world with curiosity and wonder. In 2000, Boing Boing morphed into a website, then a blog, and just a few years ago we started producing original video. We've released hundreds of episodes about everything from floating in zero gravity to deep-frying cellphones, featuring personalities from Buzz Aldrin to John Hodgman to David Byrne. Just as Boing Boing's leap from paper to web opened up new possibilities, so did the shift from text-based blogging to video. Some stories and sensations you just can't share in any other medium than video. I cruise YouTube every day for inspiration, light bursts of entertainment, or to follow up on "Oh my God, you have to see this" messages from friends. Here are a few of my favorite-d things.

1) Mardi Gras 1956: Through My Father's Lens (2010)
This episode of Boing Boing Video is a special one, featuring rare and historic film from Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, from 1956. Artist Mar Dore stumbled on a box of slides in her family's home in Texas and inside, discovered photographs that her father took of the parades in the era of Mad Men -- that box, like a time capsule she says, opened a door into history. We worked with her to retell that story in video.

2) Peter Serafinowicz: The Boing Boing interview (2010) 
My interview with actor and comedian Peter Serafinowicz. He's starring as Paul McCartney in the Robert Zemeckis remake of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, his Mac parody ads are the stuff of viral legend, his #PSQA tweets delight mutants throughout the globe, and fans of his BBC show find much to LOL in the likes of Brian Butterfield and the robot talk show host Michael-6.

3) Swell Season (2009)
This Swell Season feature is one of the most visually beautiful episodes we've ever produced of Boing Boing Video. Irish musician Glen Hansard and Czech singer and pianist Markéta Irglová speak with us, and perform an unreleased song for us during their current U.S. tour.

4) Flaming Bacon Lance of Death (2008)
This Boing Boing Video episode documents an experiment from PopSci columnist Theo Gray's book MAD SCIENCE. Using prosciutto and an air hose, Mr. Gray constructs a high performance thermic lance that can slice sheet metal. In this video, you'll also see a purely vegan thermic lance built from one cucumber and several dozen thin vegetable-oil coated breadsticks. If you like this, you may also enjoy "Sculpting in Solid Mercury, with Liquid Nitrogen."

5) Spamasterpiece Theater, with John Hodgman (2007-2009) 
Back in 2008, we did a series of episodes in which John Hodgman did dramatic readings of actual spam emails received by Boing Boing editors. This one's my favorite. These were so much fun to put together. Related: this sneak-attack on Hodgman in his hotel, while he was writing "Areas of My Expertise." And these fake ads for his book which were also a total blast to film with him "Part 1" and "Part 2."

6) DAVID BYRNE, playing the building (2008)
Music legend David Byrne transformed an entire NYC building into a giant musical instrument. We explored that building with him in this Boing Boing TV episode, and discovered some crazy gems of urban archeology together.


7) Elephant-blogging in Benin with Xeni (2008)
It's not every day that we get to travel to remote stretches of African wilderness to tweet about baboons and videoblog elephants. But this episode documents one such day: it's an ambient exploration of the creatures rustling around in a West African wildlife preserve at dawn.

8) Through the eyes of the pueblo (Guatemala) (2008) 
This episode in our BBtv WORLD series was comprised of video shot by K'iche people in a Maya village in the highlands of Guatemala. The world they see around them, through their own eyes and in their own language. Some of what the children shot really surprised me. They caught on right away, faster even than the adults, and quickly taught each other how to record and play back video. Some of them seemed to transform into instant YouTube stars -- new alter-egos showed up out of nowhere. One boy we'd come to know as quiet and well-mannered over the course of many previous visits here shot himself throwing gang signs against the sunlight, like shadow puppets, while he walked a path that leads to a Mayan altar. Another girl who was very shy with us in person recorded video of herself making outrageous silly faces, and speaking in a boisterous, confident voice to her new handheld lens. Two related episodes you might enjoy, also shot in the pueblo in Guatemala: "How to Take a Mayan Sweat Bath" and an episode about a corn grinder the children use.

9) American Furry Part 1 & Part 2 (2008) 
This was one of our first Boing Boing TV episodes, and it's still one of my favorites. So: Furries get no respect. Usually, when you hear about people who dress up like life-sized stuffed animals, it's in the context of an unfriendly internet joke. Brooklyn-based filmmaker Marianne Shaneen spent more than two years following these people around, capturing their lives in and out of their "fursonas." She's working on a documentary film called "AMERICAN FURRY: Life, Liberty and the Fursuit of Happiness," and shared some of their stories with us here. 

