Category: Social Media


I saw this yesterday: Matt Bailey talks about web traffic analysis.

YouTube – Marketing Talks at Google presents Matt Bailey.

He suggests moving up the ladder from data to information to knowledge, by using segmentation and human understanding, along with a good dose of further raw data.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

How do you set your YouTube thumbnail…again?

According to this seemingly complicated formula, this is how YouTube sets frames in its videos:

X = Video length in sec.Y = X divided by 4 or X/4 in sec.

via How to Set Up The Right Poster Frame in YouTube.

Okay—admittedly, there’s more to it than that—I just cut it down to that for simplicity’s sake…maybe I should say, for “complexity’s sake” because I thought the Squidoo lense where I found this information had perhaps a bit too involved a way of explaining all this.

So, how do I figure out what video frames YouTube uses as its poster frame?

A simpler (or at least different) way to express that would be to put your poster frames at the quarter marks (1/4, 1/2, 3/4).  But then they make it even more complicated by adding statements about “you’ll have to experiment a little bit.”  Well, which is it?

How do you figure out how to set your YouTube keyframe?  Is it this super-exact formula, or is it “just fool around until you figure it out?”

[If the latter is true] In which case, why did you bother making an article (in this actually a Squidoo lense) about all this?

Video Compression Likely Affects Thumbnails

….but then I surfed a bit more and found these comments in response to a related YouTube video that they had posted:

well i tested this out on my video, “winter longboarding edit” – verdict: doesn’t work. my video is 4:07 long, meaning a thumbnail every 61.75 seconds; while each is Roughly at the minute mark, my first thumbnail is at 0:54, 2nd at 2:00, 3rd at 3:00 – by your calculation they Should have been 1:01, 2:03, 3:05. have they randomized it a bit now?

via YouTube – YouTube Thumbnail Timer Video.

I think the answer is that there is a segmentation used in video compression, where the only actual real “frames” somehow are located at the boundaries of those segments.  This means that for things like DVD chapter (start points) and, I’m guessing, these YouTube thumbnails too, the salient single frame of video must occur at that boundary-mark.   Probably YouTube aims for the 1/4, 2/4, 3/4 (quartermarks) but only can come in as close as possible.

Where (and what) are thumbnails?

These thumbnails are, practically speaking, small JPGs stored on the YouTube server.  So now that you know how to set thumbnails for your YouTube video—where do you find those video thumbnails, once they’re set?

According to the Squidoo lense, you can find them here:

YouTube thumbnails are built like this:
http://img.youtube.com/vi/[video-id]/1.jpg

In this instance, “1.jpg” is only the format…the other thumbnails will be “2.jpg” and “3.jpg” in the same root directory.

Building these Thumbnails into Your Scripts

I have the distinct feeling that, like everything online, this quarter-mark policy will eventually change.  So, you can count on it (roughly) for now, but I’d recommend not making a huge deal about writing your scripts around these special numbers.

Just be aware, things change.

Conclusion regarding this Video Lense

Probably, with a hope to monetize, this lense also included a reference to an eBook you can buy about YouTube marketing.  This book posits that you can do your YouTube marketing taking only “an hour a day.”  A few notes about that statement:

  1. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot from one perspective .
  2. This is actually probably an accurate statement (from that same perspective)
  3. It is not a whole lot from that same perspective.
  4. From another perspective, that is a lot of total time to be invested (think about how many hours that is across five years!)
  5. And, well, see below…

Though I can’t comment on the value of this product, I will go on to say that I did find a great free many, many page report about YouTube marketing at RapidVideoBlogging.com, which seemed extensive (if not exhaustive) and also pretty accurate from what I could tell.

(No, I’m not an affiliate for either of these sites, but I thought I’d just share them anyhow—I just thought there were valuable and thought I’d share them anyways.)

Though there’s always so much to say about technology, especially in this rapid “exponential” age of advancement and gizmos—I found that I was not fully using my unique voice, just posting here.

So, without further ado, let me announce the launch and inception of my new blog, “I Am Not Your Pastor,” which follows a short term I held as a minister at a local ministry.

The URL is IAmNotYourPastor.com, and here you can expect to find both my insights (which I hope and believe are unique and fairly helpful) and some stories of divine coincidence and other experiences I’ve had. Also, I’ve invited guest writers to share their thoughts, and we’ll see what happens from there.

I don’t pretend that I’m perfect, or that I have all the solutions to make life work right, but I’m here, and I have something to say.  So, just as Maya Angelou once wrote (or was it a Chinese proverb?) —

A bird does not sing because it has an answer,

it sings because it has a song.

And, thus—I just had to start singing—in this case, it’s a sort of writing and sharing through blogging.

My two main goals for this new website are “serendipity” (the discovery of new, right-angle-to-previous-thinking concepts) and “synergy” the emergence of better things through the combination of multiple angles or viewpoints (generating a result which is “more than the sum of its parts”).

Yes, you’ll still be able to check back here and find new things—but focus in online blogging will be there, at this new blog, at least for now.

