President Obama set a deadline of August 31, 2010 for ending the combat operation in Iraq and shrinking the U.S. footprint there to no more than 50,000 troops. Tonight, at 8 P.M. ET, the President will address the country from the Oval Office about the status of this effort. You can tune into a live-stream of the speech on YouTube at -- where you’ll also be able to ask the White House follow-up questions on the future of American involvement in Iraq in a special Moderator series. Click here to submit your question now.

If you miss the live address and the Q & A, tune in to Citizentube afterwards where we’ll feature the President’s remarks, the Q & A, and the Republican response to the Administration’s plan in Iraq.

Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics, recently watched Obama to Mark Iraq Handoff in Primetime Speech

This post is part of the “BizBlog Series,” which was formally its own blog. Check back each week to see articles about partners and advertisers on YouTube, or search under the label 'BizBlog'. 

We’re constantly working to give advertisers control and flexibility over their YouTube campaigns. We place great value on this because ads are an extension of what a company represents as a business, and we want YouTube to be a place where that reputation and image can flourish.

To that end, we’ve been rolling out features to keep advertisers in control of their campaigns. We announced one such example last week, when we launched a feature that gives select advertisers the ability to voluntarily age-restrict their videos. But there’s more work to do.

To date, we’ve given advertisers the ability to pick and choose individual videos on YouTube to target using our Video Targeting Tool. But one of the most frequently requested features we’ve heard from advertisers is the ability to exclude individual videos and channels from the campaigns they run on our site. Today, we’re excited to announce video and channel exclusions, a way for advertisers to pick specific YouTube videos and channel URLs that they don’t want their ads to appear on.

Here’s an example: let’s say you run a vegan bakery. You want to strike a balance between good exposure for your baked goods online, while staying true to your company values in offering items free of animal or dairy-products. Now you can indicate which videos are not the best fit for your audience. Since your customers are probably not watching "Homewrecker Hot Dog," you can provide this video exclusion under the "Networks" tab.

Similarly, you might run a keyword-targeted campaign on bakery-related keywords and exclude whole channels that you don’t feel suit your audience. So if FoodNetworkTV has videos centered mostly around cooking meat dishes, you have the controls to prevent ads from showing on that channel and specific videos.

Alternatively, if your ads are appearing on a video that has content you deem inappropriate for your audience, or perhaps isn’t performing in terms of click-through rate or conversions, you can optimize your campaign by using this new feature to exclude it.

Google has also been investing significantly in ensuring brand safety, transparency and control for advertisers across the Google Display Network. We’re hoping that these added layers of control will make your campaign targeting even more precise. Keep sending us your feedback so we can make future product improvements.

Baljeet Singh, Senior Product Manager recently watched “AH NOM NOM: Wholesome Bakery Best Vegan Bakery Food Cart In San Francisco

Five years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast region, crashing through the levees that held the waters of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at bay from the city of New Orleans. Overnight, 80 percent of New Orleans was submerged. To this day, only a fraction of residents in the hardest hit areas, like the Lower Ninth Ward, have returned to their homes.

Today, in partnership with ABC 26 (WGNO), a local television station in New Orleans, we commemorate the anniversary of Katrina with a selection of videos on our homepage from New Orleans residents.

Many of you have taken this anniversary as an occasion to upload videos to YouTube about the disaster and where things stand today, from never-before-seen footage shot in 2005 of the hurricane itself to stories of what it was like to leave your home of more than 50 years behind.

Some videos showed how much work is left to be done, like this one from the Ninth Ward, narrated by a resident returning home to survey the damage five years later:

Others discovered relics left behind but not forgotten:

And some chose to honor their city and its resilient spirit through song:

If you lived through Hurricane Katrina, we still welcome your reflections. Please submit your videos using YouTube Direct on ABC 26’s website. A selection of videos will also be featured on, ABC 26’s YouTube channel, and broadcast on ABC 26 (WGNO).

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched “Rebirth Brass Band: Do Watcha Wanna (in the French Quarter)

For our second cross-post from the Guggenheim’s The Take blog, inspired by YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video, Jaime Davidovich pontificates on YouTube as “public access gone ballistic” and how the 21st century artist might deal with the site’s cacophony of image and sound.

Davidovich was one of the first artists to recognize cable television for its potential for contemporary art, producing
The Live! Show, a weekly public-access television program that featured avant-garde performances, artwork, political satire and social commentary. He’s currently working on pieces for his YouTube channel, as well as “video paintings,” or video images projected onto a gestural painting surface. You can read his original article here.

In his recent book Feedback: Television Against Democracy (2007), David Joselit challenges artists with a manifesto that echoes a sentiment common among us: "How is your image going to circulate? Use the resources of the 'art world' as a base of operations, but don't remain there. Use images to build publics."

I have been practicing Joselit's principle since 1976, putting art into the public arena through public-access television. One of my first programs was The Live! Show, a satirical variety show about the art world, which ran from 1979 to 1984 on New York cable television.

In the series I appeared as Dr. Videovich, my alter ego, interviewing artists such as Eric Bogosian, Tony Oursler, and Martha Wilson, as well as Marcia Tucker, founder of the New Museum, and the present-day director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Richard Armstrong. The idea of The Live! Show was to showcase art on a popular medium — TV — allowing people to watch these works in the comfort of their homes.

Continuing the first-come, first-serve spirit of public-access TV, YouTube, with the tagline "Broadcast Yourself," is the current medium for circulating art outside the pristine walls of the art gallery. YouTube is public access gone ballistic — an anarchist brain on steroids. While public-access television was one channel at a time, YouTube features dozens of channels at the same time, and they are not listed anywhere, but found by user searching. And while public-access television was low tech and a 30-minute format, YouTube is all tech and features short clips with a maximum length of 15 minutes. I currently have a work on YouTube that is a close-up video of a delete key with audio accompaniment. The concept of this piece is to provide a break in the cacophonous overload of YouTube images and sound.

I am a conflictivist, an artist who explores the conflict between high and low culture. The artist of the 21st century cannot live solely in the art world or the “real world.” Rather, he or she should commute between the two.

