Posted:
As the biggest protests in 20 years rage against the government in Myanmar, YouTube has become a window into the violence occurring there. Large crowds, punctuated by hundreds of monks wearing saffron robes, are protesting the army's relocation of citizens and use of forced labor. Press reports claim 10 civilian casualties so far, though reports on the ground suggest that number could be much higher.



Some of those reports are coming from citizens who are uploading videos of these protests in the face of an intense governmental crackdown on the media. This video is one of nine clips uploaded by a user who joined YouTube just four days ago and has gained so much attention that it made the front page of the Wall Street Journal today.







Others have used YouTube to advocate for Myanmar's civilians as well. Witness, a human rights group that uses video as an advocacy tool, has this documentary about the conflict in Myanmar. And a few weeks ago, actor Jim Carrey posted this video call to action on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's democratically-elected leader who has been held in prison by the military since the late 1980s.







The Myanmar government has closed Internet cafes in Rangoon and disconnected most of the country's cell phone lines, but videos like these are already up, raising awareness of the situation unfolding now.



Best,

Steve G. aka Citizentube

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Site Update 9/26

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present to you the latest site updates.
Check out this edition of YouTube News, presented by your local funny news guy pzottolo.



Hot off the press, here is a breakdown of these exciting new changes.

NEW NONPROFIT GRANTS PROGRAM

With this new premium channel-type, nonprofit organizations will have the ability to embed a Google Checkout donation button on their channel and video watch pages that allows people to make a contribution directly from YouTube (no transaction fees included). To apply for this program, nonprofit organizations should go to www.youtube.com/nonprofits.

WATCH 3.0 NOW LIVE!

Since launching the beta version of the new video watch page back in June, we've received lots of helpful suggestions from all of you.
The new watch page is now live for all videos on YouTube. Here are some of the changes we made to the beta version that were based directly on your feedback.

- The video description will stay located on the upper right hand side, where it had been previous to the beta version.
- You now have the option of viewing "Related Videos" in both grid and list style.
- The new "More Videos From This Channel" section shows you a list of up to 30 other videos hosted on the same channel.
- We condensed the video actions to the four that you care about the most: 'Share', 'Favorite', 'Add to Playlists' and 'Flag'.

These are some items we didn't change on the original beta version, since most people were happy with the result:

- Ads no longer appear above the video on the watch page.
- "Promoted Videos" have been moved to the bottom of the page.
- The video size is now larger!
- We now have progressive downloading, so you no longer have to wait for the video to buffer in order to jump ahead.
- When you switch to full screen mode, the video will continue from the point where you left off (the video will not start from the beginning).

We encourage you to send us an email, make a video response or post a comment here to let us know what you think of these new features.

Carry on YouTubians, and don't forget to tune in again next time,
The YouTube Team

Posted:
Does your nonprofit organization have a great story to tell? Do you want to connect with supporters online but don't have the money for expensive outreach campaigns? Or are you just looking for ways to do a bit of good in the world?



YouTube has been used by many nonprofits in their online advocacy campaigns, and today we make that process even easier with the launch of the YouTube Nonprofit Program.



If you're a nonprofit (in the U.S., that means you have 501(c)(3) tax filing status), you can apply for a designated "nonprofit" channel, which will include increased branding capabilities and video uploading capacity, rotation in the "promoted videos" areas on YouTube, and the option to embed a Google Checkout gadget on your channel to drive your online fundraising efforts – we'll even waive the transaction fees. Here's a quick video containing tips we've learned from nonprofits that might help your organization:







Several nonprofits are already using YouTube in their outreach; in fact, 13 of them helped us launch the program today and we're featuring videos from each of them right now on our home page. Nonprofit organizations have also used YouTube to run video contests, broadcast celebrity endorsements and launch innovative video campaigns inspiring people to produce videos on the issues they care about.



As more and more nonprofits sign up for the program , we'll build a special category on the site for videos from these groups, making it easier for you to discover and share their videos, and to engage with them right here on YouTube.



