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Lotsa Cool New Stuff

By Mia

The YouTube Team

The YouTube team was up until the wee hours last night rolling out some key changes and enhancements to the site. Read on for more details (video summaries coming soon to this blog and the YouTube Channel).

**Video added 1/29**

MESSAGING IS BACK IN BUSINESS: Messaging should really truly be fixed now, including messages that contain e-mail addresses and URLs. Thanks for your patience as we worked out kinks related to an over-enthusiastic spam filter.

GOOGLE SEARCH!: Thanks to, ahem, a certain parent company, our search is now vastly improved so it should be even easier to find your favorite sleeping kitty video exactly when you want to show it to grandma. Moreover, YouTube videos are now indexed on Google Video Search, which means more potential viewers for your videos!

B-B-B-LOCK THA HATERS: Stopping the haters in their tracks is now easier than ever. Not only is there the “Block User” feature on each person’s Channel page, but now you can instantly zap anyone you like by using the new "Block User" feature next to each comment on your video.

CHANNELS ARE EVEN MORE CUSTOMIZABLE: Don’t want to show folks who your subscribers are? Would rather not have Favorites display on you page so your own videos can get all the glory? Now you can turn modules on or off by going into the “Channel Design” area under “My Account” and choosing to show or hide various boxes. You can also select one video to display at the top of your page (go into “Channel Info” to do this).

VIEW VIDEOS THAT HAVE THE MOST RESPONSES: Under the Video browse tab, there’s a new page showing videos that have the most responses. Go to the Most Responded >> All Time to see a great set of videos that have inspired other users to post their own clips.

NEW AND IMPROVED HELP CENTER: The contents of the Help Center have tripled and it’s hopefully easier to read and navigate. Plus now you can search within the Help Center, see the Top 5 questions most asked by users, and let us know whether the information was helpful or not.

MORE ROOM FOR YOUR FEATURED VIDEOS: The categories page got a facelift and now shows two featured videos for each topic. But then, when you click through, brace yourself: we’ve got room for – count ’em – 20 featured videos within each section. More space for your incredible work! Sadia, whom you'll meet soon, is the editor in charge of this area, so write to her with feature requests.

MEET THE GURUS: There’s a new type of Channel for people who create “how to” videos for fitness, cooking, video production, guitar playing and more. So if you’ve got a special skill, sign up for your Guru account now!

POST TO DIGG, DELICIOUS, FURL AND MORE: If you click on "Post Video" under a video, you will see a row of icons that lets you quickly post the video to these neat-o bookmarking services.

Now you see why our engineers are still sleeping?!