Working with Groups
Another form of community on YouTube is the YouTube groups feature. A group is a social forum where users interested in a given topic can share videos and conduct online discussions.
Joining an Existing Group
To find YouTube groups, click the Community tab and then click the Groups link on the left side of the page. You can now browse groups by type (Featured, Recently Added, Most Members, Most Videos, Most Discussions, or Colleges) or by Categories.
When you access a group page, like the one shown in Figure 12.8, you see links to group videos, members, and discussions. Recent videos are displayed, as are the most recent group discussions.
Figure 12.8 A YouTube group page.
To join a group, simply click the Join This Group link. After you've joined a group, you can participate in group discussions, add videos to the group, and so forth.
Joining a group discussion is as easy as clicking the discussion link; this displays the discussion page, such as the one shown in Figure 12.9. You can then read comments within that discussion, or add your own comment from the Add New Comment section at the bottom of the page.
Figure 12.9 Joining in a group discussion.
Joining a College Group
YouTube also has special groups for selected colleges. Click the Colleges link on the Community page to display the Colleges page, shown in Figure 12.10. From here you can select your college from the Join Your College list; then click the Join Now button. (You'll need to enter your college email address to join your college group; this keeps nonstudents from participating.)
Figure 12.10 Joining a college group.
Creating a New Group
You can also create your own personal YouTube group about any topic you want. Just click the Groups link on the Community page; then click the Create a Group button. When the Create a Group page appears, as shown in Figure 12.11, enter a name and description for the group, along with identifying tags, a custom URL for the group, a category, the type of group (public or private), and how you want to handle video uploads, forum postings, and the group icon. Click the Create Group button when finished, and your group is launched into the YouTube community.
Figure 12.11 Creating a new YouTube Group.
To invite others to join your group, click the Invite Members link at the top right of the group page. This displays the page shown in Figure 12.12; you can invite members of your Friends list, or invite other members by entering their member names in the New Friends list. Click the Send button to send your invitations.
Figure 12.12 Inviting other YouTubers to join your group.
To add videos to your group, click the Add Videos link at the top right of the group page. This displays a page with links to your current favorite videos and playlists, as shown in Figure 12.13. Check any video you want to add; then click the Add to Group button. Alternatively, you can click the Upload a Video button to upload a new video and add it to your group.
Figure 12.13 Adding videos to your new group.