We're happy to announce a couple of new changes to your YouTube channels, based on the feedback and suggestions you've given to us.
The first is the creation of a "Recent Activity" box on your YouTube channel. This box will provide your viewers with a snapshot of recent changes you've made to your public channel, making your channel more dynamic, fresh and timely. For example, if you recently added a new favorite to your channel, visitors can find this favorite in the new Recent Activity box (as well as in the usual "Favorites" box). The Recent Activity box will also consolidate the separate "My Recent Ratings" and "My Recent Comments" boxes into this single activity window.
As always, we give you maximum control over how your channel is configured on the channel design page. And now, the Recent Activity privacy settings page (also available in the upper-right corner of the Recent Activity box) lets you choose what activity you want to appear in the Recent Activity box. It's important to note that we've set your initial Recent Activity settings according to what you already publicly show on your channel today - so, for example, if you're not already showing the Favorites box on your channel, then the Recent Activity box won't suddenly start showing new favorites you make.
Regarding bulletins, we've listened to you, and most of you didn't see the value in bulletins as they are today. So, we're taking a first step to make bulletins more useful. Although the bulletin box will be going away, now you can broadcast a bulletin directly to your channel visitors in your Recent Activity box. This not only provides a fun place to shout out personal updates and news, but also provides an additional way to communicate and engage with your channel's fans.
We hope you like these changes, and are always eager to hear your feedback - so please feel free to share your thoughts with us!
The YouTube Team
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As a community, we have come to count on each other to be entertained, challenged, and moved by what we watch and share on YouTube. We've been thinking a lot lately about how to make the collective YouTube experience even better, particularly on our most visited pages. Our goal is to help ensure that you're viewing content that's relevant to you, and not inadvertently coming across content that isn't. Here are a few things we came up with:
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Starting today, musicians around the world can submit audition videos to www.youtube.com/symphony for a chance to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and summit, the world's first collaborative online orchestra connecting aspiring musicians with leaders and stars in the classical world. The first YouTube program of its kind, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra will transform individual performances into a global symphony and change the way musicians connect over the Internet. This is your opportunity to perform alongside world-renowned conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, learn from composer Tan Dun and many members of the London Symphony Orchestra, consult with pianist Lang Lang, and collaborate with YouTube users from around the globe. Selected musicians will have the honor of participating in an April 2009 summit where you'll learn from today's classical masters before stepping out at New York City's Carnegie Hall for a performance. Here's how to get started:
From today until January 28, 2009, musicians from around the world can submit videos showcasing their personal style as they perform two pieces: "The Internet Symphony", an original Tan Dun composition written specifically for this program, and a second classical piece of their choosing to demonstrate their musical ability. Hear composer Tan Dun talks about his inspiration for his piece:
All entries received by January 28 will be considered for a massive global video performance of "The Internet Symphony". Meanwhile, musical experts from the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and other leading orchestras around the world will narrow the field of entries from localized YouTube countries to a group of semifinalists. In February, the YouTube community will be invited to vote for their favorite semifinalists, and those chosen will be invited to participate in the three-day classical music learning summit, culminating in the Carnegie Hall performance.
So, no matter what instrument you play, from bassoon to trombone, timpani to piccolo, head here -- to download the appropriate sheet music and tune into a video tutorial, London Symphony Orchestra masterclasses, and instrument-by-instrument playthrough with the conductor. Once you feel ready to share your performance, upload and submit for your opportunity to join the ranks of the first-ever YouTube Symphony Orchestra!
The YouTube Team
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It took Peter Jackson 438 days to shoot The Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately, you only have another 14 days to create your own masterpiece.
On Monday, December 14, submissions close for Project: Direct, YouTube's annual short film competition. If you miss the deadline, you could also miss your chance to attend the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and to meet with the festival's Director of Programming, as well as to see your film screened at a festival event and distributed on DVD to hundreds of industry executives.
Don't let this happen! Make a short film, no more than five minutes long, creatively incorporating three props: choose two of those props from a list of 25 made famous by films from the Sundance Film Festival, and your third prop must be a red phone. To see the list of 25 props, visit youtube.com/projectdirect and select "Choose Props."
Remember that this contest is only open to users in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Brazil, Spain, Italy and France, however we encourage users outside those regions to send films to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on the site.
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We recently added two new football FANalysts to our roster off the waiver wire, and they've hit the ground running. Meet your new pigskin prognosticators:
The Young Turks: Known more for their no-nonsense political analysis, TYT are also avid (rabid?) football fans and bring that same keen eye to the gridiron.
