Posted:
The YouTube Slam Dunk Challenge has moved into Round Two! Our esteemed panel of judges — Chris Bosh, Jalen Rose and Team Flight Brothers — have studied all the entries and selected six finalists.



These finalists have each uploaded a new video showcasing their prodigious skills — but who will earn the crown "Best Dunker on YouTube" and perform with Team Flight Brothers at an official TFB event? You decide.



Bounce over to the YouTube Slam Dunk channel to view the six finalists' videos and cast your vote for the best (click "Vote" on the center module). Voting ends Monday, June 8th and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.



Best,


Andrew Bangs


YouTube Sports

Posted:
Though the United Nations has had a presence on YouTube for several years, it recently re-vamped and re-launched its channel with the goal of providing more relevant videos to citizens around the world. Now, you can find pertinent information about a wide range of topics including peace and security, social and economic development, human rights and climate change.



In its new incarnation, the UN's YouTube channel is particularly focused on providing timely content. Today, to mark the International Day of Peacekeepers, they released this video to highlight the fact that in 2008, 130 peacekeepers lost their lives in the line of duty -- the highest one-year total in the UN's history. They've also uploaded this piece, which takes a deeper dive into the unique challenges that female agents of peace face.



The UN is also uploading some unexpected videos to their channel. Sure, you can still find statements from Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and information about the latest UN endeavor to save lives. But you can also discover archival footage of Che Guevera speaking on the UN floor in 1964 or immerse yourself in this retrospective of sci-fi classic Battlestar Galactica:







So take a few minutes to peruse the UN's updated channel -- you may find information you were looking for, or stumble across a great video you didn't think you'd find.



Best,

Ramya Raghavan

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

Posted:
Today marks an exciting change for the Community Help Forum: We'll be transitioning from the Google Groups platform to a new support platform which we believe will make it even easier for you to find help and share knowledge with one another. In addition to an updated look and feel, the new Help Forum has some useful features geared toward better serving your needs.



So what's new?



* Particularly great answers can now be marked as a "Best Answer,” so users with a similar problem can find the solution quickly and easily.

* The new Help Forum keeps track of user reputation. You can immediately tell which posters are YouTube employees, top contributors, seasoned posters, or new posters. As users make positive contributions to the Forum, their reputation will increase, and so will their capabilities.

* Other benefits of the new Help Forum include the ability for you to link to Help Center content, blogs, websites, YouTube videos, and images in your posts.



What about the content from the old Help Forum?



The content from the Google Help Groups will not disappear, but we are closing the Help Groups from additional new posts. You can post all your questions and answers in the new Google Help Forum. Don't worry -- you'll still be able to search and read previously posted Google Help Groups content through the Help Center.



Definitely stop by the new Help Forum, give us feedback on what you like or don't like, and make yourself at home...



See you soon!

The YouTube Team

Posted:
API stands for "Application Programming Interface," but what it means is "open for innovation." Developers write software that enables you to bring elements of YouTube to your website, software application or device, creating whole new portals of possibility.



Our API blog keeps developers in-the-know on the latest happenings in the YouTube API world, and this page on YouTube gives a comprehensive overview of where to start, how to build custom players for your site, widgets to play with, instructional videos, developer forums, and more. On May 27-28, many avid developers will convene in San Francisco for the Google I/O developer conference to learn from each other and share best practices.



While all those tech-heads are getting together, we wanted to start a new series in this blog that shows you the best of the fruits of their labor. For example, take the upload. Sure, you can go to YouTube and click the yellow "upload" button on the homepage. But there are actually many ways for a video to go from point A (your recording device) to B (YouTube), all made possible by creative use of APIs:



* Android 1.5 sports a one-click upload process which happens in the background so you can do other things while the video is being uploaded. Learn more about it in this Google Mobile blog post.

* iMovie has one-step publishing to YouTube. Apple has details here.

* Qik automatically updates your live stream to YouTube once the stream is completed. Go to the Qik site here for more info.

* Eye.Fi offers an SD (Secure Digital) card that you can insert into your digitial camera enabling you to upload videos wirelessly from the camera to YouTube. Read a product review from the Washington Post here.