How should artists today deal with new forms and media? Please comment below (note comments are moderated due to spam) or directly on The Take.

Starting today, you can experience YouTube in four new languages: Croatian, Filipino, Serbian and Slovak. This brings the grand total of languages we support to 28, a nearly 50% increase since the beginning of 2010. (And remember: by selecting automated captions on a video, you can experience that video in over 50 languages.) Take a look at the languages we've launched since the start of YouTube:

By the end of this year, our goal is to offer the YouTube experience in 40 languages, doubling the number we started with at the top of 2010. With each new rollout, we hope to make YouTube a bit more accessible to more people, regardless of where in the world they might live. For more information, please watch the “YouTube Answers: Worldwide” video, which tackles your most popular questions about our international sites and operations.

Brian Truong, Product Manager, recently watched “Flower Warfare - Behind the Scenes.”

Win/Fail, a trivia-based game show from the people behind POPTUB and FAILBlog, is all about YouTube: its history and lore, heroes and controversial characters, smash hits and cult favorites. Snarky questions range from noob-friendly to topics that would challenge even the most grizzled YouTube vets. In its first iteration, Win/Fail racked up over 18 million views; for v2, they’ve added Dustin Diamond (aka Screech from Saved by the Bell) as the voice of the show, as well as the opportunity to play for a real prize. So, no Rickrolling this time. Honest.

As part of our ongoing series of
Creator’s Corner posts focused on the people who make cool videos on YouTube, here’s a Q&A with the team behind the show.

1) Where did the idea for Win/Fail come from?
Not too long ago, we produced over 450 episodes of POPTUB, a daily best-of-YouTube show. This resulted in a staggering, even embarrassing, amount of YouTube knowledge. We needed to know we weren’t alone in that. The response to the first game made us feel a little better.

2) How can one study to be an"Olympian of YouTube knowledge"?
Much like the SATs, it’s more about everything you’ve absorbed, over your entire YouTube lifetime, leading up to one moment of truth. You can’t really study.

If you insist on cramming, however, this is a pretty good place to start; YouTube’s new Charts page works, too.

To ace the game, you’ll need either a) encyclopedic knowledge of YouTube or b) keen observational skills to pick up on subtle hints dropped liberally throughout the videos.

3) How do you decide what to put in each episode?
First, we planned to make an entire 25-question series about Drinking Out of Cups, but then thought better of it. We try to choose videos most people will be familiar with and then throw in a few personal favorites.

4) One piece of advice you’d give to other video producers?
Find a great partner to work with to help promote your content. We are big fans of our friends at FAILBlog.

5) Little known fact about Win/Fail?
Win/Fail v1 was voiced by our good buddy PJ Morrison. You might recognize his voice from Law & Order.

For more info about Win/Fail, contact Maureen Traynor at Embassy Row.

Summer is coming to a close here in the U.S., but that also means a renewed palette of television is around the corner. The Fall TV Preview is here to help guide you through the slate of new and returning shows from major broadcast and cable networks. Co-presented by our friends at EntertainmentWeekly, the program offers bite-sized previews of scripted shows, reality TV, comedies, dramas and more.

We’ll also be featuring a playlist of Entertainment Weekly’s latest interviews with the hottest TV stars, so you’ll be well-equipped to speculate on this season’s break-out hits and potential misses.

Fall TV Preview is live through September 13.

Mark Day, Comedy Manager, recently watched “Fall TV 2010 - 'Fringe' Part 1.”

Government police shutting down farmer’s protests in China. A tobacco company employing under-age workers in Kazakhstan. Iranian merchants striking to protest tax increases in Tehran. We've seen stories like these on our computers and phones every day, and we've been documenting many of them on our breaking news feed on Citizentube over the past few months. Videos like these are more than just breaking news images; they're often political statements meant to bring about change.

Earlier this summer we started a blog series with WITNESS, a human rights video advocacy and training organization, examining the role of online video in human rights. So far we’ve talked about why video matters to human rights and how you can protect yourself and the people you film when uploading to YouTube. In this post, we want to raise some key topics about the future of human rights video online, and to hear your thoughts and ideas in a special Moderator series that we've set up on these questions:

How can uploaders balance privacy concerns with the need for wider exposure?

YouTube and other websites give citizens the opportunity to tell stories that would otherwise not get get heard. But what if wider exposure could be harmful to the people you’ve captured on video? At Google and YouTube, we talk a lot about the privacy of your personal data, but what about the privacy of your personal visual identity? There are some exciting technologies that can automatically identify human faces in digital media, but the implications of these technologies need to be considered carefully: if improperly implemented, they could make it even easier for governments and oppressive regimes to identify, track down and arrest activists or protesters (this has happened in Burma and Iran). While we’ve said before that people should consider blurring the faces in human rights videos and getting consent from those they film, inevitably judgment calls need to be made by uploaders who are trying to get footage out quickly to massive audiences to raise awareness. How do you think uploaders can find the right balance?

How can we stay alert to human rights footage without getting de-sensitized to it?

What image first opened your eyes to a human rights issue? In the past, in many countries, human rights images were largely filtered through the news media. But today, nearly everyone has seen a video or photo on the Internet that has made them aware of injustice. With access to these kinds of images getting easier, and more stories appearing from more places, the sheer quantity of this content risks either overwhelming viewers, or desensitizing us to its value. Researchers, educators and legislators are all thinking about how to build media literacy for the virtual age -- and human rights is a growing part of that discussion. How do you think people can stay alert to the power of these images without becoming immune to them?

Does human rights content online require some kind of special status?

As many of the examples in this blog series illustrate, human rights video is unique, and it requires special consideration by viewers, activists, legislators and online platforms. At YouTube, our terms of service carve out special exceptions for videos that have educational, scientific, or documentary value. But in many cases, human rights content is subjective and requires special interpretation -- and now that video can spread far and wide and can easily be reused and remixed beyond its original context (including by human rights abusers themselves), it’s even more important to follow some common guidelines. Every online hosting platform on the web has its own policies for dealing with this content and slowly, a new set of ethics and guidelines is developing in this arena. What do you think those guidelines should look like? And do you think human rights video deserves some kind of special status across the web? Why or why not?