I made a post a few months back about the concept of really following your dreams, making the world a better place, and “creating things of beauty never before seen on the earth.”

This is part of why I’m doing what I’m doing here.

Flavors.Me diagramA solution for small businesses and the personal brandflavors.me? This personal gateway is a single hub for your social media accounts—Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and more, all displayed in a single page, labelled and branded the way you want it.

As more and more businesses are opening up to the idea of using the Internet, its usually social media—the new path of least resistance—that becomes the first place they’ll start.  Often times companies will be more likely to have Facebook pages or Myspace accounts before they’ll have an actual “official” webpage: one thing that builds on this is the fact that the companies out there that are starting often will begin with something like a Facebook page, simply because this is easier than hiring an XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and Design expert to put together a full-on site.

What this means is that information on Facebook and social media sites is often more likely to be accurate and up to date, than “official news” displayed in (print and even) web. Flavors.me comes forward as a place to aggregate that all into a single customizable front-page, and aggregate all that disparate social sharing (like videos, photos, text updates and more) and then put them together, basically as a (or rather the new breed of) official web-page.

So take a look.  There is a rather inspiring gallery of Flavors on their website that include a number of personal/professional and even a few business entries.  One that caught my eye, was a small restaurant from Toronto that was sharing their menu online as well as updates to their ongoing business life and creative cook-ups.  The restaurant was located in my hometown, and as such, their social media was quite effective—my wife and I have decided to try to visit them next time we’re up that way.

MY QUEST IS COMPLETED!

WordPress bloggers, read on: The quest to which I refer is that of a long-standing desire to find a simple way to on-the-spottishly grab some sort of webpage, or whatever cool new thing I came across and quickly throw it into a spot where I could grab it later.  Though I had known about and explored social bookmarking, including a somewhat (but little) used del.ico.us account, I still found myself looking for something more.

That something would be later evolved, in part, into this blog.  Thus the part of the quest that involved storing and sharing the information was then done.
The full-on mission objective that I’m talking about is this: I wanted to have a way to handle all the cool-new things that we were finding online and record, save, store and share them.  The problem with learning so much is that you have to save it, remember it—that’s our job as human beings—we our responsible to remember things that are important.  It’s one of those rare human gifts, perhaps setting us apart from animals and inanimate objects moreso than walking upright, using fire, or any other technology—we are perhaps the only instrument by which a serious, detailed record of the past is imposed on the Universe…

But perhaps a wax philosophic.  I do!

So, anyways, the point of this blog was to save things—save information, and then share them with others, and all the good things that come along with that.  The question then is, now that I have all these things shared, how do I quickly harvest all this low-hanging fruit that I am constantly coming across?

Here’s the solution: the “Press This” button or “add-on” or whatever it’s called.  Apparently, it’s a little do-dad that you can download from the WordPress site, assuming then that you have a WordPress blog and you are using it to keep track of, and share interesting things that may have related how-to sites, wikis, news articles, video-sharing streams, or what-have you online.  Now, if you are, this is a good thing for you to use.

The WordPress how-to site describes it like so:

Use Press This to clip text, images and videos from any web page. Then edit and add more straight from Press This before you save or publish it in a post on your site.

But  more-to-the-point, let me describe it as this: a quick way to grab the “low-hanging fruit” and throw them back into the “blog on this later bin.”  Very cool, and probably obvious—yet, I’m a bit skeptical as to whether or not most people knew about this.  Of course, there were always social-bookmarking toolbar buttons for your browser (which is what this highly resembles) but…nevertheless, this fits well, hand-in-glove, in-fact, with the whole idea of find, save, share.

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

6 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes – Investopedia Slideshows.

Heard things about Facebook and how it can damage your career search?  Maybe you have…but have you heard specifically what to avoid?  Here are six things to avoid doing that you don’t want to do with your social media accounts.

Yesterday’s post featured a claim that Google-use had been overtaken by Facebooking time.  In other words, the users who search on Google are spending less time doing that than the users of Facebook are spending on that favorite social-media service.

Think about what Facebook hosts already, things primarily that used to be available only elsewhere on the internet:

  • Instant Messaging: With Facebook-chat, one can always catch up with friends online
  • E-mail: Facebook Messages allow one to communicate with one another just like you would with (old-fashioned?) e-mail.  User-to-user long-form messaging is what that’s all about.
  • Content: Growing numbers of Facebook pages/groups are starting to be the go-to options for businesses, even before they have their own professional webpages. Having so many users and contacts all right there to plug in to whatever cause, venture or endeavor you’re doing is just too tempting—especially when compared with the work necessary to get a regular website the type of traffic a Facebook page can potentially get with just a few clicks.
  • Advertising:  Sure, you can buy banner ads on the rest of the regular-old internet, but that old dinosaur (I say tongue-in-cheekly, but with an alarming edge of seriousness) is going the way of the…internet.  Why?  What gives Facebook ads a competitive edge?  Immediately available demographic data for pinpoint accuracy and market targetting.
  • Digg-style Media Sharing:  Yup, you can have…really any kind of media shared on Facebook, from video, to pictures, to text and more.
  • