Monday, 7 March 2016

YouTube Channels, Google Accounts, And Their Ownership (The Answer Might Come As A Surprise)

Let me state this from the outset:  Google Accounts are individual and personal affairs.  There-  that's that out of the way with.  Now-  what does that mean and how does it affect users?

1.  Google Accounts are owned by individuals, the persons who create or are given access to a Google Account.

This is a commonly overlooked fact and it is crucial in understanding the options available to users for retaining and, often more importantly, regaining access.  The clues are in the creation process where-

  • the first and last name of an individual are called for,
  • the birthdate, and not the founding/creation date, is called for, 
  • a gender is asked for, and-
  • the agreement between the user and Google is sealed with the user clicking "I agree", and not "we/the organisation agree(s)".

Note the emphasis on an individual's details required

With the last one the user basically agrees to maintain the integrity of their Google Account and to not give access to a third party, making sure to maintain security for themselves.  This, the latter, is something I will address in more detail later.

2.  YouTube channels are mere services on Google Accounts and are "owned" by those individuals who control (and, presumably, own) the Google Accounts these YouTube channels are services on.  And because Google Accounts are owned by individuals-  so are the YouTube channels thereon.  And the Blogger account.  And the Gmail.  Which brings me to-

3.  The associated email addresses are their Google Accounts' usernames.  Pretty much any email will do- Google's own Gmail service, third party online services like Yahoo and Hotmail or your own domain email service.  But, again, be aware that even a business email which is used by more than one person does not render the Google Account a group affair.  In fact academic email supplied by an educational establishment or managed mail through a company are not, in fact, owned by the individual owning the Google Account and create a near impossible situation where the owner of the Google Account does not have full and sole control of their Google Account due to an establishment having control over the email address.  What does this mean?  Read on:

4.  Case scenarios:

  • Example 1:  a student graduates and the academic establishment removes the student's email address.  This leads to the student no longer having use of their Google Account which they'd created with that email.  The only option is for them to work with the academic establishment to reinstate the email address and to see if they, between them, can change the Google Account's email address to one owned and controlled by the student.
  • Example 2:  an employee of a company/organisation sets up a Google Account with YouTube channel and other services using their company/work email address which is managed mail or through the company's Google Apps.  They leave the company/organisation and their company/work email is deleted by their former employer.  This renders the Google Account inaccessible in the same manner as the example above.  In fact-  this can also delete the entire Google Account if done (in)correctly.  This is because the email address was never actually owned by the individual setting up the Google Account and this is, in essence, a conflict of interest and not strictly in line with the agreement between the Google Account's owner/creator and Google.  Support is extremely limited and must involve the owner of the managed mail or Google Apps account.
  • Example 3:  an employee of a company/organisation sets up a Google Account with YouTube channel and other services using their personal email address or a Gmail email address, ostensibly for the company/organisation but then leaves without transferring ownership of the Google Account to another individual.  The company, who never owned/cannot own the Google Account, is left without recourse beyond contacting the owner and asking them to transfer ownership to another individual in the company.  This is, of course, at the discretion of the (legal) owner of the Google Account.  Meaning that if they refuse to hand over the Google Account, then there is little the company/organisation can do beyond claiming the content of the YouTube channel where applicable, filing a trademark infringement claim to have the channel taken down, or even taking legal action.  In the video below I look at Google Account ownership:

5.  Control/access is "nine tenth of the law" is a sweeping statement, but it pretty much sums up the basic facts.  Google Accounts can be created by individuals who agree to abide by Google's terms of service and the individual can pass on ownership of their Google Accounts to another individual if they must, or just transfer ownership of their Google Account's assets to another individual's Google Account if they need to ownership of their Google Account for themselves.  The individual secures their Google Account against third party access by any other individual in order to maintain "ownership" and this is addressed with-

6.  Access to a Google Account is the user's responsibility.  Think about it-  if you cannot remember or don't know (perhaps because you let someone else create/own what you believe is yours) your Google Account's sign in details (i.e. the email address username and password used to sign in with) then Google cannot verify you as the rightful owner except by asking you to use your Google Account's recovery options which you set for such an eventuality.  And, failing you being able to use your own recovery options-  very generic questions about the Google Account which only the owner can know.