We’d like to hear your thoughts on these questions. Submit your responses or questions to our Moderator series on Citizentube, in video or in text, and we’ll continue the conversation with thoughts on some of your top-voted submissions in a future post.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, YouTube, and Sameer Padania for WITNESS

This post is part of the “BizBlog Series,” which was formally its own blog. Check back each week to see articles about partners and advertisers on YouTube, or search under the label 'BizBlog'. 

Getting elected to the House or Senate these days is no longer as easy as putting up some yard signs, holding babies and smiling at the local senior center. With 68% of U.S. voters heading online before they vote to do research on local ballot initiatives, being online is crucial to getting elected. For the last couple of election cycles, we have seen how important it is for politicians and issue advocacy groups to maintain channels on YouTube — but when it comes to advertising, most campaigns get their messages to constituents through online ads across search and the Google Display Network with tactics like Google Blasts.

This cycle, dozens of races in 15 battleground states are incorporating a different ad format into their campaigns: In-Stream Ads. Using In-Stream Ads, candidates and issue advocacy groups have reached millions of U.S. voters this primary season. The best part? It straddles that line between digital and TV advertising: most campaign managers and political agencies are taking their standard made-for-TV 30-second ads and simply re-purposing them to run on YouTube. Campaigns can target locations (like their state or district), as well as content categories on YouTube, allowing them to tailor their message to specific groups of constituents. For example, a candidate interested in reaching young moms might target nutrition, fitness, health and parenting categories.

Defeat the Debt, a non profit group driving issue awarenessof the national debt, has already reached over 1 million people by running In-Stream ads across the country. In some markets they have even opted to run In-Stream instead of TV ads due to their effectiveness. Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett has also run In-Stream Ads in conjunction with his television campaigns, reaching almost 500K potential voters in Wisconsin on YouTube. Senatorial candidates Marco Rubio (Florida) and Dino Rossi (Washington) have also implemented campaigns.

While we can’t predict how politicians will actually do once they’re elected, it’s clear that their campaigns are taking advantage of the latest ways to engage and inform voters on important issues in 2010.

Amy Barth, In-Stream Ads Specialist, Google Elections and Issue Advocacy, recently watched ”Guy Walks Across America

We're always inspired by the people who use YouTube as a way to document how the other half lives, and Mark Horvath is a great example. As the founder of Invisible People. tv, a project that encourages homeless people across the United States to tell their stories on YouTube, he has sparked a discussion on the site about poverty and hunger. Mark's videos are a raw and real depiction of what it's like to live in a tent city, under an overpass, or within a cardboard box. Today, we're featuring a few of these videos on the YouTube homepage, and we’re pleased for Mark to speak further about his work right here.

1) Why did you start Invisible People. tv, and specifically, Road Trip U. S. A. ?
Sixteen years ago, I had a very good job in the television industry. Fifteen years ago, I became homeless, living on Hollywood Boulevard. I rebuilt my life to a point where I had a three-bedroom house and a 780 credit score, then in 2007 the economy took a nosedive. Like many Americans, I found myself unemployed, living off my credit cards, and hoping for the best. The best never came, but several layoffs — along with foreclosure on my house — did.

By November 2008, I found myself once again laid off. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and, to be honest, I was scared of once again living on the streets of Hollywood. I could see homelessness all around me, but I couldn’t bear to look. I was turning away because I felt their pain.

Don't waste a good crisis. It’s a simple concept and it’s how InvisiblePeople. tv started. For the most part I had lost everything but some furniture, my car, a box of photos, laptop, small camera, and my iPhone. My laptop could not cut video because it had a 5400 drive. Videos need to have a music bed, nice graphics, b-roll and be well-produced. But after looking at what I didn't have and all the problems that were stopping me, I decided to just use what I had. I registered a domain, changed the header on a WordPress theme, grabbed my camera, and started to interview people.

I honestly didn't think anyone would even view the videos. I was really doing it to release something that was deep down inside me, and to be candid, to keep busy. It was a really dark time and InvisiblePeople. tv gave me a purpose.

I'll never forget going into the first tent city. It was 400 yards in a wooded area where no help could easily arrive if I found myself in trouble. I questioned my sanity walking in there with a camera and a bag of socks. One smart thing I did was blast what I was doing all over social media so people could feel like they were right there with me. That day my life changed. People started to tweet me encouragement and all kinds of support. The InvisiblePeople. tv road trip was born.

Last year I traveled 11,236 miles around the U.S. in a three-month period. I went under bridges, into tent cities, and walked through many shelters and rundown hotels. There was no way anyone could foresee the impact. I became a catalyst for change in several communities. Housing programs were started; feeding programs were started; 50 homeless kids who could not go to school because they didn't have shoes suddenly had brand new shoes within an hour of my visit thanks to social media. A farmer even donated 40 acres of land that is now even being used to supplement low income families in a local school. I could go on and on.

2) Do you consider your work citizen reporting, activism or a combination of both?
I am a storyteller. I also empower people to tell their own stories. Not sure you could frame me as a citizen journalist or activist even though there are elements to both in what I do. Beth Kanter coins the term "Free Agent" in her book “The Networked Nonprofit.” I like that.

3) Is there one story that has particularly inspired you to keep doing what you're doing?
Last year I met Angela, who is living under a bridge in Atlanta and she changed me. She is dying under that bridge...

When I asked what was being done to help her, the response I received was, "We bring her sandwiches.” Sandwiches are not enough. Up to that point I thought that people should do whatever they can do to help – even if it’s just baking cookies. After meeting Angela I realized people need housing, jobs and health services. So maybe your support level is just baking cookies. That's fine. But don't just randomly hand them out. Take your cookies to an organization that is providing housing, jobs and health services.

4) You've collected hundreds of interviews with homeless people around the world. Why do you think folks are willing to talk to you about their experiences? Are there any special tactics you use to draw out their stories?
The #1 rule is: respect everyone. I never force a story. In fact, the best stories are the ones I never get on camera. That's kind of why I don't feel citizen journalist fits me. I honestly put people before the story.