10) Floating in Zero Gravity is Fun, Earthlings! (2008)
This was one the most fun I've ever had shooting a Boing Boing Video episode. With me on this Zero-G weightless flight are Intel Chairman Craig Barrett; my friend Sean Bonner from metblogs; and a bunch of science teachers from grade schools and high schools throughout the United States who were on board to conduct microgravity experiments for the kids back home. As you watch, keep an eye out for the floating lego robot, a flying pig, and the barfing guy who is totally barfing for real. What you see in this episode is what it feels like, guys, and it feels awesome.

11) Challenge Accepted, Boing Boing! "For Tax Reasons" (2007)  
Animators Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, aka For Tax Reasons, produced this animated short for Boing Boing with all the elements that make Boing Boing great: Steampunk, LARP armor, papercraft, Commodore 64s, MMORPGs, Final Fantasy, suicide cults, and meditations on bad websites.

12, 13) Man's Game & SHOES  
Liam Kyle Sullivan is a video genius. I have so many favorites, and I subscribe to his video podcast. This is one of his more recent uploads, about the manly manly game of football. Also, a classic: Ohmigod, shoes. Betch.

14) British comic genius Harry Enfield  
I think this is my favorite clip of all time: Women, Know Your Limits.

15) Eric Wareheim's channel  
Tim Heidecker is best known to many as half of the duo behind "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job," but he's an amazing music video director. Some of his recent work is here, on his YouTube channel -- the Major Lazer stuff is insane. 

16) We love cute baby videos on Boing Boing  
I think this is one of the cutest we've seen yet, in which an award-winning British actor attempts to teach Shakespeare to a toddler.

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Diversity of content is one of the great things about YouTube. But we know that some of you want a more controlled experience. That's why we're announcing Safety Mode, an opt-in setting that helps screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don't want others in your family to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. An example of this type of content might be a newsworthy video that contains graphic violence such as a political protest or war coverage. While no filter is 100% perfect, Safety Mode is another step in our ongoing desire to give you greater control over the content you see on the site.

It's easy to opt in to Safety Mode: Just click on the link at the bottom of any video page. You can even lock your choice on that browser with your YouTube password. To learn more, check out the video below.

And remember, ALL content must still comply with our Community Guidelines. Safety Mode isn't fool proof, but it provides a greater degree of control over your YouTube experience. Safety Mode is rolling out to all users through out the day; watch for the new link at the bottom of any YouTube page.



Jamie Davidson, Associate Product Manager, recently watched "Alice in Wonderland -- Super Bowl TV Spot."

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Today the 33rd staging of the America's Cup Regatta – the oldest active trophy in international sport – gets underway in waters off Valencia, with the holders, the Société Nautique de Genève, taking on the Golden Gate Yacht Club. For the first time ever the entire event will be shown live online and you can access the stream via the America's Cup channel here on YouTube.

Both 90-foot boats are something to behold: the Alinghi 5 catamaran boasting a mast as tall as a 17-story building; the trimaran BMW Oracle USA 17 sporting a rigid wing sail based on aerospace technology. To date, the competition has been overwhelmed by legal issues, the teams apparently having spent more time in closed courtrooms than on the open water, but now the talking is over and the racing can commence.

The America's Cup is decided over three races, the first and third being 40 nautical miles and the second 39. Once the wind starts to blow, the sight of both contenders under full sail should be stunning, so stay tuned YouTube to catch the action in real time.

Jamie Dolling, Community Manager, YouTube UK, recently watched "Inside the Wing."

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Super Bowl XLIV. Of all the events on the American sports landscape, this is the most important game of the year.

Kickoff is at 6:25pm ET in Miami, where the AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts will meet the NFC Champion New Orleans Saints to decide the NFL Champion. Football fans are anticipating a great game, featuring the cerebral control of Colts quarterback and regular season MVP Peyton Manning against the creative style of Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Off the field and on screens everywhere, Madison Avenue heavyweights will be competing, as well. Advertisers are reportedly paying as much as $3 million for 30 seconds of your time in what promises to be an epic contest of brands, products and celebrity endorsers.

