Working with Friends and Contacts
You don't have to create a group to mingle with people on YouTube. That's because YouTube lets you create lists of users with whom you can share your videos. These Friends and Family lists are kind of like the Buddy lists in AOL Instant Messenger; one click on a YouTube list lets you share your videos.
Adding a Friend to Your List
Adding an existing YouTube member to your friends list is relatively easy. Just go to that member's channel/profile page, scroll to the Connect With box, shown in Figure 12.14, and click the Add as Friend link. You'll now see the Friend Invitation page, shown in Figure 12.15; select whether to add this person as Friends or Family; then click the Send Invite button. The person will receive an email invitation to be your friend; if he accepts, he's added to your friends list.
Figure 12.14 Adding an existing YouTube member to your friends list.
Figure 12.15 Sending the friend's invitation.
You can also add friends who aren't yet YouTube members. Just click the My Account link at the top of any YouTube page to display the My Account page; then scroll down to the Friends & Contacts section, shown in Figure 12.16, and click the Invite More Friends button. When the Invite Your Friends page appears, as shown in Figure 12.17, enter your name, the email addresses of those folks you want to invite (separate each address with a comma), and a personal invitation message. Click the Send Invite button, and your friends will receive an official email invitation. They can click the link in the email message to join YouTube and be added to your friends list.
Figure 12.16 Managing friends and contacts from your My Account page.
Figure 12.17 Inviting a non-YouTuber to join your friends list.
Sending Messages to Your Friends
When you want to send a message to someone in your friends list, go to your My Account page, scroll down to the Friends & Contacts section, and click the All Contacts link. As you can see in Figure 12.18, this lists all your contacts, no matter which list you've put them in. Click the Send Message link next to a friend's name; this displays the Compose Message page shown in Figure 12.19. Enter a subject for your message and the text of the message itself. If you want to attach a YouTube video to this message, pull down the Attach a Video list and choose a video from your favorites. Click the Send Message button to send the message on its way.
Figure 12.18 Viewing all your YouTube contacts.
Figure 12.19 Sending a message to a friend.
Reading Messages from Other Users
Messages sent to you from other users end up in your YouTube inbox. You access the inbox from YouTube's home page; just click the Inbox link in the My box. As you can see in Figure 12.20, your inbox lists all email messages you've received, under the General Messages link. (You can view other types of messages by clicking the Friend Invites, Received Videos, Video Comments, Video Responses, or Sent links.)
Figure 12.20 Waiting messages in your YouTube inbox.
To read a message, just click it in your inbox. The message is now displayed onscreen, as shown in Figure 12.21. You can delete the message, mark it as spam, or send a reply to the message by using the Your Reply box and the Send Message button.
Figure 12.21 Reading a message from another user.