I also use socks to break the ice. Socks on the streets are like gold. Almost all organizations, churches or groups will feed homeless people. In most parks where homeless hang out churches will feed the same people all day long, but rarely are socks handed out. By handing a homeless person a clean pair of socks, even without saying a word, they know I know a thing or two about street life.

Once someone agrees to an interview and the camera is recording, I simply do my best to be a good listener. That's not always easy when my heart gets wrecked.

5) At the end of each video, you ask your subject, "If you had three wishes, what would they be?" What are your three wishes?
Back years ago, working as a TV producer, if an interview went dry I would distract and refocus by asking people their three wishes. When I first started InvisiblePeople. tv, I did it once in a while. I didn't know the impact that question had on the viewers. Then last year, when I spoke at the University of Arkansas, the organizer secretly had everyone in the audience write on large, white poster board their three wishes. When I was done speaking, they all held them up to show me. Talk about a powerful memory! From that moment on I have asked everyone what their three wishes are.

My first wish would be that people really see the reality of homelessness; second, that we develop communities and work as a team to solve this social crisis. The third? I would like security and normalcy in my life, but with a name like Hardly Normal, it's never going to happen!

Please always remember: the homeless people you’ll ignore today were much like you not so long ago.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "Cliff".

Inspired by YouTube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video, the Guggenheim has launched a terrific blog called The Take, featuring writings by scholars, artists and other experts on topics like online video, digital content, the history of video art, and the effects of the Internet on art and culture. Naturally, some of what’s being covered has strong connections to YouTube, and so the kind folks at the Guggenheim have allowed us to cross-post here.

This post is from writer/curator Michael Connor, founder of the
Marian Spore contemporary art museum in Brooklyn and co-curator of the permanent exhibition “Screen Worlds” at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Connor also teaches at the School of Visual Arts and New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program. You can read his original post here.

"The transmission of art exhibitions by television is the beginning of an era when the public will be taught to appreciate great works of art, seeing them in their homes.”

This was the prediction made in a report written by one E. Robb for the BBC way back in 1933, less than a year after their first experimental television broadcast. For Robb, art on television meant pointing a camera at a painting or sculpture.

More than three decades later, a German filmmaker named Gerry Schum had a similar idea. In those days, West Berlin was cut off from the rest of West Germany by the Iron Curtain. In 1968 Schum wrote that “not only must works of art be flown into the city, also critics and visitors from West Germany experience difficulty in reaching Berlin.” Television, he realized, could allow artworks and visitors to be connected across such long distances and closed borders.

West Berlin’s plight is partly what inspired Schum to start an art gallery on television. Fernseh-Galerie (Television Gallery), as it was called, was a pioneering series of video art commissioned by Schum, including two broadcast exhibitions in 1969 and 1970. The first exhibition, Land Art, was broadcast on the public station Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) on April 15, 1969. Many notable artists contributed films that were then transferred to videotape, including Jan Dibbets, Richard Long, Walter de Maria, Dennis Oppenheim, and Robert Smithson.

My favorite piece produced by the gallery is Jan Dibbets’s TV as Fireplace. Between December 25 and 31, 1969, public television station WDR III in Cologne rebroadcast Dibbets’s video of a burning fire every night for three minutes. The logs were lit on the first night, and the fire grew in intensity before slowly dying on the last one. Perfectly site specific, Dibbets’s piece turned the home’s cathode-ray tube into a flickering fire for just a few moments at a historical moment when the TV set had gone a long way toward replacing the hearth as the focal point of domestic space.

Watching TV as Fireplace on YouTube would of course be completely different. Online video shatters the direct link that Dibbets made between physical viewing environment and moving image. Given that audiences may now watch videos on an iPhone at the beach or a computer at the office, is it still possible for artists to create this kind of dialogue between the physical space of viewing and the space on-screen?

What do you think? Please comment below (note comments are moderated due to spam) or directly on The Take.

Five years ago, on August 29, Hurricane Katrina began battering the Gulf Coast region, destroying homes, schools and businesses, and submerging the city of New Orleans under water. The deadly hurricane claimed over a thousand lives, left hundreds of thousands without homes, and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage, amounting to one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. Despite these challenges, the resilient spirit of the Big Easy has helped the city and its residents rebound and rebuild.

In 9 days we will commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with a collection of videos on the YouTube homepage created by New Orleans area residents. In partnership with ABC 26 (WGNO), a local television station in New Orleans, we invite Gulf Coast region residents to reflect on the five years since Katrina and submit videos using YouTube Direct on ABC 26’s website. A selection of videos will also be featured on, ABC 26’s YouTube channel, and broadcast on ABC 26.

Did you live through Hurricane Katrina and have a story to share? Upload your video here:

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched “Vaccarella Family - Hurricane Katrina

This post is part of the “BizBlog Series,” which was formally its own blog. Check back each week to see articles about partners and advertisers on YouTube, or search under the label 'BizBlog'.

Update: As of December 1st, 2011, you will start to see Promoted Videos referred to as TrueView in-search and TrueView in-display.

For big advertisers on YouTube, the YouTube homepage is often seen as the holy grail. It's the highest-profile placement on YouTube, providing marketers with the ability to deliver a big impact and drive attention to content, trailers or advertising. To give you an idea of the scale we’re talking about, the homepage has been delivering nearly 45 million impressions per day and 18 million unique visitors a day in the U.S. — that's the equivalent to the ratings of several top-rated prime-time television shows combined. While impressions and unique visitors are never guaranteed, users who visit the homepage are actively looking for the next video to watch, so advertisers naturally want to be part of the action.