To whet your appetite for both competitions, our Ad Blitz channel, with pre-game videos sponsored by Kia Motors, is a one-stop shop for everything Super Bowl-related. YouTube partners have been busy making predictions, cooking up party recipes and generally dishing on all things related the big game:



During the game, we'll be adding all the 2010 Super Bowl commercials to a video wall on the Ad Blitz channel immediately after they air on TV. Come to the channel to watch and give each ad a thumbs up or down. Voting ends Monday, February 15, with the winner gracing our homepage on Thursday, February 18.

May the best team – and ad – win!

Andrew Bangs, Sports Manager, recently watched "If Filmmakers Directed the Super Bowl."

UPDATE: We’ve seen a fair amount of speculation online regarding a few Super Bowl ads that are currently missing from YouTube’s Ad Blitz. To be clear, each video uploaded to the Ad Blitz was authorized in advance at the advertiser’s request. (Not all Super Bowl advertisers gave us permission to include their ad.) Still, any advertiser airing an ad during the game can send us their ad and enter the Ad Blitz at any time before the end of the voting period, which closes at 11:59:59 PM (ET) on February 15, 2010. We expect to add additional videos to the Ad Blitz in the coming days.

And congratulations Saints!

Posted:
In honor of great YouTube channels everywhere, we're trying to start a movement. But we can't do it without you.

Last week, we unleashed our first #subsaturday (ie, "Subscription Saturday") Tweet and over 400 of you joined us in shouting out the YouTube channels you thought were most deserving of a little extra attention. It generated some enthusiastic comments, made this news update and even poignantly touched one soul. Not bad for our little experiment.

Now we're hungry for more. Please join us this and every Saturday, and Tweet links to 1-4 of the YouTube channels you want the world to know you love. Don't forget to include the #subsaturday hashtag so we can see the full force of our effort and easily discover new channels to watch. Like the #followfriday and #musicmonday before it, we won't rest until #subsaturday is a trending topic on Twitter all day Saturday. Can we do it?

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "YouTube 101: Private Sharing with Ask a Ninja."

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As we announced earlier this week, the White House agreed to answer more of the top questions you submitted for our YouTube Interview with the President on Monday. Today, we hosted a live chat in which three administration officials - Heather Higginbottom from the Domestic Policy Council, Brian Deese of the National Economic Council, and Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council - answered additional questions submitted in response to the President's State of the Union address on January 27. Macon Phillips, the White House New Media Director, moderated the discussion and also took some of your questions in real-time, using our Moderator platform on CitizenTube.

Here's the video of the chat, just posted to the White House YouTube channel.



We appreciate all the feedback we've received this week in response to our interview with the President, and we look forward to incorporating your suggestions into upcoming programs. We'll be announcing more events soon that will allow you to connect with your leaders via YouTube, so stay tuned to CitizenTube for more details.


Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched "Presidential YouTube Interview - behind the scenes"

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The first telephone numbers in the latter part of the 19th century were short and simple, made up of no more than a few digits. Calls would be routed through operators and these operators would then manually patch these calls into the lines of their intended recipients. As more and more people got telephones, the length of telephone numbers grew from three to four to seven and then eventually to 10 digits and beyond. Today, cities like Manhattan have been forced to have multiple area codes (917, 646, 212, 347, etc.) and if you want to dial outside of your country, add on a few more numbers.


So what does this history lesson have to do with YouTube? IP (the Internet Protocol) is the protocol used to communicate data across the Internet in the same way telephones connected conversations over a century ago. Each connection has an IP address that works like a telephone number. Just like telephone numbers, these IP addresses need to grow to accommodate all the new people coming online. The problem is that IPv4, the current version of the Internet protocol, uses a 32-bit address and those addresses are running out of space -- fast. In 2000, Internet users had consumed 50% of IPv4 address space. Today, IPv4 has less than 10% of addresses available. When address space runs out, users will have to share addresses, because there won't be enough to go around.

But there is hope. IPv6 has a vastly larger address space (128-bit) and allows everyone to have an incredibly large number -- 2^64 or more -- of personalized IP addresses for all their devices (think of it as having a whole telephone exchange in your home). Not having to share IP addresses is good for users because it means better, more relevant information can be delivered to them whenever they want it. It's a win for openness and new applications because any device can connect directly to any other device on the Internet. It's even a win for security, because it's harder for hackers to find your computer and attack it. But up until now, IPv6 still hasn't gotten as much traction as IPv4. And content creators and users have yet to adopt it on a wide scale.