* Flip is an ultra-portable digital camcorder with software that makes it easy to upload recorded videos to YouTube. The camera plugs directly into your computer's USB port.




Then there are some pretty cool slideshow apps, which make it easy to turn photos into videos:



* Animoto heralds itself "the end of the slideshow."

* One True Media "perfectly mixes" your life for family and friends.

* Aquasoft sells slideshow creation software.




And games. You probably already know about SPORE's Creature Creator app, which blew up on YouTube last summer. Turns out, there are other games making good use of YouTube's API:



* PixelJunk Eden fans can capture video of game recordings and upload directly to YouTube. More info in our API blog here.

* GoldenTee gives you the option to upload to your YouTube account if you make a great shot. There's a wireless connection inside each game, meaning that if you're in an arcade or bar without an Internet connection you can still upload videos worthy of bragging rights.




What YouTube apps have you seen that made you drool with excitement? Tell us about them in the comments below and we may include them in a future blog post here or in the API blog.



Yours,

Kuan Yong

Product Manager

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Young people today, often referred to as "the Millennial Generation," have been characterized as a group that is particularly passionate about giving back to their communities. That's why YouTube is excited to partner with Do Something on this year's "Do Something Awards," an annual competition that identifies exceptional young social entrepreneurs, activists, and community leaders who are changing the world.



Do Something has selected five finalists who have already made a significant impact in the fields of muscular dystrophy research, global poverty, HIV/AIDS awareness, voting enfranchisement, and education for refugees. All five of the inspirational young finalists will receive $10,000 for their cause, but only one will receive the Grand Prize of $100,000. And it's up to you, YouTube, to decide which cause deserves the money the most:







To learn more about the finalists and the issues they are passionate about, check out these video profiles:







Voting starts today on the Do Something YouTube channel and ends on June 4, when the winner will be announced at a live awards show and concert at the famous Apollo Theater in New York City. So get voting, and if you feel really inspired, do something to inspire change in your community.



Best,

Ramya Raghavan

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

Posted:
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day of remembrance that was first observed in 1868 to pay tribute to Union and Confederate soldiers who had died in the Civil War. Over the years, Americans have commemorated the day in different ways -- from wearing red poppies, to decorating graves, to attending military parades.



More recently, people from across the country -- including the President and several Members of Congress -- are using YouTube to share their reflections on what the day means to them.



Congressman Joe Donnelly of Indiana told the stories of Lance Corporal Cameron Babcock, Sergeant Joseph Ford, and Private Randy Stabnik, three fallen troops from his home district, in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, which he later posted to YouTube:







Congressman Denny Rehberg of Montana uploaded this tribute to his official YouTube channel:







Meanwhile, troops and government employees deployed around the world are sending virtual Memorial Day greetings to their friends and family back home via DIVIDS, an online system for sharing news, images, and video from military operations around the world.



Wishing you a safe Memorial Day weekend.



Best,

U.S. Army SGT Dale Sweetnam

Google Public Affairs



Cross-posted from the Google Public Policy Blog.


Posted:
If you're a fan of high-quality online comedy, get set because Best in Jest, YouTube's recurring comedy collection, returns for another three-week stint. Designed to minimize time spent searching for the funny, the concept is simple: Best in Jest aggregates videos from some of our most popular comedy channels in one place, this time presented by The Hangover, the new Warner Brothers movie directed by Todd Cooper (Old School).



The latest Best in Jest lineup is headlined by Lisa Nova, The Fine Brothers and WickedAwesomeFilms. You can also expect to see such reigning comedy champs as TheOnion and CollegeHumor, alongside first-time jesters like Current. It's like a comedy club for your computer, with a no-drink minimum.







We'll be adding more clips to Best in Jest over the next week, so come back often.



Best,

Mark Day

YouTube Comedy

Posted:
Spacemen floating through the international space station. World leaders sending messages across borders. A life-sized slice of pizza explaining how to apply for a passport. Sound like outtakes from the latest Hollywood movies? Actually, these videos are part of the new U.S. Government portal on YouTube.