A little known fact is that a few days each quarter, we open up the YouTube homepage to Promoted Video advertisers. These companies end up getting a bit of extra exposure from their campaigns. There are a couple of ways to make sure your ads show up on the homepage, should the opportunity arise. First, log into your AdWords account, and under "Campaign Settings," consider the following:
  • In order for Promoted Videos ads to appear on YouTube browse pages, watch pages, and on the homepage, select "Display Network" 
  • To appear *only* on YouTube placements, select "Relevant pages only on the placements I manage" and add as a managed placement. 
  • To appear *only* on the homepage, select "Relevant pages only on the placements I manage" and add as a managed placement 
  • Set a specific bid for the homepage and keep in mind that it is a more competitive placement 
  • Please note: this feature is only available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and The U.S. 
Because the dates we run Promoted Videos on the YouTube homepage vary, we unfortunately don't have a set schedule to provide to our advertisers. However, we typically know about 48 hours in advance. If you have a managed account, you can ask your Google representative to let you know when these opportunities arise so that you can increase your bids to improve your chances of showing up.

Several advertisers – large and small – have found great success showing Promoted Videos on the homepage. One YouTube advertiser, Dynomighty Design, grew their entire business by using Promoted Videos and getting placements on the YouTube homepage. Founder Terrence Kelleman says: "YouTube helps us sell our product, learn about our audience and build a strong brand image. And as a small company with a limited advertising budget, YouTube has become our main advertising strategy. Not only are costs low with Promoted Videos, but healthy conversions also make YouTube our #1 referring site in terms of traffic and revenue." To read more about Dynomighty's story, check out their original YouTube video and their feature on the Official Google Blog.

The YouTube homepage has a captive, engaged audience and it's our goal to let advertisers understand how best to reach customers that would be interested in hearing from them. For more information about advertising on YouTube, visit, and for more information on Promoted Videos, check out

Mark Sabec, Product Marketing Manager, recently checked out YouTube Show & Tell, home of the best creative marketing examples on YouTube.

What’s the latest in the all-time most viewed video smackdown between Bieber and Gaga? Is David After Dentist pwning Charlie Bit My Finger? Who grabbed more subscribers this month, ShayCarl or Annoying Orange?

These are the big questions on the lips of the YouTube community. To help answer them, we're launching “YouTube Charts” to give you a clear view of how your favorite videos and creators stack up against each other. You can sort charts by “today,” “this week” and “all time.”

We’d love to hear your suggestions on which charts you’d like to see. Best newcomer? Most shared video? Fastest to a million views? Let us know right here, in the forum discussion on this topic.

Matt Darby, Product Manager, recently watched “Hot Chip - I Feel Better.”

This week marks the last session of our summer series, but do not fret, all of the fascinating lectures and material we’ve surfaced for you over the weeks will still be available on YouTube EDU. In only six weeks, we’ve learned some interesting things about topics ranging from classical mechanics and differential equations to exploring drawing techniques and French history. While we’ve had fun pulling these videos together into topic playlists, we hope you take some time on your own to explore the vast array of educational videos on YouTube. Who knows, maybe you’re really an entomologist at heart!

Our parting gift is a handful of lectures about economics. But before we go, the answers to your final YouTube EDU quiz for summer 2010:

1) Worker bees and queen bees start life with the exact same genome, so what external factor distinguishes the queen bee from all others? the queen eats royal jelly
2) Dartmouth guest lecturer Terry Chapin has published nine books and over 300 papers that have been cited more than 27,000 times. What musical instrument does he play? fiddle
3) Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station tracks white sharks off the coast of California near what islands? Farallon Islands

Alright, get out there and enjoy the rest of your summer before it’s too late!

Mandy Albanese, Communications Associate, recently watched “The Economics of Happiness.”

This is the second post in the “BizBlog Series,” which was formally its own blog. Check back each week to see articles about partners and advertisers on YouTube, or search under the label 'BizBlog'. 

There is an audience for every kind of video on YouTube, from beauty videos to Ultimate Fighting. Because of this diversity, it's important that we provide advertisers with tools that give them control of where their ads are shown, and to whom. Innovations like the Video Targeting Tool and re-marketing are only two of the many ways we've given advertisers greater control of their YouTube presence and helped them get in front of the exact audience they want to reach.

While advertisers have great targeting options for their ads (like overlays and in-stream ads), sometimes they want similar controls when it comes to their videos themselves. For example, gaming companies or movie studios may wish to upload trailers to YouTube that highlight content rated for audiences above a certain age. Or, alcoholic beverage companies want to ensure that the videos they upload as part of their campaigns are only made available to registered users above the legal drinking age.
For these reasons, we're pleased to offer a new feature that allows select advertisers to voluntarily age-restrict watch pages for their videos. This is a long-requested feature by many advertisers interested in promoting their products, but who want to be sure that they comply with their own industry guidelines regulations. Advertisers have always been able to age-restrict their channels generally, but to date only users could flag specific videos that they thought should be age-restricted under our Community Guidelines. Now, advertisers can do so proactively, and can choose different ages depending on their needs. Several advertisers have already tested this new feature, including alcoholic beverage companies. Through age-restricting, companies like Pacifico have uploaded their videos to YouTube with confidence that they will only be viewed by the right target demographic.

We're constantly looking to build tools and features that make YouTube a safer place for users, partners and advertisers. We hope that voluntary age-restricting will increase advertiser flexibility and control while staying true to our responsibilities as a trusted video platform.

Advertisers wishing to age-restrict their content should reach out to their account representatives.

Alice Wu, Head of Ads Policy, recently watched “Drunkhungrybear Double KFC Drive-Thru 7-6-10."

We recently announced that we’d be adding some new kinds of posts to this blog, and today we’re happy to run the first from the Creator’s Corner, which is devoted to the process of videomaking and all of the people who wow us with their creativity, ingenuity and passion. You can now find posts that used to be in the Creator's Corner in this blog, and we encourage you to leave a comment below with the username of anyone you'd like to learn a little more about.

First up, we caught up with kamapazzo, a 26-year-old motion-graphic designer who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and has spent time in Beirut teaching workshops about visual and stop-motion animation. His “escalator animations” surprise and delight; read more about how they came to be below.

1) What gave you this idea?
I was at the Istanbul airport, standing with my luggage next to a very long escalator. I had nothing to do; I was just intensely watching the handrail, when suddenly I thought, “Hey, I can use it for an animation!” Then I realized how easy it could have been sticking on the handrail. Also, in that period I was studying the great work of Norman McLaren; at the beginning of his career he was painting directly on film. I thought that my escalator animation could have been a kind of tribute to his wonderful work of abstraction. McLaren is my first inspiration. He was always experimenting with new techniques, including inventing a way to make sound painting directly on film.