Since the very first announcement of ipv6.google.com (IPv6 connection required; if you don't have it, ask your ISP to deploy it), we have been committed to supporting IPv6 and have steadily added IPv6 support to more and more services. The service most requested to have IPv6 support has unquestionably been YouTube. Given all of this, we're proud to make YouTube available over IPv6 and to begin streaming videos from a select number of sites worldwide to our Google over IPv6 partners. With YouTube on board, we now have a significant amount of content delivered on IPv6 and a real audience/traffic for it. This is a good day for YouTube, our users and for an open and accessible Internet.

Lorenzo Colitti, network engineer and IPv6 samurai, recently watched "Sesame Street: Martians Telephone," and Steinar H. Gunderson, software engineer and IPv6 mercenary, recently watched "Student Brings Typewriter to Class."

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Today is World Cancer Day, which was created by the World Health Organization to raise awareness about one of the world's leading causes of death. And in an effort to raise awareness of not only cancer, but all major health issues, we're kicking off a health-specific round of Video Volunteers.

You know the drill: just pick a health organization that you care about (or find one on the Video Volunteers channel), make an under-three-minute video promoting their work, and the top three will be featured on the YouTube homepage at the end of the month. Our guest curator this month is musician Jesse McCartney, who took the time to talk about his favorite health org, Stand Up 2 Cancer, and why you should make a video for your health nonprofit of choice:



If you're passionate about raising money to buy malaria nets, want to increase awareness about AIDS/HIV or can help an organization by vlogging about life as a diabetic, we want to see your videos. Submit them at www.youtube.com/videovolunteers by February 23.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism, recently watched "Pet Adoption - Ditched."

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Today, President Obama had his first exclusive interview after his State of the Union speech with you, the YouTube community. The President engaged in a direct conversation about a broad range of issues, from generating jobs to opening up the health care process to investments in nuclear energy.

The best part of the process was that it was driven by you. ​Five days ago, as the President began his State of the Union address, we opened up our Moderator platform on CitizenTube, and over 55,000 of you submitted and voted on both video and text questions. Some of them were hard-hitting, others were emotional, and some were even funny.

You can watch the full interview now:



Only able to ask less than 0.2% of the 11,696 questions submitted, it was hard to choose the final handful. Here's how the selection process worked: we tried to cover a range of issues, minimize duplicate questions, and include both video and text submissions. First, we looked at which topics had the highest participation -- like jobs, foreign policy, health care and government reform -- to determine how many questions to ask in each category. We then took the top 5% of video and text questions and picked questions that reflected what you cared about. None of them were chosen by the White House or seen by the President before the interview.

In some cases, we combined questions, grouping similar ones from different categories like health care and government reform:
"Why are the health care meetings, procedures, etc not on CSPAN as promised?" - Mr. Anderson, Texas

"How do you expect the people of this country to trust you when you have repeatedly broken promises that were made on the campaign trail. Most recently, the promise to have a transparent healthcare debate..." - Warren Hunter, Brooklyn
Sometimes the top overall question in the category was a video question:



To try to get as many question in as possible, we had a section called "Good idea/Bad idea" in which we tried to solicit short responses from the President on ideas you sent in that might not be presented to him in traditional interviews. And in all cases, we tried to select the top questions that would solicit conversation, lead to substantive answers, and hadn't been asked in previous programs we've had with the President.

We had many more questions on hand than we had time to deliver, so we're pleased that the White House has agreed to respond to more of the top-voted questions in their blog soon, at whitehouse.gov.

We hope this interview brings us one step closer to creating better access to your government through YouTube -- and we'd love to hear your feedback and any other ideas you have on YouTube's political programming.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, recently watched, "The YouTube Interview with President Obama"

Posted:

Today, in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, YouTube presents Project: Report 2010, a journalism contest – made possible by Sony and Intel – for non-professional, aspiring journalists to tell the stories that might not otherwise be covered by the media, and to share those stories with the world.

This year, Project: Report (www.youtube.com/projectreport) will consist of two rounds of competition held over the next three months. In each round, contestants will be given a reporting assignment to complete. After the first round, 10 finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges at the Pulitzer Center. Each finalist will receive a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera and proceed to the second and final round, where they will compete for five $10,000 travel fellowships to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project.