CowboyTD: Vlogging from his dorm room at the University of Texas, CowboyTD makes no bones about where his loyalties lie but nonetheless has a clear grasp of what's going on league-wide and offers solid advice for these critical remaining weeks.
At this point in the season, a smart roster move or pick-up can make all the difference, so check back to the FANalysts channel every week for fantasy tips and more football talk. While you're there, check out the Take My TV Contest: upload a video showing your crummy TV before December 7, and you could win all the gear you need for a state-of-the-art entertainment room from Circuit City.
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Thanksgiving is about many things: expressing gratitude for the good things in life, being with family and – let's be frank – eating. Turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie: you know the drill. But, sadly, these things don't cook themselves, which is why we geared the latest Guru Challenge towards finding the finest Thanksgiving recipes that YouTube has to offer.
Operating as an element of the Holiday Solutions Center, designed to guide you through Thanksgiving troubles, Hannukah hitches and the cold chill of Christmas, we have brought together videos that we believe will help smooth your path towards a memorable holiday dinner.
The thorny issue of Thanksgiving dinner hopefully addressed, remember that the Holiday Solutions Center isn't all about cooking tips. We've got decorating masterclasses, advice on plotting a pain-free path through the gift giving process, and bright ideas galore across the board. It's a digital database of smart solutions.
So, thanks to everyone who submitted a video to the challenge and congratulations to the garlanded Gurus. Here's to an unforgettable Thanksgiving – and one that the Holiday Solutions Center has hopefully made a tiny bit tastier thanks to our creative cooks.
YouTube HowTo & Style
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Since August of this year, the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen 250,000 Congolese citizens forced to flee their homes. As the death toll and refugee counts increase, people on the frontline of efforts to help are utilizing YouTube to speak out against the violence.
Nonprofit organizations are using the site to raise awareness about the conflict and to raise funds that are desperately needed to provide food, medicine and sanitation for the refugees. UNICEF uses video to explore a day on the ground at one of the refugee camps in DR Congo, while Doctors Without Borders depicts the struggles of the displaced through a powerful slideshow. And if you'd like to contribute more than just your viewership, the Disasters Emergency Committee recently posted an appeal on behalf of the UK's 13 leading charities for YouTube users to donate funds:
Individual YouTube users have also been raising their voices to demand that more be done to end the fighting. This UK citizen asked Prime Minister Gordon Brown why he recently spent more time talking about British celebrities than the dire situation in DR Congo.
You can join this important conversation -- if you have thoughts about the humanitarian crisis, please add them in the comments or detail them in a video.
YouTube Nonprofits & Activism
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Over the years we've heard a lot of feedback from you about what you'd like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind. That's why today we're excited to announce a bigger YouTube player.
We're expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience. And don't worry, your 4:3 aspect ratio videos will play just fine in this new player.
As always, we welcome your feedback and encourage you to share your thoughts with us on this exciting, new change happening for all videos on YouTube.
Have fun watching!
The YouTube Team
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You may have noticed that the YouTube homepage looks a little different. Want to know why? YouTube Live, of course. From 5pm PST/ 8pm EST, we will be furnishing you with three live streams direct from the Live channel, offering you direct access to everything that is happening on the Main Stage, Backstage and Off Stage at YouTube Live. And boy, is there a lot happening…
We could take this opportunity to list the great acts that are lined up: get all excited over Will.i.am’s appearance; marvel at Chad Vader’s original killer conceit; or deconstruct the intrinsic appeal of Will It Blend?, but this being the internet – and in the interests of fairness to all concerned – you can check out the full talent roster here.
In addition to these names, you should expect to be blown away by some of the biggest trends sweeping the site right now, from the physical theater of parkour to the coming together of technology and The Funk that is video remixing.
Once the curtain falls on the event, highlights will be uploaded so that you can relive key moments of the performance. We’re going all-out to celebrate the best that YouTube’s user community has to offer and we want you to share in it – so what are you waiting for? Head for Live and get watching.
The YouTube Team
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Last month we took video submissions from the YouTube community to be included in our Help Center. We received a ton of creative, informative videos and have embedded six of them in our Help entries. Check out the Round 1 selections in the Favorites section of the YouTubeHelp channel.
Based on such great success last month, we are opening the floodgates for Round 2! We're asking you again to use your skills to create videos that we can embed in our Help Center. If selected, your video will be seen by many of the 1+ million users who visit the Help Center each day.
To participate, here's what you need to do:
1. Decide which Help Center entries you'd like to make an original video about:
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