This means that if the third party email address or the phone number placed on record are no longer valid-  they cannot, obviously, be helpful to you.  But Google cannot know that they are no longer valid because the owner didn't update them.  And Google will not override them as they are obliged by the creator/owner to maintain nominal security in the absence of something like 2-step verification which I discuss in the next section.

And the implications of the above for someone who is seeking access to something they did not create (and therefore do not actually own) is that they have no option but to ask the creator/owner for access to it.

In this video I discuss what to consider when creating a Google Account/YouTube channel for a client or third party but this can also be used to inform those who ask others to create Google Accounts for them:

7.  Retaining access and security of a Google Account is the responsibility of the individual, the owner.  Because the contract the individual agreed to is between the individual and Google and Google Accounts are a free service the gaining of access and security of an individual's Google Account is very much DIY.  This is done with the Google Account Recovery tool.

I have dealt with this topic for over six years now and it has become painfully clear that confusion over correct setting up, ownership of assets and responsibility for security has led to many Google Accounts and their assets being lost to their owners or those who mistakenly believed themselves to be owners.

The thousands of cases I have seen over the years have three common themes:

  1. It's my video/me in the video-  why does the YouTube channel's Google Account not belong to me?  To which the answer is that copyright ownership of a video on a Google Account's asset ≠ proof of ownership of the Google Account and, with it, the YouTube channel.
  2. It's my company's YouTube channel and Google Account-  why can I not be given access to the Google Account?  To which the answer is that the Google Account is owned by the creator or the person who has control, and access can only be granted where the person seeking access is given it by the owner or can successfully use the recovery options put in place by the creator/owner.
  3. It's my Google Account but the email was academic/managed mail/run via Google Apps so why is it no longer available to me?  To which the answer is-  the email is kind of a Google Account already and is, therefore, owned by the supplier of the email address itself.  So get in touch with the owner of the email service and see if they can assist you to regain control of the Google Account, something which is unfortunately not a certainty.

8.  Security of a Google Account is vital.  Making use of the offered options to secure the Google Account has become increasingly important as Google Accounts and their assets have become valuable commodities in the digital age.  A monetised YouTube channel with a good number of subscribers or a viral video or two can be worth money to a hacker, and gaining control of a Gmail Google Account can have immeasurable impact if the Gmail is used for bank accounts and other valuable online activities.

In response Google have seriously ramped up security in early 2015 to the point that sometimes even genuine owners are locked out, perhaps because they didn't make use of the option to set recovery options, or maintain those they had.

The answer here is to seriously consider 2-step verification in order to prevent this from ever being an issue.  Read through the link and consider this-  you can set up recovery email addresses, you can set up access/recovery phone and printable codes so that only you, with the device and/or codes can gain access.  And you can get a U2F security key which adds an additional layer of security.  You can even set your device up to be the trusted one so that you don't have to use your security features every time you sign in.

Now-  I used to be wary of such things, careful to not give out my personal details online and steering clear of most anything which smacks of giving someone else control of my assets but having dealt with the consequences of outdated recovery options or none set in the first place, and how difficult it is to prove to Google that this doesn't mean that the users are not genuinely the owners-  I cannot stress this enough.

