In 2007, we witnessed an explosion of ideas and creativity on YouTube. You showed us that online video is not just a way to share pet and baby videos (though it is certainly good for that, too), but rather it can be so much more: a showcase for aspiring artists, a megaphone for everyday people, a way to learn new skills and even to change the political process.




In recognition of all of these vibrant uses of and communities on YouTube, we expanded the awards this year to include five new categories -- Best Short Film, Best Political Video, Best Sports Video, Best Eyewitness Video, and Best Instructional Video – for a total of 12. Each category now has six nominees instead of 10 (a special nod to those of you with short attention spans).




You'll also notice that the structure of the awards and the way voting works look a little different this year. Every time you refresh the page, the order of the categories and the featured thumbnail change in a random order so there can be no bias in the way the content is viewed or presented.




As you might imagine, whittling down any category to six videos was a gargantuan task and already we'll say we're sorry to the hundreds/thousands of deserving content creators who didn't get nominated. But you can't exactly blame us - you made these videos memorable and helped them rise to the top of the YouTube charts. The nominees reflect some of the most buzzed-about videos on the site, particularly the ones you bookmarked to watch later (and presumably again and again).




So head over to the YouTube Video Awards channel to start watching and voting for some of the videos that defined '07. You can vote once per day (though you may not change your vote on the same day) and you have until 11:59pm PT on March 19, 2008, to do so. Winners will be announced on March 21, 2008, at which point we'll feature them on this page as well as overnight them a trophy like no other (and believe us when we say this). Winners will also get a special invitation to a YouTube event later this year.




Good luck and have fun!




The YouTube Team