That's right, your federal government has come to YouTube. You may have noticed that President Obama has been posting weekly addresses to the White House YouTube channel since inauguration. Now, there are dozens of official federal YouTube channels where you can access footage from NASA, the State Department, the FBI, the CDC, and more. It's all part of making Washington, D.C., more transparent and accessible than ever before -- and helping you easily navigate government information that's relevant to your life.



The U.S. Government channel is located at youtube.com/usgovernment, a nifty hub that links off to dozens of federal government channels on YouTube, from the Social Security Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency, with others to be added in the coming months. Learn more in this video from the White House New Media office, and take a spin through this playlist to see some highlights so far:







Our federal leaders and civil servants aren't just on YouTube to distribute video; they're here to engage with you in a way that only YouTube makes possible. So leave your comments, rankings, and ideas for these agencies on any of their videos to ensure that your voice is heard on the issues you care about. Reach out to your local government as well and encourage local officials to start posting footage to YouTube. By exposing everything from committee hearings to planning meetings, we can make our civic lives more open than ever before. Ultimately, it will help us hold public servants accountable for the jobs we've hired them to do.



Yours,

Steve Grove

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:
In mid-2007, six hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute. Then it grew to eight hours per minute, then 10, then 13. In January of this year, it became 15 hours of video uploaded every minute, the equivalent of Hollywood releasing over 86,000 new full-length movies into theaters each week.



Now, 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and it is a testament to the fact that you've made YouTube your online video home. We couldn't have built this site without your commitment to sharing your thoughts, experiences, and creativity with each other. We have news clips and full-length shows and movies, music videos and how-to content, sports highlights and animation, short films, homegrown videos, and, yes, all the dogs on skateboards you can watch. There's an audience for every type of content on YouTube, and we hope that with all this video, you can find whatever it is you're interested in on the site.



We're still developing new ways to upload videos to YouTube. Today we're launching a feature that allows users to conveniently record a video response immediately after watching a video, making the YouTube experience even more social. When the video you're watching ends, an icon encouraging you to respond will appear in the player. Clicking on the icon will activate your webcam and immediately bring you into the conversation.



So thanks, and let's see if we can get to 24 hours -- a full day's worth of video uploaded every minute.



Ryan Junee

Product Manager

The YouTube Team

Posted:
For today's Music Tuesday, we spotlight the debut recording of singer-songwriter Zee Avi, who, the day before her 22nd birthday, posted a melancholy holiday song on YouTube that she intended to be her last video posting in December 2007.







By the time she checked her email she had almost 3,000 messages, including a slew of label offers. One email came from from Ian Monotone, who had been shown the YouTube clip by Raconteurs' drummer Patrick Keeler, prompting a signing to his label. Avi is now managed by the same team who works with the White Stripes, M.I.A., The Shins and Vampire Weekend, among others. Earlier this year she was flown from her hometown in Malaysia to a recording studio in Los Angeles.



In honor of this talented YouTube's musician's success, today we present an exclusive acoustic mini-concert of songs from Avi's debut CD; the video for her single "Bitter Heart"; and an early song that wasn't titled in 2007 but has since made its way to her new release. We've also got a video blog from Zee Avi herself explaining how uploading her original music to YouTube has landed her a tour of the U.S. after only playing local gigs in Kuala Lumpur.







Have questions for Zee? She has answered a few of them already on her YouTube channel here, including "Are you a lefty?" and her less-than-tech-savvy response.



Cheers,

Michele Flannery

YouTube Music

Posted:
We've seen both nonprofits and the YouTube community use the site to run powerful campaigns that raise awareness for important issues. But we want to do more than just be a platform for grassroots activism. That's where Video for Change comes in: It's a new initiative that helps nonprofit partners connect with you in a high-profile environment to initiate meaningful change.



Our first Video for Change program features an organization called the Enough Project. They've been on YouTube for over a year, calling attention to issues that don't get much coverage in the mainstream media. For the "Come Clean 4 Congo" contest, Enough wants you to create a compelling video about the "conflict minerals" used in cell phones and the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo –- the deadliest war since World War II.


Learn more here:







The creator of the winning video will be flown to Los Angeles, where his or her work will be screened at a star-studded entertainment industry event. Your video will be viewed by a panel of judges that will include Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling, actress Sonya Walger from ABC's Lost, and Oscar-nominated director Wim Wenders. The "Come Clean 4 Congo" contest is limited to U.S. residents -- you can find complete contest rules here.



So do what you do best, YouTube -- get creative. Make a video and submit it at www.youtube.com/enoughproject. Use video to make a change now.



Yours,

Ramya Raghavan

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

Posted:
If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you might remember that a few weeks ago we asked you two questions:



* What three adjectives describe the YouTube of today? #youtubetoday


* What three adjectives describe your ideal YouTube of the future? #youtubefuture



We were collecting these responses for an internal "visioning" exercise -- that's a fancy design term for wondering what we'd like to be when we grow up. In other words, we have a pretty good sense of what we are today, but we are looking to explore the possible future paths your experience on YouTube could take in the years to come. We're calling this whole effort YouTube Project v51. For you die-hard YouTube fans and blog followers, you may know that we number major releases and just recently reached v39. Well, we wanted to make sure the team thought way into the future, so we chose v51 as a far-off target. (Plus, it brings to mind Area 51 and futuristic alien technology, which seems appropriate.) There are a lot of different design and research methods we're using in YouTube Project v51, and we're looking forward to sharing some of them with you in the weeks to come.



It was fun and inspiring to see the words you came up with to describe the YouTube of today and the YouTube of tomorrow. We plugged the submitted terms into Wordle, a data visualization tool, to come up with tag clouds, and we want to share them with you.



YouTube of Today:






YouTube of Tomorrow:






Big poster versions of these have been hanging in our office micro-kitchens and lots of entertaining, spirited discussions have happened in response to them. It's one of many ways we work to bring your voice into our day-to-day work. These artifacts serve as reminders of why we do what we do: to provide entertaining and powerful experiences to you, our users.



Take a look and tell us what you think -- how would you describe the YouTube of today and of tomorrow? Post your thoughts in the comments below.



Best,

Margaret Stewart

User Experience Manager

The YouTube Team

Posted:
The Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival is a sprawling marketplace featuring hundreds of works by many of the world's up-and-coming auteurs. Thanks to the fifth annual National Film Board of Canada's Short Film Competition, you can check out 10 of the best films that the Corner has to offer, all from the comfort of your own computer screen.



Selected from over 1,400 submissions from 60 different countries, these films represent an exciting mix of genres and styles. To see the 10 finalists just visit the NFB's YouTube channel. Voting is as easy as rating the films using the YouTube one-to-five-star scale: five stars for your favorites and one star for those you're not so enthusiastic about. With an HD MINI-DV camera going to the winning filmmaker, every vote counts.







Yours,

Nate Weinstein

Film Community Manager

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Have you ever wondered how to build an audience on YouTube and then turn that following into a powerful business? Well, Michael Buckley, writer, producer and star of entertainment news show "What the Buck?," has done just that. (Read all about him in the New York Times.)



Now he's offered to share the secrets of his success with you.



To ask Buckley a question, or to vote on questions submitted so far, click on this link. You'll have until Monday, May 18, 10am PT, to have your say. Then, in a couple of weeks, we'll post a video to this blog with his answers to the most popular questions. We hope you'll take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from one of YouTube's foremost user-experts.



Thanks,

Curtis Lee

Product Marketing Manager

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Today is World Red Cross Day and the commemoration marks over 60 years of the Red Cross preparing communities for emergencies and providing disaster relief to those in need. Over the past few years, the organization has been using YouTube to help achieve these objectives.



For example, the British Red Cross posted this nine-video how-to series about first aid. The videos cover everything from how to perform CPR to how to treat a burn. Not to be outdone, the American Red Cross has just uploaded sixteen very pertinent videos all about swine flu, including information about how it spreads and how to prevent infection.



In addition, today the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will launch an ambitious new campaign, called "Our World. Your Move," which aims to raise awareness of today's most pressing humanitarian challenges and highlight the power of individuals to make a difference. Interested in taking part? This animated short can serve as your introduction:







Yours,
Ramya Raghavan

YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

Posted:
Last week on the Senate Hub, Senator of the Week Byron Dorgan (D-ND) asked for your ideas on energy policy, noting the fact that the Senate is currently in the process of drafting new energy legislation.