Best,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Last weekend's SouthTube was more than just a user gathering; the Marietta, Georgia, event felt like a family reunion. YouTubers from all over the U.S. showed up to meet each other in the flesh and, of course, to make some videos. Hats off to organizers hmarty, tubegranny, and lemonette who went above and beyond to create a memorable experience for everyone: 'Tubers sang, danced, laughed, and enjoyed great food (can anyone say BBQ up at Red Top Mountain?!). There was even an awards show that gave attendees the opportunity to win prizes in such categories as the most creative channel name, least likely to be featured, and the obligatory King and Queen of SouthTube (see below for video). Two users, paul1967uk and positivesue, came from as far as the UK, and TheBennyZone went through 23 hours of bus rides, including six transfers, to get there. Plus, I got lots of great feedback from y'all, which I'll be bringing back to California this week to share with the whole YouTube team. Until then, let's reflect fondly on those sweet Georgia days:







Peace,


Big Joe aka BigJoeSmith


The YouTube Team

Posted:
The eyes of the automotive industry and those of car aficionados everywhere have been on Frankfurt for the last week for the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA), otherwise known as the Frankfurt Motor Show. When they weren't gorging themselves on Frankfurt's signature sausages and beers, attendees were treated to the most highly-anticipated new model unveilings of the year, from sexy, high-end exotics like the Lamborghini Reventon and the Porsche 911 GT2, to somewhat more practical rides for city-dwellers like the Dodge Journey or the MINI Clubman. If you couldn't make it to there yourself, we've got the video!




As expected given the Teutonic setting, German auto uber-giants Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Bayerische Motoren Werke (aka BMW) took center stage. Each of their major 2009 unveilings are neatly captured in this recap video from InsideLineVideo:







Fuel-efficient vehicles have also drawn a great deal of attention, especially those with new technologies like BMW's Concept X6 with an "Active Hybrid" system:






The IAA wraps up in a few days, but for more unveilings and recap footage, WebRidesTV and FastLaneDaily are both posting exclusive coverage.




Auf Wiedersehen


Andrew B.

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Fall is almost here in the U.S., and as baseball season segues into the playoffs, football, basketball and lots of other sports are just grinding into gear all over the country. Here's a shortlist of things to look for in YouTube Sports:




* Football season kicked off with a bang (hello, Appalachian State!), and the sports blogosphere is burning up with predictions, fantasy advice, fan rants, highlights, low lights, etc. Sport video bloggers of interest include The Blog Show (from The Washington Post), CowboyTD (with an admittedly pro-Cowboy, pro-Texas slant) and the irrepressible Bleacher Bloggers, who scour sports blogs netwide for the best posts so you don't have to.




* Skateboarding is alive and kick-flipping all over YouTube, from the hundreds of "Sponsor Me" videos to pro profiles to contest recaps and more. If you ride a mini-ramp or mini-pipe, take a look at MiniRampChamp for a plethora of trick and ramp-building tips. Another one of the most prolific video-making skaters on our site (with a grab bag full of tricks) is MisterCK. Click through some of his highlights, including this nice switch 360 flip revert.




* Basketball season is still several weeks away from tipping off, but there's plenty of summertime hoops on YouTube including loads of footage of wunderkind point guard Brandon Jennings. Nicknamed Doobie Doo, Jennings is widely regarded as one of the best high school players around (and has hoop heads catching visions of Kenny Anderson, circa 1990). You'll find some highlight clips here and here, and a short interview here.




* DC United fans: how passionate are you about your team? Prove your fanaticism in a 90-second response video and win prizes... Here's the invite video and contest info.




* Finally, there's loads of interesting, some would say oddball, sports all over our site. Check out the finger-jousters , the noodlers, the zorbers, the curlers, the hurlers and, of course, the bog-snorkelers.




Last but not least, athletes and fans: I have questions! For example, what exactly qualifies a sport as a "sport"? What's the best sport and why? What's the weirdest sport out there? Let me know what you think here.




