Posted by: Eddie deGuzman | August 16, 2009

Adding video to my blog.

Learning to add video to my blog has been a slow and difficult process for me.  But it’s also been very enlightening .  In my first attempt, I tried directly uploading the videos into my post, but eventually realized that my free on-line wordpress blog did not allow it.  So I then decided to upload my files to YouTube but keep them private and only allow viewing through my blog.  I originally intended my aikido and karate video to aid in discussion of martial and movement theory with my friends from home.  I wasn’t  interested in the so often “silly” comments YouTube viewers often leave.  But this proved to be particularly troublesome.

Apparently, I can stream the videos through my blog, but unless one is specifically allowed to view my private videos, then YouTube prevents them from being watched.  So, I was then forced to make my videos public and voila, they were viewable around the world.  Luckily, YouTube allows me to monitor comments if I so choose.  And I do, but as of yet, there haven’t been any.  😦 Go figure.  But it’s amazing really.  One day I’m alone in my training, the next, not only could my friends from the U.S. see and comment(and laugh), but people were watching me training from all corners of the globe.  I’m very popular in North Africa and the Middle East right now. 🙂

So I then was able to embed individual videos into my blog.  This was fine, but tedious when I had a number of video to post.  I then decided to simply create links to the YouTube video.  That was so much quicker than embedding.  The only problem was that organizationally, they were difficult to find, especially for non-English speaking Japanese.  Later, I discovered the “Sticky”.  Like a little post-it note on the front page, I was able to add a direct link to the video pages and the problem was sufficiently solved.

At some point I added pictures to my blog, and that, too, being a tedious process, I looked for a better way.  Since I use Picasa, I of course created a web album and then a slide show, but was never able to get it to display properly.  Through a little research, I discovered I could save media to a VodPod account and embed my original Picasa slide show from there.  It was a little roundabout, but nice to finally see my pics in one window on my blog.

Recently, I took a few pictures of the moon.  And after embedding the slide show, I discovered the VodPod widget that allows me to display videos I’ve bookmarked.  So, now I no longer need to have a sticky at the top of the page because my VodPod channel is always displayed on the right with the latest 4 videos displayed.  There were options for displaying video with tags, for example, aikido, karate or kata, etc., but for some reason they don’t work.  But, it’s close enough for now.

Since I touched on video and pictures, I suppose I should mention audio.  That was fairly easy.  I found a couple of sites for musicians and was able to upload music and simply linked the music or embedded a music player into my blog.  And I very unproductively have not used it since. 😦

At some point I suppose I’ll host my own blog site and have full control over everything, but until then I remain cheap and looking for shortcuts.

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