So, when I came home from the airport, I made a test with the stickers, as I was not so sure about the result. But actually it was working; I liked the images and I decided to develop a full abstract movie. I started to prepare all the shapes and stickers without having a script or even thinking about a story. I just wanted to use this public space and play with it as a kid, letting my imagination flow. Having fun in the creative process is very important for me; that’s the only way I know to do something fresh, something that could catch the audience unprepared.

The escalator animation could be considered as the following chapter of a video I did last year in Berlin, using a photocopier. I'm enchanted by creating animations starting from things and objects people use in everyday life. With a little bit of imagination, you can see motion and animation everywhere around you.

2) How did you do it?
I started preparing all the paper's shapes: for each one of them I did nine different sizes so that when they moved on the steps you can also see the dimension changing. Then I went shooting for a full day with four friends of mine. A friend and I were on the bottom of the escalator and we were just leaning the shapes on the steps that were going up, and another friend stayed on top sending the shapes back on the steps that were going down. On the opposite side the camera man, Jacopo, was shooting just the side where the escalator was going up.

It was a very funny day, actually. The escalator was located close to a university, and it was full of students that got really surprised. Some students even asked me if they could take some hearts or clouds. Then I drew all the animations on the stickers and I went to the escalator a few times during the night while it was stopped. We pasted the stickers on the handrail, and then in the morning we went back there to shoot them. Actually, I had lots of troubles due to the winter cold: the stickers didn’t stick to the handrail.

3) How long did it take you?
Building all the materials and shooting took me about two months, and editing, the longest part, about three months. I've also spent one week preparing the soundtrack. So in the end the whole work took me about six months.

4) Why did you pick this escalator?
First off, I was fascinated by the hypnotic movement of the escalator; it runs all day long in the same way. I wanted to break this repetition with a kind of game and let people imagine public spaces in a different way -- more funny and more creative. I like to imagine this world as a place with no rules, where you can act more freely and take life less seriously. Another reason is that I wanted to mix my passion for animation with my passion for urban installation.

5) Tell us something about this video you'd never know by looking at it.
During one of the shooting days a police officer came to us asking what were we doing and if we had a permission. We said we were just shooting a commercial for a very famous Italian pop band. At this point he said he loved them and left without even asking [to see] the permission.

6) What's next in your world of escalator animation?
I will go on working in public spaces. The final result always surprises me. When you make experimental videos, a lot of problems come up that you never thought about before; until it's done you don't really know where you're going. Maybe you start with an idea and then it's not going fine, so you have to change everything. I already started drawing a new animation with a script, and it will be done on a common object that people use everyday. Can't say more until it's done. It will be a surprise!

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched “America's Got Talent Jackie Evancho YouTube Audition.”

There seems to be no hotter topic for discussion among Internet watchers these days than concerns over online free expression -- from the role of bloggers in advancing democratic movements, to sophisticated government censorship, to debates over how best to balance transparency with national security concerns. YouTube, Google and the Central European University will make our own contribution to the conversation at a major international conference we’re hosting in Budapest from September 20-22. We've invited grassroots activists, bloggers and vloggers from five continents, as well as representatives from NGOs, academia, industry and government to begin a long-term discussion about these issues and to form international working groups to promote practical change.

But a conversation about online free expression would be nothing without contributions from you. From election protests to government whistleblowing to grassroots advocacy, we’ve seen YouTube users upload, watch and share stories that would’ve never received global attention before the Internet era. That's why we're inviting you to submit your own video that answers this question:

"What's the biggest barrier to free expression on the Internet, and what would you do to overcome it?"

You can go to our Moderator series here to submit ideas and videos and/or to vote on your favorite contributions from others around the world. Please participate by September 7, and we’ll showcase many of your responses at the conference in Budapest later in the month. We’ll also offer highlights from the dialogue on CitizenTube.

Bob Boorstin, Google Public Policy, and Steve Grove, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched, Google's commitment to free expression

Ever wanted a way to quickly and easily send YouTube videos and other information from your desktop or laptop to your phone to view on the go? The new Chrome to Phone extension adds a button to your Google Chrome browser that instantly sends the current YouTube video, web page, map, or selected phone number or text to your Android device running Froyo (or Android 2.2).

Suppose you're mid-way through a scintillating 15-minute video and you have to run to an appointment. Simply click the extension icon in your browser to send the video’s link to your phone and the device's browser will automatically open the link, ready for you to view on the go. 

The Chrome to Phone extension is available in English for now, but we hope to expand to other languages soon. Check out the help center if you have further questions.

To get Chrome to Phone, install the Chrome to Phone extension in your Google Chrome browser and the Android application on your phone, and you’re ready to go.

Dave Burke, Engineering Manager, recently watched “Asturias-John Williams.”

From events like VidCon and 789 to the sheer number of get-togethers reported by folks like YTGathering, we know how much YouTube users love to meet up in the real world. We’ve even crashed some of these shindigs and always come back to the office totally rejuvenated by your energy.

All of this got us thinking: how can we help spur on more of these gatherings? Turns out our friends at Meetup have just the thing for that: our new Meetup Everywhere page offers a global view of where YouTube users are meeting and an easy way for anyone to suggest a new locale. So if you don’t see your town listed, you can schedule a gathering near you, and you don’t even need to take on the responsibility of organizing it. Some other social maven may step into that role by clicking “learn more” under “This event needs an organizer,” or you can be the one to determine the where, when and why of your local YouTube meetup. Try it, and let's see this map populate with hundreds of happy hoedowns...

Wherever you end up congregating, do shoot lots of video (as if we need to say that!) and send the links to our YouTubeGatherings channel, where we like to create playlists from each event.

So, see you...soon?

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched “YouTube news: YouTube EVENTS!

Have you ever wondered what makes a queen bee the queen? Or perhaps pondered the process of photosynthesis? We have too (nerd alert...again) and we’re glad that we’re not the only ones! In fact, a few of our university partners have helped us find the answers to our biology questions and a variety of other topics on YouTube EDU. Take some time to scan this week’s playlist to learn more about your immune system, the Alaskan ecosystem and biofuels.

While we've got our thinking caps on, see if you can answer the questions below. If you know the answers, please leave them in the comments below (note: comments are moderated due to spam):

1) Worker bees and queen bees start life with the exact same genome, so what external factor distinguishes the queen bee from all others?
2) Dartmouth guest lecturer Terry Chapin has published nine books and over 300 papers that have been cited more than 27,000 times. What musical instrument does he play?
3) Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station tracks white sharks off the coast of California near what islands?

Finally, answers to last week’s quiz, on math:

1. Where did Terrence Tao learn the numbers and letters that enabled him to start teaching his peers at age two? Sesame Street
2. Based on probalistic aggregation studies, Gettysburg College would be able to withstand an attack of how many robots? 252
3. Cornell math professor Allen Knutson holds a world record in what? Juggling

Mandy Albanese, Communications Associate, recently watched “Stanford Tracks White Sharks.”

This is the first post in the “BizBlog Series,” which was formally its own blog. Check back each week to see articles about partners and advertisers on YouTube. 

When the end goal of your online marketing is philanthropy, you have to take a unique approach. We’ve tried to do our part by providing the tools needed for the task through the YouTube Nonprofit Program. One nonprofit that’s leveraged these offerings effectively is We sat down with their CEO, Ryan Scott, to find out how video has amplified their work.

1) What role does video play in the development of Causecast (both the site, and in campaigns created for your clients)?
Video has always been a core component for Causecast. We covered red carpet events and fundraisers, interviewed celebrities, and created special campaigns like the "Milk" typographic piece, which was commissioned by Focus Features. We also had an ongoing video project called "State Your Change," which was a video wall created by user-generated uploads about the changes people wanted to see in the world, which was then submitted to the newly-elected President Obama. After a year and a half, we've found that we work best when focusing on individual campaigns that are directly tied to a single organization or brand that’s connected to a single website or cause. We can (and do) create content for all causes and nonprofits, but each one individually should be focused on one clear goal.

2) Can you provide an example of how you've utilized video in impactful and relevant ways for your clients? Explain why you decided to utilize video over other media and how YouTube was specifically involved in the campaign.
One of our successes was a project called STILLERSTRONG, which we helped create with Ben Stiller and his team. The campaign started as a project to build a school in the central plateau of Haiti and video was used as the main medium to drive awareness and donations to the Stillerstrong platform. Ben applied his unique brand of humor to communicate his message to engage his fellow philanthropists and celebrity friends to publicly support his cause. Lance Armstrong, Owen Wilson and former President Clinton got involved and were part of the video campaign. Ben even did a video with Robert De Niro specifically urging Ashton Kutcher to re-tweet the video, which he did.

We used YouTube annotations to incorporate buttons into the video that allowed people to perform functions, putting links directly into the video. People could donate, post to Facebook, Tweet out the video, buy the STILLERSTRONG HEADBAND, and even upload a video comment. Annotations and the benefits you get with a nonprofit account on YouTube were hugely helpful, saving us a great deal of development work.

3) How has the role of video changed in the past 10 years, with regard specifically to cause marketing?
One word: cost. Ten years ago, there were a handful of websites that had streaming video of any kind. Now there are many options (probably too many), and fortunately most of them are free and very versatile. You can get a decent video HD video camera for $150. And hosting is free. So, there are very few reasons why a nonprofit should not develop and utilize video is some way. The popularity of social networks, which has grown significantly in the last five years, has made sharing videos much easier. More people can learn about your cause through a short video than through landing onto a text-only website. Nonprofits have used video in very effective ways to ask for donations, recruit volunteers, or contact their local representatives, but sometimes the most moving videos are when we see the volunteers in action or how donations are utilized on the field. This closes the donor / volunteer / organization loop.

4) In your opinion, what are recent examples of organizations or campaigns that have utilized video in new or innovative ways?
One video uploaded by the World Food Program in this last year came up with a simple statistic: approximately 1 billion people are active online and yet over 1 billion people are chronically hungry. The video was 60 seconds long. In that amount of time, 145 million emails were sent, $43,000 was spent on eBay, 2,000 tweets were sent, and 10 children died of hunger. Pretty tough to ignore those numbers. They had a simple story to tell, and they kept it simple. They linked the video directly to their donation page, which lists how much money it takes to feed a baby, student or adult for one year.

5) How can/are nonprofits utilizing compelling videos to maximize their reach and funding? What are some tips for nonprofits struggling to create video content on their organization?
The best videos are the simplest: one idea, one cause, one action. You can upload an unlimited number of videos for free, so there's no point to throw in the kitchen sink. Also, viewers have a very short attention span, so presenting too many ideas dilutes the power of all of them. The videos we like most are when volunteers are interviewed on camera or nonprofits show the environment in the field where they are actively distributing or rebuilding. We need to see how the organization is making positive change. Charity Water makes some beautiful videos of their well drilling. Invisible People has a massive library of interviews of homeless people telling their stories. AARP made a video of very inspiring words featuring only scrolling text, and it still gets passed around (and re-made) three years later. Videos are very easy to create and very, very easy to share, and we haven't yet created as strong of a mental "spam filter" for video as we have for emails. Just be sure to keep it simple and direct.

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched “Lance Responds To Ben Stiller and STILLERSTRONG.”

Earlier this year, America's Got Talent turned to YouTube in its ongoing quest to find America's hottest performers. Thousands of people submitted audition videos to perform live on the show and tonight, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, you can finally see which 12 YouTube contestants made it.

There are some big dreams riding on this edition of America's Got Talent, along with a lot of support for the singers, musicians, dancers and other aspiring stars who submitted their videos with the hope of being discovered.

Good luck to all of our talented contestants and to everyone who entered the competition. And don't forget to watch the top entries on the America's Got Talent YouTube channel before tonight's broadcast!

