Since the very beginning user feedback has been critical to us. Without direct feedback from you, we have no idea what features you like, what you don't or when we've just plain pissed you off (because that never happens right?).

We get feedback in a number of ways, through the contacts you send to our customer service team, through usability studies, and through the direct emails you send to me and Mia. Sometimes users make contact with other members of the YouTube team through other various venues - like video responses, groups, - or just by guessing our email addresses.

As both our site, and our company continues to grow and expand it's become more important than ever to us that we stay connected to our roots - the YouTube community. We've recently started to become much more proactive with reaching out to our members by email, by phone, and even by video (yes video!) to get feedback and have an open, two way dialogue. We're focused on constantly working to improve our site and product, and we need your help and feedback to be able to achieve that.

You can expect to hear more about our community outreach efforts in the coming weeks, but in the mean time don't be surprised if we come a knockin at your door! ;-)



The YouTube Team

I'd like to keep on destroying the myth that featured videos are paid advertisements by continuing to share success stories with you, to show you that we really are watching and listening to what you're doing and that our feature slots are for the best of your work. So once a month, I'll blog about the videos that were featured on the home page because you wrote to the editor and we agreed that you're on to something good. Videos like these:

Greg Hits Hollywood

Alien Vlog 1 - First Contact

So Why Walk 1000 Miles?

Pre-School Political Ad

"We Are the Strange" Trailer

YourTube SPOTLIGHT #3 'Your Selection!'

"Moonbeam Death Ray" CG Music Video

Die By Dawn

SNOWMEN HUNTERS Ep 08: Michael Jackson F@#*s Boys

I also hear amazing stories about opportunities that came up for people after they were featured on YouTube, and I'd like to share those with the community, too. Here's some recent news that made us proud:

• After we featured his hilarious response to superlunary's Five Questions! video, Zipster08 says he was contacted by VH1 to do a rant on the show Web Junk 20: You Tube for Dummies?

• Thanks to his brave ingestion of spices, Gisthename told us he "got a lot of attention in Norway and was on the absolute biggest talk show in Norway. I have also got some job offers in entertaining on the internet."

• YouTube's promotion of the Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! video, which so many of you told us about, led to an appearance on Oprah, among other shows, as well as a bidding war to sign Sick Puppies, the band responsible for the song in the clip. This video is now up to an astounding 6,159,324 views.

showwhat's Pre-School Political Ad was featured on CNN Headline Morning News on November 10.

So before you get so famous you forget all about us, do drop us a line when something good happens to you because of YouTube. Or better yet, make a video about it and send us the link.



The YouTube Team

Imagine this: you worked on your video for weeks, months, maybe years. You're incredibly proud of your work, and you want as many people as possible to see it. You post it to YouTube, maybe it gets featured, and the comments start flowing in. And in. You get some genuine praise and possibly some constructive criticism. And then you get some comments of another kind – we'll just call them unconstructive criticism. The haters descend, making you wonder (hopefully just for a nanosecond) if you'll ever post to YouTube again.

It's not easy dealing with pointless negativity, but a user named Duke Rightious alerted me to an acronym YouTubers are using in the fight against haters and I thought it was worthwhile sharing with the larger community. It was originally outlined by Pipistrello in this video and it's called R.I.D.:

R - Recognize. Recognize that a "hate" comment is different from constructive criticism or a WTF total lack of comprehension.

I - Ignore. Do not dignify the hater with a reply making your case or pleading for understanding. And don't bother blasting them, either. Your energy is really best spent elsewhere, like on your next video.

D - Delete. Remember, you always have the option of deleting deliberately hateful and mean comments. After all, these are your videos.

R.I.D. activate!


The YouTube Team

It's always to neat to find bands using YouTube in creative ways. As you would expect from a group that's been anonymous for 35 years, whose members usually appear as giant eyeballs with top hats and who never grant interviews, San Francisco's the Residents have posted a series of short clips that are just a bit strange and twisted. The films evoke a kind of 1950s Leave It to Beaver-esque suburban utopia, complete with gee-whiz-style narration from nine-year-old Timmy, son of a barber. I just love the earnestness with which Timmy chirps about car accidents, menstrual blood, dead dogs, and learning about sex from a creepy lawyer. Here are two of my favorites:

Tracking Timmy,


The YouTube Team

Greetings, everyone. How's that candy hangover today?

Now that the Halloween revelry is over, it's down to some serious matters. First, Election Day is around the corner in the U.S., so if you're over 18, don't forget to vote. These might be midterm elections, but there are still some important issues at stake, namely the balance of power in the Senate and the House, not to mention some fierce local races. You've probably noticed a lot of politicians using YouTube to showcase their campaign ads; we've built a special area to highlight just some of the candidates. We encourage you to explore YouTube to find other politicians relevant to your area, party or ideals.

Second, we've noticed a rash of videos and commentary claiming that "the only featured videos we're seeing [on the YouTube home page] are paid advertising videos." This is totally untrue – anything you see in the box marked "Featured Videos" has been selected by a team of editors who are constantly thinking about what might appeal to you, the users, and trying to balance the types of videos and subject matter seen here. We don't always nail it, but the intentions are never commercially oriented, we can promise you that.



The YouTube Team