Using Google Moderator, you submitted a number of specific suggestions including installing solar panels on government buildings and addressing those terrifying "vampire devices" (appliances that sit idle continuously wasting electricity). In this video, Senator Dorgan responds to your top-rated suggestions:








If you'd like to continue the conversation with Senator Dorgan about energy policy, you can visit his YouTube channel and post a comment or a video response.




Yours,

Ramya Raghavan

YouTube News & Politics

Posted:




Creating YouTube videos with your phone is simpler and faster than ever before. If you have a camera phone with video capture, post your video by sending an email or MMS to your unique YouTube email address (more details at www.youtube.com/mobile). And with the Android 1.5 release, it's even easier to create YouTube videos on Android-powered phones -- you can send them straight to your YouTube account by tapping the 'share' button and selecting YouTube. With the Android YouTube application you can also view your favorites and playlists, access your subscriptions, and share videos.



Sharing videos on YouTube is just one of many new features on Android 1.5. Check out our video to learn more:







Best,

David Stewart

Product Marketing

The YouTube Team

Posted:
Starting today, signing up for YouTube means signing up for a Google Account that gives you access to YouTube, as well as other Google services such as iGoogle, Reader and Docs. If you already have a Google Account, you can choose to link your new YouTube Account to it, which means one less password to remember.



You can still sign up for YouTube with any email address and you'll still need to confirm whatever email address you enter. You'll also still pick a unique YouTube username that identifies you to the YouTube community.



So why are we doing this? We feel that by jointly connecting accounts, you can take greater advantage of our services both on YouTube and on Google, especially as we start to roll out new features in the future that will be powered by Google technology.



For those of you who already have a YouTube Account, don't worry, you'll still be able to enjoy YouTube with just a YouTube Account. But some of the new features we roll out down the road may require a Google Account. In these cases, we'll be there to help you link your YouTube Account to a Google Account if you want to check the features out.



Cheers,

James Phillips

Software Engineer

The YouTube Team

Posted:
We woke up this morning to good news: YouTube Live won three different Webby Awards in both the Web and Online Film/Video categories for live events and webcasts. Thank you so much for voting! We're proud to be in such great company; many of the other winners also have a formidable presence on YouTube, among them TED (Best Use of Video or Moving Image), The Onion (Humor), FailBlog (Humor, Weird - People's Voice), and Lonely Planet (Travel - People's Voice).



We're also thrilled to see that Live staples DJ Mike Relm and Virgin America were Honorees for outstanding content created for YouTube Live (click here for Relm's Lionsgate mashup and here for Virgin's "Epilogue" video by LisaNova). Relm will be performing at the Webbys, on June 8 in NYC, and he's already created a twisted "thank you" speech/promo video:







We're looking forward to celebrating with you on June 8. In fact, this year we're teaming up with the Webbys to create a front row experience on the Webbys' new customized YouTube channel, which will contain the winners' five-word acceptance speeches, celebrity interviews and show highlights.



Enjoy,

Chris Di Cesare

Director, Marketing

The YouTube Team

Posted:
At midnight on May 15, the clock starts ticking on a 48-hour YouTube contest that will catapult two users onto the Cannes Croisette at the very moment that the world’s advertising community is in town for their annual get-together at the Cannes Lions advertising festival.



The two victors of this online iteration of the Young Lions Film Competition will form a YouTube team that will take on 37 others from around the world in a week-long challenge to shoot and edit a 60-second commercial on behalf of a charity.









In terms of the YouTube competition, would-be winners (who must be 28 or younger) will be able to see the brief from midnight on May 15. They will then have to upload their finished ads to the Cannes Lions channel within 48 hours, and then embark on a quest for clicks and kudos before the curtain comes down on the competition on June 1.



A panel of industry professionals will review the entries (as well as views, ratings and the profile of the ad) before announcing the winners. So stay tuned to the Cannes Lions channel for more information, review the efforts of those who have gone before you, and make sure your creative juices are set to flow forth once the starting pistol is fired on May 15.



Have fun,

Jamie Dolling

The YouTube Team