  • Do not assume that the person you are sharing access to your Google Account with will not accidentally (or purposely) delete something which cannot be recovered once deleted.  Or lock you, the owner, out.  It is why Google deem Google Accounts to be owned by individuals, not groups of people.
  • Do not trust in a third party email service to be safe, if that is the email address you use for, say, your website's public email.  Not naming names but a well-known email provider suffered serious security breaches which led to the Google Accounts secured only with those emails to be vulnerable and hacked en masse a couple of years ago.
  • And do not rely on any security offered by Google if you don't also run malware/virus scans on your devices.   Remote access malware and trojans don't need to gain access-  they get in with you, as you sign in unaware of their presence.
  • Never ignore alerts from Google about your Account security.  They are always important.  By all means question them (phishing is also an issue, which might contribute to some users ignoring important alerts) but then check with the Google help fora.
  • Be vigilant and paranoid (but perhaps not quite so much where Google is concerned.  At least in regard to your assets with them) and don't use an email which is publicly known.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

To Claim Or Not To Claim, Therein Lies The Vexation (or the one about Legacy Linking)

This is about legacy YouTube accounts, those which were created before May 2009 and which have not been linked to Google Accounts.  Which means that these legacy YouTube accounts cannot have been used sine 10th January 2011 as it became mandatory for all legacy YouTube accounts to be linked to Google Accounts in order to be sign in-able.

But first of all, in order to really get to grips with this topic we need to address what IS "legacy"?

The dictionary defines it as:

nounplural legacies.
Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:
the legacy of ancient Rome.
an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of legate.
of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.
For us the relevant bit is "obsolete" and relating to old site functionality which is not supported.

OK, now that I have that out of the way with-  YouTube channels which were created before May 2009 and which have not been linked to Google Accounts yet do exist, although they are increasingly rare.

Google have owned YouTube since late 2006, allowed the creation of YouTube accounts under the legacy system until May 2009 and thereafter ran two systems in tandem-  their YouTube channels on Google Accounts and legacy YouTube accounts not on Google Accounts.

Until, that is, the 11th of January 2011.  From that day onward Google have required that users with legacy YouTube accounts to link them to Google Accounts and use the same system as anyone who created their YouTube channel from May 2009 onward.

And then at the end of that year Google announced the purging of unclaimed legacy YouTube accounts.  But unclaimed legacy YouTube accounts were only those which were never actually used under any system, not even the legacy one.  These unclaimed legacy YouTube accounts had no uploads, no one had ever really signed into them at all.

By January 2012 there were only YouTube channels and non-linked legacy YouTube accounts which had uploads.

Signing in was possible with the custom URL (aka YouTube username) until 2013 when Google realised that the security risk of publicly known "usernames" was causing problems on a crazy scale and required everyone, even YouTubers, to use their Google Accounts' usernames, ie the email addresses these Google Accounts use.  Problems arose for YouTubers who didn't realise that they even had a Google Account involved and that it used the email address as its username.  This is not that important except to inform why this is such a problem for users:

This is the information about the Gaia linking process for those users who really do still have these rare non-linked legacy YouTube accounts which they need to know their legacy YouTube username for and the legacy YouTube password in order to use the Gaia link.

Because the information is outdated (it looks at the linking process from about three years ago) and misleading/confusing (it uses contradictory and conflicting terms) it causes problems for users with these rate non-linked legacy YouTube accounts.

The Gaia link just doesn't look like this anymore.

The current link itself is flawed because explain that if you don't have your legacy password (it is assumed you at least know your legacy YouTube username) you must know/be able to use the legacy email address as a Google Account's email address username.  And it has a completely useless link for loss of access as that is for a Google Account, not a legacy YouTube account.

I have made a video about my many issues with the Help Centre article which I have reported to Google time and time again.  I am hoping that it will be addressed as a matter of urgency.  The one incorrect bit of information about the Google Account to link to needing to not have a YouTube channel on it already has, I note, been removed.  But it is not enough-  the article needs to be rewritten from the bottom up.

How To Transfer A YouTube Channel From One Google Account To Another Google Account

This has been a vexing topic for too long.  Ever since Google introduced Google Accounts for YouTube channels in May 2009 YouTubers have struggled with understanding that YouTube channels are mere products on their Google Accounts, sort of extensions to enable Google Accounts to be used at YouTube and therefore (and quite obviously) cannot be moved to another Google Account.