All five winners will also receive invitations to Washington, D.C., for a public screening of their work and the chance to participate in a special workshop with Pulitzer Center journalists.

Arturo Perez, Jr., the winner of the first edition of Project: Report, traveled to Jerusalem and worked with the Pulitzer Center to produce a story on dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis.

Watch the first installment of his video diary from the trip:

Do you have a story you want to tell?

Here's the assignment for Round 1 of Project: Report 2010:

Document a single day in the life of a compelling person the world should meet and showcase how that person is making a positive impact in his or her community. All videos must be three minutes or less, and submissions will be open through February 28, 2010.

Even if you do not participate in or advance past Round 1, you may still complete the assignment for Round 2, though you will not be eligible for the grand prize. YouTube and the Pulitzer Center hope to highlight and bring an audience to as many of your stories as possible.

So, without further ado, it's time to pick up that video camera, take on this assignment, and start reporting your stories to the world.

Olivia Ma, News & Politics Manager, recently watched “Project Report: What the Pulitzer Center is looking for"

Posted:
It's been a few months since we announced our partnership with Univision to bring current, full-length and short-form TV episodes from one of the most popular Spanish-language broadcasters in America. Today marks the official launch of the Univision channel on YouTube, where you can find leading programs from Univision's three major networks: Univision, TeleFutura and Galavisión. Some of the most popular shows on the channel include Univision's morning show Despierta América (Wake-Up America); TeleFutura's entertainment show Escándalo TV (ShowBiz TV), and Galavisión's home decorating series Decorando Contigo (Decorating with You), among many others. The Univision channel on YouTube will also premiere weekly show recaps made just for YouTube viewers. These videos will feature top Univision talent summarizing the best moments from Univision shows in the last week.

The launch marks the first time Univision programming will be made available on the web outside of Univision's properties, and we're excited to bring it to our growing Hispanic audience. So sit back, press play and enjoy this great new content. ¡A gozar!

Shanna Preve, Strategic Partnerships, recently watched "Pink Glove Dance."

P.S. You can read this post in Spanish here.

Posted:
Unos meses atrás anunciamos nuestra asociación con Univision para traer episodios televisivos completos, y actuales, de la transmisora más popular de habla hispana en Estados Unidos. Hoy tenemos el agrado de dar a conocer el lanzamiento del canal de Univision en YouTube en el que puedes encontrar los principales programas de sus tres cadenas: Univision, Telefutura y Galavisión. Algunos de los shows más populares disponibles en el canal incluyen al programa despertino de Univision, "Despierta América"; el programa de entretenimiento de Telefutura, "Escándalo TV"; y las series de decoración del hogar de Galavisión, "Decorando Contigo"; entre muchos otros. El canal de Univision en YouTube también estrenará recuentos semanales de los programas, resaltados con introducciones hechas por parte del principal talento de Univision a la comunidad de YouTube. Dichos videos darán un vistazo a los mejores momentos de los más reconocidos programas de Univision.

Así se marca la primera vez en que la programación de Univision estará disponible en la web fuera de las propiedades de Univision y estamos muy entusiasmados de traerla a nuestra creciente audiencia hispana. Así que a relajarse, presionar play y disfrutar este nuevo y espectacular contenido. Enjoy!

Posted:
Today at 1:45 pm EST, President Obama will participate in a unique interview at the White House in which you get to ask the questions - and have a say in which questions will be asked. For the past five days, since the President's State of the Union speech, people across the country have been submitting and voting on video and text questions in our Moderator platform on CitizenTube. Looking at your votes, we've scoured through the top tier of the over 11,000 questions - and we'll bring as many as we can to the President today. The event will be live-streamed on CitizenTube (youtube.com/citizentube)

Neither the President nor his staff will know which questions will be asked ahead of time. But what's clear from looking at the submissions is that they represent a broad cross-section of topics and concerns. When people are asked to weigh in on what matters most to them in an open forum, the result is a fascinating and informative look at the pulse of the country. It's this kind of transparency and direct access to information that we believe represents the promise of platforms like YouTube to improve our politics.

The President hasn't taken an interview since his State of the Union address last week, so you will be the first to ask him follow-up questions after his speech. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in your democracy - tune in today at 1:45 pm EST on youtube.com/citizentube.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, recently watched "The 2010 State of the Union Address"