Posted:
This week at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, delegates, party leaders, celebrities, and voters from every state in the nation gathered to officially nominate their candidate for President. YouTube, an official partner with the Convention, was on the scene with an upload booth that captured the thoughts of hundreds of diverse and enthusiastic Democrats. There was the woman who sang an ode to Barack Obama, a couple of Alaskan fisherwomen who applauded his efforts to protect our natural resources, and military veterans who gave their own reasons for supporting Obama. Here's a full set of highlights from the "I nominate Barack Obama because…" series:







In addition, party and political leaders – among them Governor Mark Warner, Senator Harry Reid, Governor Bill Richardson, Governor Brian Schweitzer, Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin – and celebrities like John Legend, Charles Barkley, and Louis Gossett Jr. took the opportunity to speak directly to the YouTube community and/or to talk about why they are nominating Obama. Their videos, and a whole lot more, including Senator Obama's acceptance speech, are available on the DNCC's YouTube channel.



Stay tuned next week as we head to Minneapolis/St. Paul to catch all of the proceedings on the Republican side and to hear why that Convention's attendees feel equally excited about their candidate, Senator John McCain.






Yours,

Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Here at YouTube, we're always trying to find new ways to enrich your viewing experience and to help video creators reach a wider audience. As part of this goal, we've added a new captioning feature which allows you to give viewers a deeper understanding of your video. Captions can help people who would not otherwise understand the audio track to follow along, especially those who speak other languages or who are deaf and hard of hearing.



You can add captions to one of your videos by uploading a closed caption file using the "Captions and Subtitles" menu on the editing page. To add several captions to a video, simply upload multiple files. If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language. There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption. If a video includes captions, you can activate them by clicking the menu button located on the bottom right of the video player. Clicking this button will also allow viewers to choose which captions they want to see.



Some of our partners have already started using captions to offer you a better understanding of their videos (even with the audio turned off):



- BBC Worldwide: captions are provided in five different languages on this clip from Top Gear.

- CNET: tech product reviews from CNET's Crave blog.

- UC Berkeley: footage from the Opencast Project Open House.

- MIT: full lectures on subjects like Physics.

- Gonzodoga: English subtitles on this awesome Japanese animation.



We hope captions will serve to tighten the YouTube community by bringing together international users from different cultures.


We're excited to see what kinds of fun and creative uses for captions you'll be coming up with for your videos!


For more information about how to use captions, visit this page.

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Did you vote? The time to find out who won has finally arrived.



We challenged you to show off your celebrity reporting skills, and after two rounds of voting for your favorite microphone-toting reporter, we're pleased to announce a winner. Congratulations to Chescaleigh, who will be joining People.com's Michelle Beadle on the red carpet at a major awards ceremony in Los Angeles this September. As your official Red Carpet Reporter, Chescaleigh will have the opportunity to interview some of TV's biggest celebs as they strut their stuff before the big show. Check out Michelle Beadle's announcement video here:



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Chescaleigh's trip to L.A. comes complete with a makeover from Revlon and invites to some of the hottest parties in town. You can catch her exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage on the Red Carpet Reporter channel next month.




Well done, Chescaleigh, and special thanks to everyone else who entered or voted.


Cheers,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
With the outlandish Burning Man festival taking place this weekend,
TrendspottingTuesday
takes a wide-eyed look at the world of unusual art.



You don't need a Burning Man-style art car to take a tour through this gallery of unconventional materials and quirky ideas. All it takes is a few mouse clicks to witness delicate, water-based calligraphy on the streets of Beijing, fuzzy felt art in New York or a burbling balloon installation in London.



If art is food for thought, our collection of unusual arts and crafts includes some raw materials that are more commonly thought of as, well, food. Though you wouldn't want to swallow bubblegum, have you ever considered sculpting with it? And if you enjoy your cheese sliced, how do you feel about a whopping 1,200 pounds of it, expertly carved? These are all questions you can ponder while watching a butter sculpture meltdown. Here's the full playlist:







All the best,



The YouTube Team

Posted:
Today in Denver, the Democratic National Convention begins! Thousands of delegates, super delegates, party leaders, media, and political tourists have descended upon this Colorado city for four days of non-stop celebration. Here on YouTube, you can join them.



Visit our Convention Headquarters at www.youtube.com/2008conventions for all the latest video from the Convention floor, in addition to behind-the-scenes footage from party leaders and videos uploaded straight from the Convention by delegates. We'll also have upload booths set up around the Pepsi Center and Convention Hall, not to mention in the the Big Tent, where all the bloggers will congregate for the week. Video will be pouring in from these locations and hundreds of others...and we'll do our best to stay on top of it all on our Convention channel.



Be sure to look out for Rich Peters, the winner of our Democratic Convention contest, who will be reporting all week on the proceedings. He even wants to know you if you have questions you'd like him to pass along to those he meets in Denver.








Every Convention has had its signature moments (like Senator Obama's 2004 speech in Boston), so watch out for this year's defining occurrences and rising stars on YouTube. In fact, check www.youtube.com/2008conventions often for the kind of coverage you won't find anywhere else.




Yours,



Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Today we're highlighting the winners of Aimee Mann's "Freeway" cover song contest on our home page. (She even made a video explaining the tough decisions that went into selecting her favorites from hundreds of entries.) Congratulations go out to the top two winners (it was a tie!), who are both scheduled to perform with Mann on her tour next month. On September 5, iSO the Robot will sing with Aimee in Atlanta, and Tucson singer-songwriter John Galt will join her in Greensboro, North Carolina, the next day. Here are their winning video entries:











Along with iSO and John, we're also featuring an array of finalists, including Vicki Bass, a 14-year-old from the U.K., and unsigned singer-songwriters from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Several of these musicians took this opportunity to hit the road to make their videos, singing "Freeway" from the back seats of their vehicles (one accompanied by his children in adjoining car seats). You can see many of the talented contestants on our home page and in this playlist:







Enjoy these diverse versions of "Freeway," and if you can't make it to Mann's live shows, stay tuned for videos of the winning duets, which will be featured on Aimee's YouTube channel and in our music category in September.



Hittin'the Freeway,

Michele K-Tel

YouTube Music

Posted:
Today we're highlighting the winners of Aimee Mann's "Freeway" cover song contest on our home page. (She even made a video explaining the tough decisions that went into selecting her favorites from hundreds of entries.) Congratulations go out to the top two winners (it was a tie!), who are both scheduled to perform with Mann on her tour next month. On September 5, iSO the Robot will sing with Aimee in Atlanta, and Tucson singer-songwriter John Galt will join her in Greensboro, North Carolina, the next day. Here are their winning video entries:











Along with iSO and John, we're also featuring an array of finalists, including Vicki Bass, a 14-year-old from the U.K., and unsigned singer-songwriters from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Several of these musicians took this opportunity to hit the road to make their videos, singing "Freeway" from the back seats of their vehicles (one accompanied by his nephews in adjoining car seats). You can see many of the talented contestants on our home page and in this playlist:







Enjoy these diverse versions of "Freeway," and if you can't make it to Mann's live shows, stay tuned for videos of the winning duets, which will be featured on Aimee's YouTube channel and in our music category in September.



Hittin' the Freeway,

Michele K-Tel

YouTube Music

Posted:
In June, Michelle Kaufmann asked you to share your creative alternatives to recycling. Many great ideas were submitted, but perhaps the most impressive was the Bejeweled 'Cuff Style' Bracelet by beadclub. To take an everyday coffee sleeve and to turn it into a fun accessory exemplifies what this challenge was all about:









Other entries didn't disappoint, either. With baby shoes made out of plastic bags and art pieces constructed out of old magazines, you showed us that almost anything can be turned into something new with a little bit of imagination.




And don't forget that this month, Lance Armstrong wants to hear how you've dared to change your life or the life of someone close to you:









Take care,


Sadia H.


YouTube HowTo & Style

Posted:
If you can spare about a dozen minutes on TrendspottingTuesday, you can catch 12 examples of tight film-making, as we highlight short films that punch the clock around the one-minute mark.



At a time when Hollywood blockbusters often run for more than two hours, it can be exhilarating to catch videos that can make a point in a minute. Take film maker Ari Gold, who delivered a sharp 60-second riff on culture, taking home the Best Narrative Short prize at the SXSW Film Festival for his efforts. User georgepaul123 took all of a minute to express his views on disability. Another meaningful moment comes from Friends of the Earth, who present the winner of their one-minute green film award, "The Plastic Battle", by Danish director Ulla Jacobson. (Of course, not every ultra-short short is designed to deliver a strong point. Spend a minute in "The Bathroom" to see just how far the film-making team can ratchet up the tension in what can only be described as a dark and edgy bathroom break.)



While not every video included on the homepage and playlist below is exactly 60 seconds long, it's clear that self-imposed creative rules are at work in many of these clips, with memorable results. Rather than take up any more of your time telling you about them, we can only encourage you to take a moment to watch them all:







And if even 60 seconds is too much for your short attention span, you can always go the one second route. C’mon – Kiefer (Sutherland), Kevin (Bacon) and Stephen (Colbert) are already in...







Gone in 60,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
For this month's Guru Challenge, Lance Armstrong –- who just joined YouTube and launched a wellness web site, Livestrong.com -- wants to know how you've dared to change your life or the life of someone else.









Make a response video to his video, telling the legendary bicyclist your inspiring stories, particularly how you've overcome obstacles in your life. The Livestrong.com team will select the most compelling videos to be featured on their site and possibly also the YouTube home page.




Dare to inspire!


Sadia H.


YouTube HowTo & Style

Posted:
Which of these budding entertainment journalists will win a press pass to report from the red carpet at a major awards ceremony this fall? It's up to you to decide! People.com narrowed down the hundreds of entries to these final 10, and now it's your turn to pick your favorite YouTube reporter to strut their stuff on the red carpet next month.







The finalist with the most "thumbs up" votes will not only win a trip to L.A. and the opportunity to interview the stars at this ceremony in September, but (s)he will also get access to the hottest parties in Hollywood and receive a red carpet makeover courtesy of Revlon. To vote, go here (http://www.youtube.com/redcarpetreporter) and click on the vote button. Voting for this contest ends on Aug. 25 so show them some love today!



Kiss-kiss,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Back in July, Democratic and Republican National Convention Committees called upon YouTube users to answer the question: "Why are you a Republican (or a Democrat) in 2008?" Hundreds submitted, ten finalists were selected – and now, after tallying your votes, two winners have been chosen to attend this year's upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions and spend a day on the campaign trail with their party's candidate.



Rich Peters (username richprince78) has been selected as the winner of the DNC's Convention Contest, while Shawn Summers (username: jedimaster51090) has been selected as the winner of the RNC's Convention Contest.



In "Why I'm a Democrat in 2008," Peters goes through the list of reasons why he's supporting the Democrats and Barack Obama in the fall. Featuring clever green-screen effects and a catchy synthesized score, the video serves as a rousing endorsement of the DNC platform, from universal health care to withdrawing from Iraq. But perhaps the last line sums up his reasoning best: "I'm a Democrat because like so many of you, I love America…and I want my country back."







Meanwhile, in his video "Why I am a Republican," Summers uses a combination of dry humor and party pride to explain his reasons for supporting the Republican Party and John McCain. A freshman at Georgetown University, Summers argues that the core principles of the Republican Party are still the principles that should guide America — both now and in the future: "The Republican Party…stands poised to lead America and the changing world into a new global century. And Shawn Summer, along with millions of other Republicans…stands with them."







Peters and Summers have both won tickets to their party's respective conventions (in Denver and St. Paul, respectively), where their videos will be screened during the proceedings. They'll also spend a day on the campaign trail next week, in the press pool of their party's candidate... Stay tuned for the videos they'll upload there, which we'll feature here on YouTube.



Yours,



Steve G.

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
Remember when movie tickets only cost a nickel? Actually...you probably don't. But you do probably remember a time when you could fill up your tank for under thirty dollars. Sadly, those days are gone. Gas prices are skyrocketing and citizens are taking notice, using YouTube to vent their frustration in a variety of different ways.



Some are flexing their creative muscles, like user gdickson817 who's "honkin' mad" and singing the "Gas Pump Blues," or metal band AnfoMerc, who bills its song "Oil is Blood" as the "most important heavy metal song about big oil EVER." Others are finding the humor in an otherwise bad situation. If you need a laugh to ease your four bucks-a-gallon woes, dbloveskittens cracks jokes about seeing how many errands he can run with his fuel light on, and redstateupdate offers a hilarious look at the situation.



A few citizens, however, aren't content to express their anger solely through their computer -- they're taking to the streets, by horse, truck, and foot to protest the sharp hikes in gas prices.



Looking for a fix to your problems at the pump? Don't fret -- users are offering practical solutions, in addition to complaints and tears. There are tons of videos about how to run a car on alternative fuels (could water, veggies or solar power become the new oil?) and even a few about a fascinating trend called "hypermiling," a driving technique designed to get the most out of every tank of fuel and increase the fuel efficiency of existing vehicles in the United States:







If you're in search of a broader, governmental solution to the current energy problem, you may want to hear what McCain or Obama have to say, or explore Utah's new move towards a four-day work week for state employees:







And if you're still in need of more gas-tastic content, you can fill up here:










Taking up biking,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
As sports enthusiasts are consumed with gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, rowing and more at the 2008 Summer Games occurring right now in Beijing, there is another wide world of sports thriving out there – and a decidedly unconventional one, at that.



This Tuesday, we pay homage to those competitive acts that might be classified as weird or odd -- or maybe you don't think they should be classified as sports at all. But no matter: on YouTube there is an audience for just about everything, and this week we're highlighting under-the-radar "athletic" activities like zorbing, noodling, shin kicking and marshmallow-eating. Take a look:







Cheers,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
With football season on the horizon, we're proud to kick off YouTube FANalysts. Together with Circuit City, we've united the YouTube community’s fantasy football experts on one channel. Starting this week and continuing through the entire NFL season, our YouTube FANalysts will scour the waiver wire, dig through the depth charts and scan stat sheets to provide expert opinion and picks for fantasy football owners -- with healthy doses of color commentary and trash talk.



What is a FANalyst? Basically, add fan + fantasy + analyst = FANalyst.



Why FANalyze? Well, there are 15-18 million people playing fantasy sports in the U.S., 85% of whom play fantasy football. On any given day during the NFL season, fantasy owners will be looking for any tip or pick that'll put their squad in the win column -- and what better way to get advice than via video, from a one-stop shop of fantasy experts and football addicts?



Who are the FANalysts? An eclectic bunch, to say the least: Shango the Stonethrower, Fantasy Sports Girl, SHportstalk, StatBeast, FFX, Uncle Joey, the Professor and Stat Girl and last but certainly not least, Paul "Fitzy" Fitzgerald, who gives us his take on FANalysts here:







As you're drafting teams or reshuffling rosters before the season begins September 4, check back for the latest tips and info. Halfway through the season, Circuit City will give you the chance to become a FANalyst yourself. Watch in October for your chance to join the squad.



Happy Drafting,


Andrew B.


YouTube Sports

Posted:
For the next 16 days, the eyes of the world will be on Beijing and the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Several of our premier news providers will be there, too, on the ground in China creating feature pieces, photo montage videos, human interest stories and cultural tours of the city. If the athletic competition isn't necessarily your thing but you're still curious about what's going on over there, we've created a central hub of Summer Games content from these providers here.



On the Summer Games channel, you'll find the latest news from Associated Press, daily round-ups and a photographer's journal from Getty Images, in-depth feature pieces from Reuters, Euronews, France 24 and The New York Times, and unique, up-close-and-personal views of life in Beijing from Travel Channel, GroundReport and, of course, SexyBeijingTV.



Here's a preview from Getty Images:







When the Olympics end on August 24, check back to our Summer Games channel in early September for video from the Beijing Paralympic Games, where the magnificent Oscar Pistorius will be running in a hotly contested 100-meter dash and other athletes will be competing for gold on the world stage.



Cheers,

Andrew B.


YouTube Sports

Posted:
For a few weeks now, voters from across the U.S. have been submitting their videos in response to the question: "Why are you a Republican [or a Democrat] in 2008?" The Democratic and Republican National Convention Committees have reviewed those videos, and each selected five finalists for their 2008 conventions program. Starting today, you can vote for who gets to spend a day on the campaign trail with their candidate and attend the Party's biggest, well, party of the year. Vote here, until August 13 (at noon ET).






Both the Democrats and Republicans have been using YouTube extensively to connect with supporters interested in content around the conventions, including unique construction clips from Denver and St. Paul, where the events will be held. The winners of the YouTube convention contests will have their videos played live on stage at these two events, which promise to be major media frenzies, not to mention a whole lot of fun.


So go vote for your favorite clip and look out for two YouTube users to shine on the convention floor…



Yours,



Steve G.


YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
No matter your skill level or style, if you've ever wanted to pick up or master any kind of instrument, let YouTube be your guide. The YouTube community is packed with guitar-technique perfectionists, multi-genre piano teachers, and singers who can teach you all kinds of vocal stylings, from operatic arias to reverberating yodels.