This is a visual representation of the hierarchy many of us legacy YouTubers still don't "get":

This fact has meant that if someone created a YouTube channel on their Google Account and then wanted to give ownership of the YouTube channel to someone else, they had to consider giving their entire Google Account to that someone as that was the only way.  Think on it-  the YouTube is merely a functionality or "add-on" of the Google Account and so it is the Google Account you would need to hand over.

Where Google Account owners were using third party email and were not attached to other products/services on their Google Account-  not a problem.  Change the email to that of the new owner and Bob's your mother's brother.

But what if you had Google Apps or other Google services you could not afford to give up?  You were stuck.

Stuck, that is, until late Spring 2013.  That marked the period when Google+ was being offered to YouTubers in the form of Google+ Pages, a difficult and yet very helpful development if YouTubers were just to realise it.

Now-  I am not a lover of Google+, it is not a secret.  I will take down websites/forum presences I am not using because I do not like virtual waste and, to me, Google+ is not useful in a big enough way to merit it.  But even I will admit that it has its uses and this one is key to my appreciation of it.

Because now it is possible to move a YouTube channel's ownership from one Google Account to a different Google Account and do so as many times as you wish.  :D  GOOD news!


By linking the YouTube channel to a Google+ Page; that's how!  To do this know your basic navigation tools at YouTube (see first image) and Google+ (see second image):

  1. Sign into your YouTube channel's Google Account at YouTube,
  2. Determine if you need to link to Google+ in the first place or if you already have a Google+ product (these come in two flavours-  personal Google+ Profile and non-personal Google+ Page) linked, then either-
  3. Link to a Google+ Page using the "Link to Google+" option in your YouTube channel's YouTube settings and picking "business or other name" and not your Google profile name, or-
  4. If you have your YouTube channel linked to your personal Google+ Profile and do not yet have a Google+ Page at all then create a new YouTube channel in YouTube settings using "see all your channels or create a new one" (don't worry- the YouTube channel is a means to an end and will be deleted in the next step.  We just want that Google+ Page it creates along with it) and then go to YouTube settings / Advanced to move the YouTube channel from your Google+ Profile to this new Google+ Page or the Google+ Page you already have using the link for this.  Note that you will be asked to confirm that it is OK to delete any YouTube channel already on that Google+ Page you are relinking to.  Check, to make sure.  Obviously with the new one you might just have created as per my instructions-  it is OK to delete.
  5. Go to Google+, select the drop-down menu at the far left, select Pages (or All Pages), select Manage this page for the correct one, click on the cog near the top right to reveal drop-down, select Settings and in Settings click on the Managers tab.  Invite the "target" Google Account which is to become the new owner to be a manager by typing in their email address or their Google+ Profile name if known and sending the invite,
  6. Sign in/get the owner to sign into the "target" Google Account and accept the invitation which can be done two ways, either by navigating to the Google+ Page to be made manager of and clicking on "Accept" in the banner at the top of the page, or by going to their mail services inbox (check spam if not visible) and accepting the invite from the email itself (note-  still need to be signed into the "target" Google Account for this to work without hassle),
  7. Wait 24 hours,
  8. Sign in as the YouTube channel's Google Account owner at Google+ (or at YouTube if you want to be sure), navigate to Pages (or All Pages) / Manage this page / Settings / Managers and transfer ownership by clicking on the small downward arrow by the manager's name on the right.

This completes the transfer.

Your "target" Google Account which was made manager but was upgraded to owner is now the owner of both the Google+ Page and the linked YouTube channel, leaving the original owner as manager.  The new owner can transfer ownership back immediately (handy if you made a mistake or change your mind) and can also remove the old owner from even being just a manager (which is what they become after transferring ownership away).

I have made two videos on the topic-  one longer and very explanatory as is my want:

The other a little more to the point (still with an unhealthy tendency to avoid shortcuts and making a huge deal about the use of Google+ links but at YouTube):

Thereafter it is possible for the new owner to move the YouTube channel from that Google+ Page to any other Google+ product on the same Google Account;  perfect for anyone who wants to use their Google+ Profile with the newly transferred YouTube channel or has a Google+ Page they'd prefer to use instead by using the same process described in 4. above, and here:

Note:  if your YouTube channel's Google+ linkage is permanent then you cannot unlink your YouTube from Google+ despite the ability to transfer ownership or move between Google+ products.  Sorry.