Lee Hadlow, Marketing Program Manager, recently watched “America's Got Talent Winning Moment Season 4.”

With pageviews up 115% compared to the same time last year and millions of people reading this blog each month, it’s time for a fresh injection of blog content. So starting today, we’re transitioning posts from the BizBlog, our partner and advertiser blog, and the Creator’s Corner blog, our blog devoted to all the cool things you make on YouTube, to this blog. You’ll see more guest posts; you’ll get to know some of YouTube’s most accomplished videomakers a little better; and you’ll discover how all kinds of people -- partners, advertisers, you! -- use YouTube and what can be learned from each other.

But before we dig in, we wanted to ask you to take this short survey, so we can be sure that our blog delivers the kind of experience and information you’re looking for. The survey should take less than five minutes to fill out and will help us tremendously as we plan future posts. Thank you so much!

What's new on YouTube since we last met? Let us count the things...

"Playlist Bar" launch: Last week, we introduced the "Playlist Bar": when you view a playlist, recommended videos (from the homepage), your subscriptions or your favorites, you'll see a control bar at the bottom of the page, displaying the videos from those categories. The goal is to keep you from having to jumping back and forth to different pages to select which videos you'd like to watch next. Autoplay (which is no longer on by default) and the ability to select specific videos from your playlists without ever leaving the page are intended to make your viewing experience more seamless. We're continuing to monitor your feedback here as we plan improvements to this feature.

Local music listings: A new addition to our revamped music page is the "Events Near You" section, provided by Songkick. Discover an artist you like on the page? "Events Near You" will let you know if he or she is headed your way.

Annotations upgrades: We now offer fully transparent annotations with black or white text, a new default color (half-transparent black, replacing red), a new default position for new annotations (off-center), and a cleaner look for tooltips.

Redesigned video manager: The My_Videos page has been reworked to offer streamlined ways of managing and reviewing videos you've uploaded, including options to sort your videos alphabetically, by length, by recency and by views. You can also browse the content you've viewed, purchased and liked, and there's access right here to Insight and Promoted Videos information (to the right of "Edit" button). For feedback on these changes, please chime in here.

Promotional badges: Take a look at the badges created to help you better promote your YouTube channel on site and off. Find the asset you like and click on it to generate handy embed code for your blog or website (you'll have to sign in at the prompt).

New way to embed videos: A new embed code style enables you to view embedded videos in one of our Flash or HTML5 players, depending on your viewing environment and preferences. For more information, see this blog post from our API blog.

Buzz videos on your homepage: As with the Facebook feed import, the YouTube videos your friends are sharing on Google Buzz are now be pulled into your YouTube homepage if you're connected to Buzz (e.g. to AutoShare your activity).

HQ Webcam uploads: That's right: You can now upload high quality video from your Webcam! All webcam recordings will be done at 360p.

Free previews on rentals: All rental videos in the U.S. will show a free preview or movie trailer automatically so you can decide if you want to watch it before buying it. If you're over 18 and live in the U.S., you can check this out right here on the movie Kick-Ass.

The YouTube Team

While we enjoy looking ahead and thinking big, we also take to heart the famous quote from George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." That’s why for this week’s session of YouTube Summer School, we’re taking some time to review the past, to help us better understand the people, events and decisions that have shaped our times. Here's a playlist of important history lessons from top institutions:

And while we're in a scholarly mode, let’s look at last week's session on math and test your knowledge. If you know the answers to the quiz questions below, please leave them in the comments below (please note comments are moderated due to spam):

1. Where did Terrence Tao learn the numbers and letters that enabled him to start teaching his peers at age two?
2. Based on probalistic aggregation studies, Gettysburg College would be able to withstand an attack of how many robots?
3. Cornell math professor Allen Knutson holds a world record in what?

Finally, answers to last week's quiz, on art:

1) What color house did Frida Kahlo grow up in? Blue
2) Malaquias Montoya, professor of Chicano studies and art history at the University of California in Davis, is known for what item of unique clothing? His hat
3) The African art exhibit in the Valparaiso University Brauer Museum is from what century? Late 19th and early 20th centuries

Mandy Albanese, Communications Associate, recently watched “The Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe.”

Tonight, thousands of fans will pack into Madison Square Garden in New York City to hear Arcade Fire...but they won’t be the only ones experiencing the band’s orchestral indie rock roar: the concert will be live-streamed right here at 10 p.m. (ET). The global webcast will be directed by Monty Python alum and award-winning filmmaker Terry Gilliam, and is the first show in the new “Unstaged” concert series brought to you by YouTube, American Express and Vevo.

But don’t simply watch -- participate! During tonight’s concert, you can interact with the band and the performance itself by choosing your own camera angle. You can also be part of the show via the "Share Your Suburb" photo project. Since Arcade Fire’s new album is called The Suburbs, they’re encouraging fans to upload pictures of their own leafy neighborhoods, including snapshots of front porches, tree-lined streets and grocery store parking lots -- anything that reflects your hometown. The band will feature their favorite submissions onstage during their live performance, so go ahead and submit your images here.

Viewers will also hear from the group in a special pre-show Q&A interview conducted by Terry Gilliam, based on questions you asked here.

So tune in tonight at 10 p.m. ET to catch these chart-topping Canadians performing live from one of the most legendary venues in NYC. And don’t fret if you miss anything: highlights from the concert will be available on the band’s YouTube channel shortly after the event.

Michele Flannery, Music Manager, recently watched “Neon Bible/Wake Up! Take Away Show.”

Today our Facebook page hit an important milestone: over 10 million of you have clicked that “Like” button, making us more popular than Cristiano Ronaldo and -- whoa -- music?! Here’s a special message to anyone who’s ever clicked the thumb’s up button on our page:

Now, that’s pretty awesome, but honestly we won’t rest until we rock those vampires, sweep by the Prez and topple Lady Gaga. Help us get there by liking this page, writing on our Wall and sharing the videos and news we post daily. And, of course, a huge thanks to anyone and everyone who’s already said they "Like" us. It's most definitely mutual!

Mia Quagliarelly, Community Manager, recently posted “Jane Austen’s Fight Club” to Facebook.