Go play,


Andrew B. aka playactionpass

Posted:
Today, a non-profit called "24 Hours for Darfur" is using the power of video to call attention to the genocide in Sudan. They've mobilized hundreds of citizens to submit video messages via YouTube and their website, which they'll be screening today outside of the United Nations in New York City. (We’re also featuring a subset of these videos in our News & Politics section.)







Their timing couldn't be better -- today is the Global Day for Darfur. Thirty different events are taking place in 28 countries, all demanding a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Sudan.



Several other groups on YouTube are also working to draw attention to the conflict there, including Amnesty International, Stop Genocide Now, and the Enough Project. And last Friday, we premiered "Emergency in Darfur", Dr. Bob Arnot’s powerful documentary about the crisis. Be sure to check it out.



Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
We all know the Green Movement has become as trendy to the '00s as
flannels were to the '90s, but that doesn't mean it doesn't need our
support – especially when we all know how influential your videos can be
(YouChoose '08 anyone?).



So it is with much pleasure and belief in the power of online video that
we present you with the first ever Green YouTube home page, expertly curated by your friends at GOOD, "the magazine for people who give a damn."



We think their choices of videos will both entertain and inspire you,
and we hope that at least one of them will motivate you to do something
- we're hitting the next naked protest on a glacier. But in all seriousness, sometimes trendy movements are the ones that need
our focused attention the most, so please...



Watch and act,



The YouTube Team

Posted:
The Canadian indie rockers are really getting into the spirit of their latest album, Challengers, by issuing four challenges to the YouTube community, starting with this week's call to invent a funny dance to one of their songs:







The band will choose its favorite video responses as they roll in, and those videos will be featured in our music category as well as on the Matador Web site.



In addition, one grand prize winner will get an iPhone and the chance to turn the tables and challenge the Pornographers to a cockamamie idea of his or her own. The band might even say yes, um, if "it's reasonable."



So good luck, and stay tuned for next week's challenge – you can follow all the action here on the New Pornographers' channel.



Cheers,

Michele K-tel

YouTube Music

Posted:
The New Pornographers are really getting into the spirit of their latest album, Challengers, by issuing four challenges to the YouTube community, starting with this week's call to do a funny dance to one of their songs:







After about a week, the band will choose their favorite video responses, which will be highlighted in our music category here as well as on their label's Web site


So good luck, and stay tuned for next week's challenge.



Cheers,



Michele K-tel

YouTube Music

Posted:
With television's fall premieres still weeks away, plopping down on the couch after a long day and watching another three-year-old rerun of your favorite drama series seems lame at best. To combat the pre-season blues, check out some of the best dramas the web has to offer:






Interested in science fiction and the supernatural? Try watching Cataclysmo and the Time Boys, a series about two heroes from the future travel back in time. If you want something a little more down to earth, check out Prom Queen, a teen drama about friends, popularity, and tragedy. For those of you in the mood for nail-biting suspense, the Emmy award-winning Satacracy88 may be more your style. Regardless of your taste, a good drama is all about relationships and connecting with the characters. So take a break from those summer re-runs and challenge yourself to something new and different.



Keep Broadcasting,

Felicia aka webisodewiz

YouTube Entertainment

Posted:
After we released the new comments rating feature two weeks ago, you voiced some consistent concerns on the YouTube blog, in e-mails to us, and in videos. Our goal is to always improve YouTube based upon the needs of the community so we've made some changes – many of them based directly on your feedback – and will continue to look at how we can improve this feature.



- The "View All Comments" page has been changed back to show comments in chronological order (from oldest to newest).



- Links included in e-mail notifications you receive when a new comment has been posted to your video are being improved so that they take you to the correct page on the "View All Comments" page.



- Remember: you can choose which comments you want displayed, based on their overall ratings, on all video Watch pages. You can always choose to show all comments regardless of their ratings. Just use the pulldown menu near the comments section on the Watch page.



- In the near future, we'll make comment ratings a feature that the video creators can turn on or off for their uploaded videos.



Keep letting us know what we can do to make reading and making comments as easy and efficient as possible.



And, as always, thanks for speaking up and letting us know your candid thoughts.



The YouTube Team