Caveat:  Custom "/c/" URLs do not move with the YouTube channels using them.  They remain with the corresponding Google+ product which has the matching +URL.  Consider this carefully where the "/c/" URL is associated with a Google+ Profile as these cannot be moved (Google+ Profiles ARE the Google Accounts' public faces).

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Move Your YouTube Channel's Google+ Linkage With This Nifty Tool

Since the introduction in early 2012 of Google+ for YouTube we have been dogged by the fact that the linkage we establish between our YouTube channels and Google+ products becomes permanent after the 14 day cooling off period.  To add insult to injury all YouTube channels created nowadays come with their Google+ product perma-linked and if we don't choose well enough we could end up regretting our choices.

Until this week moving the linkage from one Google+ product to another was possible only with the help of support.  And now we have this ├╝ber cool tool which allows us to do this ourselves:

You will find a link to it in YouTube settings / Advanced of the YouTube channel you wish to move to a different Google+ product placed as seen above.

Once you click on the link you are shown a super visual interpretation of your current set-up and a box to click to begin the process:

The easy to understand interface gets even better with the next screen where you will see your choices:

If we look at this third screen you will see that I am using my test YouTube channel Skitrel Mark 5 (shown on the left) which is linked to a Google+ Page of that name (shown on the right) and have the option to link it to my Google account's Google+ Profile (with a photo of Alice) and another Google+ Page (Skitrel Mark 7, sporting its default +Page avatar) on the same Google account.  This is important-  you can only choose Google+ products which exist/are owned by the Google account the YouTube channel and its current Google+ product are owned by.  As per the little note about this on the box with the choices.  :)

There are a couple of caveats here:

1.  You cannot link to a Google+ Profile if you have deleted the Google+ Profile as seen here:

It just wont appear as an option because it doesn't exist.  And if that is what you wish to link the YouTube channel to then you would need to stop the process and go to Google+ in your Google account and create a new Google+ Profile before returning to your YouTube channel and starting the move process over.

2.  You cannot (currently) move the new style custom YouTube /c/ URL with the YouTube channel although you are not told this as seen here:

This is not entirely intuitive behaviour but if you appreciate that the /c/ URL of your YouTube channel is associated with the matching +URL and that that +URL belongs to the Google+ product you are moving from, it begins to make sense.  It "stays" with its matching +URL and is associated to the YouTube channel only where it is linked to the matching +URL using Google+ product.  Annoying, no?  Meh.

Final consideration when choosing the Google+ product to relink your YouTube channel to-  every Google+ product may only have one YouTube channel on it at any one time.  This means that if you pick a Google+ product on that bottom list which has its own channel already you will first be asked to delete it (or cancel the action of course) as seen here:

Be very careful not to delete a YouTube channel you might be super-attached to!  Recovering a user-deleted YouTube channel is not easy at best of times but once you move your other YouTube channel to the deleted channel's Google+ product- all the more confusing for everyone!

Instead-  consider moving the "blocking" YouTube channel to a different Google+ product before moving your YouTube channel to its Google+ product.  ;)  That way you keep both!

Here is a video I made about the process (I don't address the /c/ URL caveat in it as I didn't want to confuse folk but might update the video as the tool's development progresses):

Any questions please drop me a note or, better still, pop over to the fora for serious trouble-shooting.

To "Claim" Or Not To Claim (A YouTube), That Is The Question

Google terminology has never been particularly transparent or, indeed, consistent, and it is left to users to work out the meaning of terms used interchangeably.

With this blog I want to look at the terms "legacy", "channel" and "claiming".

1.  "Legacy"
As the word implies-  something which is passed down by a predecessor.  In the computer world it also defines that which is considered to be "legacy" as "outdated but hard to replace".

