Thursday, 30 October 2008

Brrrrrraaaaaains!

It's Halloween and as everybody knows the holiday is about all things scary: gory costumes, teeth-decaying sweets, and hyperactive children dressed in gory costumes eating teeth-decaying sweets. This year, users from around Australia have spilled their brains onto the floor, lost an eyeball and generally zombied it up for this presentation of "Undead 2.0."







Special thanks to the YouTube Oz users who spent time making these frightful videos.



Errrgg, arrrgh,



Damien E.

The YouTube Team

Monday, 27 October 2008

Addressing Youth Violence On YouTube

Like you, we're continually surprised, moved, and entertained by the videos people post on YouTube. And, like you, we're occasionally dismayed when people use YouTube for less positive purposes. That's why we count on you to know our Community Guidelines and flag videos you believe don't belong on the site.





We've recently made a change to our flagging menu we think you should know about: We replaced the category "minors fighting" with "youth violence." You can find it in the pull-down menu under "Violent or Repulsive Content," and we'll still follow our usual process of reviewing all flagged videos quickly and removing those that violate our Guidelines.





The reason for this change in language is simple: We want to make it easier for you to help us take down the increasing number of videos showing children involved in violence of some sort, including threats and actual altercations. The "minors fighting" flag simply wasn't being used enough, yet the number of these kinds of videos has been increasing. Now you can more easily flag violent videos that include underage people, and we'll take it from there.





Think of the Guidelines and the flagging pull-down menu as part of our ongoing conversation with you. We give you a structure that makes it easier for you to talk to us, and you become the eyes and ears of the site. Of course, the best conversations are never static, and the same is true about this one. We're always reviewing our Guidelines and the flagging categories to make sure they reflect what you see on the site.





The new flag is part of a larger, continuous effort here at YouTube to keep the community safe for all of our members. But we can't do it alone.





Literally.





With 13 hours of video uploaded every minute, we need you to be our first line of defense against content that violates our Community Guidelines, and we'll keep doing all we can to make doing your part clear and easy.





We're committed to having transparent, effective policies and to helping you understand them through blog posts like this. (If you haven't seen it, check our our first post in this series about how to contact us to report abuse.)





Let us know how we're doing and what you think about this new flag. And check back here soon for the next post in our series: How to Flag Videos.





The YouTube Team

Monday, 20 October 2008

A Behind the Scenes Look at Contacting Us

We've heard some of your concerns around trying to get the assistance you need when having an issue on the site. Our ultimate goal is to keep improving the product so you essentially won't need any help at all. We try our best to keep our Help Resources up to date with information about all of our features and policies, in addition to any current product issues or quirks. Most often, the solution to your problem is one that you can resolve on your own rather than contacting someone at YouTube directly.



Please keep in mind that human beings do actually review emails that are sent to us, but if we see the answer to your issue is already listed in the Help Centre we may not send a customised response. Many of our help options (listed below) allow you to resolve a problem immediately, rather than wait for a member of our team to respond to your inquiry by email:

  • First, and most importantly, check out our Help Centre. The handy search box lets you search for information about YouTube or look up issues across all Google products (as well as the entire Web). Click around and check out the articles. We're constantly adding more content to address site issues, big and small.


  • Our Abuse and Policy Centre is a one-stop-shop for resources related to safety and abuse on YouTube. You can browse through articles covering topics like how to deal with spam or gaming, how to control your account settings to limit interactions with certain users, and how to keep yourself generally safe while using the site.


  • The YouTube Community Help Forum is also a great resource. The Forum's discussion board is the official place to share ideas, provide feedback, ask and answer questions, and offer help to your fellow YouTube community members.


If after checking out all these resources you still haven't found exactly the information you're looking for, go ahead and send us an email. If the answer to your question isn't already in our Help Centre, we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. Check back in the coming weeks and months for more posts about how to keep your YouTube experience safe, exciting, and always entertaining.



Here for you,

The YouTube Team

Friday, 10 October 2008

Your Video Second-by-Second

YouTube Insight has helped you learn more about your YouTube videos, enabling you to establish when and where your videos prove popular. But what if you could learn not just which of your videos are hot on the site, but which specific parts of those videos are hotter than others? What if you could know exactly when viewers tend to leave your videos, or which scenes within a video they watch again and again?


Happily, this information is now available to all YouTube video uploaders via an innovative new feature for Insight called "Hot Spots." The Hot Spots tab in Insight plays your video alongside a graph that shows the ups-and-downs of viewership at different moments within the video. We determine "hot" and "cold" spots by comparing your video's abandonment rate at that moment to other videos on YouTube of the same length, and incorporating data about rewinds and fast-forwards. So what does that mean? Well, when the graph goes up, your video is hot: few viewers are leaving, and people may be rewinding on the control bar to see that sequence again. When the graph goes down, your content's gone cold: viewers are moving to another part of the video or leaving the video entirely.


Here's an example of Hot Spots in action, based on a video of YouTube employee Michael Rucker making like Soulja Boy:



src="/img/hot_spots_blog.jpg" width="456" height="414">



You can see that many viewers are not initially impressed with Rucker's efforts; they're leaving the video at a faster than average rate almost immediately after the video begins. But the longer the video plays, the more people tend to stay, generating a hot spot at the end of the video. Better late than never.


We think you'll find Hot Spots useful in several ways. For example, you can figure out which scenes in your videos are the "hottest" and edit them accordingly, or insert annotations at key moments to keep your audience more engaged. Now that Insight shows what parts of videos viewers are watching and skipping, you'll no longer have to guess why people watch your work – you'll know. You can find this new feature under the "Hot Spots" tab within the Insight dashboard (you must be logged in to your YouTube account).


As with all of Insight's features, we learn about the most creative examples from you. Are you using Insight in a new and interesting way? Upload a video to YouTube and let us know.


Have fun,

The YouTube Team