Posted:
Here's what we're diggin' this week:



Big Joe:


I love me some magic! XCmanipulator is an up-and-coming magician. Though you really don't learn much about him from his videos, you can tell he's a young man who has his sights set on perfecting trick after trick. I've been one of his subscribers for a while now, and when I saw him perform Jay Sankey's "Outsiders" I knew what my pick of the week would be. Check out this video and be amazed!






Mia:

I swore I would never go to Burning Man. And then, in a you-only-live-once spasm, I changed my mind. That I would be six months pregnant during my first jaunt to the desert only added to my feeling that this would be a very life-affirming experience. And it was. I don’t think you’ll ever find a place as free-spirited and judgment-free as Black Rock City, where anything goes and smiles are in no short supply. This video reminds me of those joyous, multicolored late summer days.






Sadia:

There is a war going on. A war I didn't even know about. A war on...Vegemite. Yes...Vegemite. Some of you might ask, "What is Vegemite?" To that I would answer, "I have no idea but that doesn't mean I don't care." I do care. I care about condiments. I care about yeast on bread (just ask my roommate how much nutritional yeast I can consume on toast or popcorn). I care about holding on to something sacred. And apparently I'm not the only one. Hugh from HughsNews is leading the troops fighting the war on Vegemite. Nowhere have I seen such love, determination, and bravery as I have seen from this man. At ease, soldier, you've done Vegemite proud.





See ya,

The YouTube Programming Team

Posted:
It's Bad Hair Day City around these parts (for those with hair), as many YouTubers were up very late making some improvements to the site. Hopefully you've noticed that it's moving a lot faster these days.



Here are some more highlights from the long night:


**VIDEO ADDED 2/25**







FRIENDS-ONLY MESSAGING: Let's say you just want to hear from people you know and love. There's a new setting in your in-box that will allow you only to receive messages from your contacts. Plus note that messages are all on one page now, so no more endless paging.



FREE MUSIC FOR YOUR VIDEOS: Need a soundtrack to go with your sick slam dunk or bedroom disco dance? Go to Test Tube and start tinkering with Audio Swap, a new feature that enables you to replace the song on your video with music from a library of free tracks donated by our music partners.



GUEST EDITOR PROGRAM LAUNCHES: JackDanyells was the brave soul who attempted this first, and we couldn't be happier with the videos he selected and the brilliant video he made about the process. Hundreds of folks have written in wanting to participate, so bear with us as we review submissions and pick the next lucky tastemakers.



CHANNEL PAGE ENHANCEMENTS: Some of you were not too keen when the Comments area shifted to the right side of your Channel page, so now you have a choice and can move it back to the left if you like. You'll also notice that your most recently uploaded video plays at the top of your page (if you'd like a different video to play, set a custom URL here), and friends can now be removed from your Channel.



FIND A GURU TO FOLLOW: Last time we met, we told you about a new type of account (Guru) for those with special gifts to share with the world. So far over 15,000 folks have signed up for Guru status and now there's a browse page just for their kind.



A BETTER HOME FOR BLOGGERS: We found that bloggers didn't know whether to place themselves in the People category or in the News & Blogs group, splitting up this critical community. We solved that problem by renaming the People category People & Blogs, and News & Blogs became News & Politics. Also: Video Games morphed into Gadgets & Games, and Science & Technology became Howto & DIY.



Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading.



Adios amigos,

Mia

The YouTube Team

Posted:
From time to time, we YouTube editors stumble upon videos that speak to us on an intensely personal level – we’re not sure everyone will love these clips as much as we do, but we nevertheless want to make our affections known and give you a glimpse into our personal tastes. With that, we anoint Tuesday "Staff Pick of the Week" Day and vow to share our highly subjective favorite videos here in this blog and on our individual YouTube channels.



Big Joe:


One of my first homepage features was "Piece of Mind" by VancouverFilmSchool. It was a perfectly blended mix of CG animation and live action. Ori's film became a runaway success and really helped me gain confidence in my feature selections. To me, the message of the film was to break free from your confines, though I'm sure it resonated differently with everyone. No matter how the film made you feel, it certainly made you wonder, "How did they pull this off?!" VFS just released "The Making of Piece of Mind" - now we all can know!






Mia:


I am a sucker for all things Scottish. That brogue always brings me to my knees, and when it's combined with semi-sad folk music it's all over for me (calling periurban!). Folk singer James Yorkston doesn’t so much sing here as a craft a wistful, existential video poem. I mean, how gorgeous is this? “Now I’ll be leaning over and waking you up/And you’ll squint at me through the cracks between your eyelids/Woozy with cider/As if you’re asking just exactly where we are and exactly what I wanted/And I’ll be happy, as we won’t be taking anything too seriously.” Swoon.






Sadia:


Every once in a while you come across a video that seems to know all of your hidden desires. For me, that's food, blue eye shadow, and doublewide trailers. I know it sounds crazy that there are two people that have those passions, but it's true and my other half is Jolene Sugarbaker: The Trailer Park Queen. If you've never had the pleasure of watching her cooking show, you are missing out on some true entertainment. She pushes the boundaries of American cuisine. Rachel Ray is not inventive enough to come up with "Oatmeal Raisin Asparagus Cookies." And I don't think you'll ever see Martha Stewart making "Circus Peanut Salad." Although I have not tried one of her recipes at home (to be honest, I'm a little afraid to), I regularly check her channel to find out what new cooking adventures are in store.





A bientot,

The YouTube Programming Team

Posted:
Calling all comedy troupes, sketch commandos and improv teams -- Sketchies is back! Our sketch comedy contest blew up big in 2007, and href="http://www.youtube.com/Sketchies2">Sketchies II promises to be even better, with a new creative challenge on the table and a stack of cash to be won. This year's winner will take home $25,000 in cash and $15,000 in video production gear.



You can check out all the details of this year's contest on our Sketchies II channel page: how to enter, what you can win and the deadlines you simply can't miss. If you love to make comedy videos, this is your chance to shine. And it doesn't hurt to have a bit of a competitive streak, because the winner of all that cash is going to have to survive the first round of voting, then make a second video for the final Sketchies II showdown. Last year's contest drew over 5,000 entries and saw many talented video makers rise to the challenge.



Sketchies veterans Lisa Nova and last year's winners, Awkward Pictures, are set to kick off the program and get the comedy rolling. If you need a little extra inspiration, check out last year's winning video:








Think you can do better? Then show the world, and you could end up living your big-bucks comedy dreams.




Cheers,

Mark D.

YouTube Comedy

Posted:
There's been a bit of buzzing on the blogs today with people suggesting that we've taken down a video because we didn't agree with the point of view of its content. This simply isn't true. Unfortunately, we're partially to blame for the confusion because a user was accidentally sent a generic message about inappropriate content instead of the appropriate copyright notice. We corrected the mistake earlier today, once we figured out what had gone wrong.



We realize that sometimes users whose accounts are closed have fans who feel the loss as well. Many of you have written to us requesting that accounts be reinstated. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) actually requires that the accounts of "repeat infringers" be terminated.



We hope this clears up the confusion and want assure everyone that we will never censor videos because they favor one viewpoint over another. We only remove videos for terms of use violation and copyright disputes, as laid out under the DMCA.



For more information about our copyright guidelines and takedown policies, please check out our Help Center.



Thanks for reading,

Mia

The YouTube Team