In regard to YouTube the term "legacy" specifically refers to any YouTube account created prior to 6th May 2009 as these were created by the no-longer existing YouTube system which Google continued to run despite purchasing over two years previously (late 2006).

That is the definition of "legacy" and I could leave it with that.  However-  should you be interested to know more:  these legacy YouTube accounts were autonomous (standalone) in that they had an email address which they used for their own recovery, their own password and a sort of control dashboard, beloved of web masters.

2.  "Channel" (versus "account")
From May 2009 onward Google implemented their own system of Google account "owned" (as in-  controlled/managed) YouTube channels and any YouTube channel created from then on automatically came with a split control in that the account side of things, ie the email address and the password, were controlled by the master Google account and only the YouTube video/community/public actions were still controlled by the YouTube channels themselves.

This is where the greatest problem with consistency is in that Google often use the terms interchangeably, even where it is not appropriate to do so.  Basically a legacy YouTube account is a pre-May 2009 YouTube account which is not yet linked to a Google account (and they do still exist) and a YouTube channel is any YouTube (pre-May 2009 or post-May 2009 vintage) which is linked to and controlled by a Google account.

But since Google had inherited these legacy YouTube account users they ran the two systems, one for legacy YouTube account users and one for Google account with YouTube channel users in parallel with each other until the 10th of January 2011.

3.  "Claiming" (another word for "linking")
Until the 11th of January 2011 it was option to "link" a legacy YouTube account to a Google account but from that day forward everyone who had a pre-May 2009 non-linked true-blue legacy YouTube had to link to even sign in.  This process is what became known as the Gaia Linking Process.

The introduction of the term "claiming" as part of the process is fairly recent and its usage is both frustrating and misleading.  While it implies that users can "claim ownership" of any YouTube (both channel and account variety), belonging, possibly, not even to themselves it is actually just a way of saying "link a legacy YouTube account to a Google account".

In short-  only a still legacy YouTube account can be "claimed" by a Google account controlled by the user with access to the legacy YouTube account.  Or to rephrase it-  only still legacy YouTube accounts can be linked to Google accounts.

Already linked YouTube channels cannot be "claimed" again.


Here is a video on how to "claim" (aka "link") a legacy YouTube account to a Google account), should this be relevant to your case:

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Creating a YouTube channel for a client or business

Creating a YouTube channel is a very personal affair in that every YouTube channel which is created is created by/for an individual and is inextricably linked to that person and (their) Google account.

Because of that fact it is important to start the process of YouTube channel creation with that in mind- who IS the responsible person who will ensure that access is maintained for the lifetime of the YouTube channel?  Is it the creator or, as in my case (as someone making channels for clients), someone else?

Here is how to avoid problems in the future when starting from scratch (ie creating a Google account):

1.  Determine who is ultimately going to "own" the YouTube channel and know this- every YouTube channel is a mere product of its Google account.  So-  who is going to "own" the Google account?

2a.  Gather their data for the creation of the Google account- name, date of birth (note:  a date of birth is not the same as a company's founding year- it refers very literally to the person's "birth"), and mobile/cell phone number.  Get them to prepare a company (domain) email for their YouTube channel's Google account.  Also a recovery email which should be one which is permanent and never likely to be deleted/lost.

2b.  Ask for a name choice for the Google+ Page you will be creating for the YouTube channel.  Also what custom URL the channel should use, with a few options in case of the first choice not being available (good custom URLs are hard to come by so be prepared to compromise and be creative when deciding this with the company/client).

3.  Create the Google account in the responsible individual's name, with their details and use a password they should change once you hand over control.  Have the verification code sent to them and ask them to pass it on to you as soon as possible (it helps to be in contact with them by mobile/cellphone at very least).

4.  Create the YouTube channel on this Google account using "business or other name" which will generate the Google+ Page which is now a mandatory requirement for all new YouTube channels.  The Google+ Page can have the full and correct name of the company/client/brand.  Follow through with the choosing of the Google+ category for the +Page being created and agree to the ToS on behalf of the company/client.

