Due to the excitement over our new series About Blogging, we have decided to have the column run every other Monday, instead of just once a month.
Our first guest contributor, who will be a regular here for our About Blogging series, is Jim Durbin of Durbin Media. Jim is an expert blog consultant with a wealth of information and we are thrilled to have him writing for us. You can find him at his blog Brandstorming and at www.durbinmedia.com.
We will still have other guest contributors posting for this series as well – so if you are interested in contributing you can email me at janice @ 5minutesformom.com.
If you have specific topics or questions you would like addressed in future About Blogging posts, send them over! You can reach me at janice @ 5minutesformom.com (remove spaces.)
Embedding Video, Music and Slideshows In A Blog
You’ve seen them. Those cool bloggers with their oh so trendy multimedia presentations. Their commercials of your favorite products – the ones you talk about in sparkling prose, but just not the same as the flashing lights, colors, and sounds of moving pictures. They show off slideshows of their kids, or put mp3’s into a blog post on our their MySpace page, while you’re stuck with a line that says “put links here.”
If you’ve ever been that person whose suffered from blog jealousy, help is on the way. Today we’re going to talk about some simple ways to embed video, songs, and slideshows into your blog to show your friends and family that you too have entered the YouTube age.
The first thing to recognize is that you are uploading a file to the blog, much the same way you are uploading a picture or a document. If you want to play music or home movies on your blog, you’ll have to know how to upload these from your computer into your blog software. That’s a bit difficult to explain, because everyone has different computers, different operating systems, and different video files. What we’ll cover is how to embed videos, music, and slideshows that are already created. The process is always the same. You take a line of code marked “embed,” and post it to your blog in the Edit HTML file of your blogging software.
Let’s actually walk through it. Go to YouTube. We’re going to find a video on the site and embed it in a blog post
Search for the video for your site typing in pampers and babies in the tags. The fourth video down is Pampers Peace On Earth. That’s the one you want. Click on it.
Look to the right of the video for the embed code. If you just want the link, copy the link and put it into your post like you would any hyperlink. If you want to embed the video, select the embed code, in this case;
Copy This code (control-c, or apple-c), you’re going to take back to your site. Make sure you have the complete code.
Login to your blogging software. It does not matter if it’s Typepad, WordPress or Blogger. Write a post, describing what you are about to play for video. Be descriptive, and remember that videos that do not have descriptions do not get viewed, and Google can’t read them. So in this case, write about how much you love the pampers peace on earth commercial.
When you are completely finished writing the post, and I mean completely, look to the tabs in your software that say Compose (Post), and Edit HTML. In Blogger, it just says compose – in Typepad it says Compose Post. Click on the Edit HTML tab. This will change the text on your screen to html, which allows you to paste the embed code from YouTube.
Figure out where you want to place the video in your post (on top, in the middle, at the bottom), and clear a space for it using the return key. Make sure there is at least one space before and after the embed code. The embed code should be it’s own paragraph, and you don’t want to make changes after you have pasted the code. So clear a space, hitting the return key a few times, and then paste the embed code into the the blog post.
Save the post, and you’re done. Remember to preview.
This may seem elaborate, but following these instructions is the cleanest way to make sure your video works. What is happening is the Compose Post tab of your blogging software is called a WYSIWYG editor. (WYSIWYG stands for “what you see is what you get.”) Basically, it allows people to write posts without knowing HTML. The WYSIWYG editor can’t handle video code, so it tries to change it into something recognizable. That change ruins the code, so you have to go to the edit HTML tab to paste the code correctly.
The reason for the spacing is simple. Most people accidentally delete portions of the code when making changes. If you have it in a separate paragraph, you can see if you have made those mistakes, and simply copy and repaste to solve the problem.
(Advanced Tip: If you have a smaller column like here at 5 Minutes for Mom, you will need to change the object width in the code to keep from making your column too wide. So where it says width=”425″, you simply change the width from “425” to “380” or whatever pixel size will fit in your column. This width will be listed twice in the code, so make sure you change it both times.)
Songs and SlideShows
The process for adding Slideshows and Music is the same.
You’re looking for an embed code in another software, and you add it to the site in the same manner. The best way to get that code, is to join an application like Flickr, Slideroll, or Sonific, and upload your mp3 or photos into those applications. They automatically do what is very complex to do on your own, namely building slideshows and music players on your desktop.
Join those applications, upload the songs and photos from your desktop, and then look for the embed code the site generates to put into your blogpost.
Remember to join us in two weeks, for another installment of About Blogging.