This week's Trendspotting Tuesday is dedicated to those skillful instructors who allow you to learn a new instrument virtually. There's popular guitarist JustinSandercoe, blues harmonica master Kudzurunner, and turntablist DJ Ellaskins for budding scratchers. For something more exotic, master drummer Laim Jassey instructs on how to tap on the African djembe, Bonnie lends her tips on how to "tag" yodel, and DJ Venolla outlines an "instant" human beatbox course from Malaysia. Check out the whole playlist here or on our home page:










Happy music making,

The YouTube Team

Posted:
There's a new video series on YouTube that embodies the amazing energy and inspiration inherent in do-it-yourself (DIY) culture. Etsy has created "Handmade Portraits," a series of interviews with artists who sell their work on Etsy's site. These videos not only do a fantastic job of showing the artist's style and telling his or her story, but also they reveal what drives each project and the source of each artist's passion. In one video, the duo behind Maryink talk about how their chance encounter at a party brought them together to create t-shirts even though they live in different states...









Chanel Kennebrew studied photography and graphics but became drawn to fashion…









James Peter's chance encounter with a friend's broken guitar led him to start building handmade guitars in his garage…









Check out the entire series and get inspired to follow your own creative muse.




Keep Creating,

Sadia H.

YouTube HowTo & Style

Posted:
Today we are pleased to feature "Portishead In Portishead," a special 31-minute concert presentation from British musical group Portishead. These seven songs, from their new CD Third (which is actually their fourth album – go figure), were performed in multi-instrumentalist Geoff Barrows' former drama school classroom. Enter here.



Along with this extended concert video, Portishead also put together a list of their favorite clips on YouTube. Their selections reveal an eclectic taste in music, including a nod to current YouTube Living Legend honoree Chuck D's band Public Enemy. (Earlier this year, Chuck D reciprocated the fandom by freestyle rapping over Portishead's single "Machine Gun" on stage at a festival in Barcelona.) After you watch the band's favorite YouTube clips, check out their own animated video for new single "The Rip".



Enjoy this inside look at the enigmatic Bristol trio.



Cheers,

Michele K-Tel

YouTube Music

Posted:
With video views in the tens-of-millions, nearly 400 episodes, over 100,000 subscribers and a cover story in WIRED magazine, lonelygirl15 is undoubtedly one of the first breakthrough web series to hit YouTube. Like all good things, however, it must come to an end, and today marks the start of a long goodbye: a 12-episode finale, each one posted on the hour.







It's been amazing to witness the loyal community of fans that has cropped up around lonelygirl15. Well two years ago, when viewers discovered that Bree, who seemed like an innocent young video blogger, was actually an actress performing in a scripted series, it only heightened the mystique and interest level surrounding the show. Even when Bree's character died, the show continued to generate big views.



We've enjoyed how EQAL, the creators behind lonelygirl15, have utilized YouTube's sharing and community features to tell their story. It's also been great to have lonelygirl15 as one of YouTube's original content partners. With their participation, we've built a platform where original content creators can distribute their own work and be compensated for their creativity.



We're watching closely to see how this one ends, perhaps with a touch of melancholy, but it makes us happy to know that EQAL have a lot more in store for the future. We'll be subscribing for sure…



Signing off,



George S.

YouTube Partnership

Posted:
With over five million views and counting, the films featured in The YouTube Screening Room since its launch a little over a month ago seem to be holding your attention as much as they've held ours. This program, designed to connect those of you looking for original, compelling film content with talented filmmakers seeking out new audiences, continues to grow and we thank you for your many comments, ratings and messages.



Today, we're pleased to announce two new features, based on your feedback, and four new films. First up: we've launched an easier way to leave comments on films. You'll now find that you can directly link to a film's comments from The YouTube Screening Room landing page by clicking on the blue hypertext Comments number. Second: those of you who wanted a reminder to check out new films every two weeks can now subscribe to The YouTube Screening Room and get updates in your Subscriptions box when new films are featured. To subscribe, just click on the button on the top right side of the "Featured Films" box.



On to the new round of films! This diverse selection of shorts tackles wide-ranging subjects, including how mannequins contribute to female body image, the journey of Polish émigrés, avian interstellar conquest, and the interconnectedness of urban life. They include an Academy Award winner, a Palme d'Or winner, and a Tribeca Film Festival Honorable Mention…







And if you missed a previously featured film, no need to fret! Visit The YouTube Screening Room archives, located at the bottom of the page, to catch up.







Don't forget the popcorn,

Sara P.

YouTube Film