5.  Give the YouTube channel a custom URL as discussed with the company/client in 2b. above.

6.  IF desired by the company/client- make yourself a manager of the Google+ Page you have just created with the YouTube channel.  That way you can hand over control of the master Google account created in the responsible person's name but still have "manager" access to the YouTube channel to continue with your involvement via your OWN Google account.

7.  Hand over control of the master Google account to the responsible person/client and request that they change the password and make a note of the email address/username and the new password for future reference.  Impress upon them that this is vital data which should be kept safe.

Here is a video on how I go through these steps for others on a very regular basis, having learned through trial and error just how difficult it can be to remember that it is not YOUR YouTube channel and should never ever be set up as such:

It may help to understand why a Google+ Page-using YouTube channel is the right product option for all but the most personal YouTube channels.  Here is a video where I address the difference between the personal/individual Google+ Profile option and the non-personal/public facing Google+ Page option:

Thursday, 20 February 2014

How To Make a YouTube Channel (February 2014

Creating YouTube channels used to be relatively straight-forward.  Nowadays when you want to create a YouTube you create a whole slew of Google accounts and profiles and services before you get to the good bit.  Let's start by going to YouTube and clicking:

1.  Creating your YouTube's Google account (if you have one then skip this step and log into that Google account) by using the small link to Create an account:

i.  Personal data entry:  Having clicked the little link on the sign in page you will be taken to Google (note the URL and the logo in the left top corner):

where you pick an email to use or create a GMail especially for the Google account/YouTube channel you are creating and complete other personal data such as a phone number for verification and future recovery as well as needing to read the terms of service and agree to them (please read them and try to understand them as not doing so can give you problems later on, given how tough they can be).

Note:  also make sure that you give your real personal data as you may well need to know the data you input in order to verify yourself in months/years to come and remembering what untruth you told is nigh on impossible no matter how well you believe you know it.

ii.  Verification and phone numbers:  Verify your Google account and its details, including its recovery email address initially by receiving a code to your phone which you can use as entered on the previous screen or which you can edit.  Note- you can use a landline for the voice message (true as of March 2013 when this was tested by yours truly).  Use the code in the field for it on the dialogue page which pops up after you confirm how you wish to receive the code.

iii.  Welcome and the importance of that email address:  You will then be welcomed.  To your new Google account.  NOT a YouTube channel.  Not yet any way.  Note the email address/Google account username.  It is your ONLY username, the only one you can log in with.  Forget it and you are lost, without hope.  Honest.

Next click on  Back to YouTube  to start the channel set up.

2.  Creating your YouTube account and channel:

i.  Initiating set up:  You will be at YouTube with your Google account username (ie email) showing up top right.  Click on it and drop down the menu.  Pick My Channel from it to be prompted to set one up.  :)  Or click on upload or comment on someone videos as those activities would also require you to actually HAVE a YouTube channel.

Note:  Setting up a YouTube "account" means you get a channel AND a Google+ profile for it. (while this is not optional, you can later disable the Google+ profile with care).  

ii.  Picking a name for the Google+ Profile and the YouTube account:  You will be asked to enter a name you wish to be known by, it doesn't HAVE to be the same as you entered for the Google account.  So you could use a pseudonym, I guess.

iii.  Or using a "proper" YouTube name, no spaces but which appears in the URL:  BUT, and this is important to note, you can ALSO pick a "Business or Other" name.  That option is where the name you pick, providing it is available, becomes part of the URL.  That kind of name must be alpha-numeric, not exceed 20 characters and actually be available.  If it is not, because someone got it before you, then you must pick another.  You cannot have their name, even if they have since closed the channel, sorry.

Note:  if you use a real name or pseudonym, which gives you a space in the name of your YouTube channel your YouTube's URL will remain randomised and have /channel/ in it.  If, however you pick an "other" or "business" name for your channel you get to create the URL as per the name.  And you can STILL opt to use the real name or pseudonym afterward (the URL will remain set to whatever you picked for it).

After all the above-  here is a video on the how to which you may prefer to use: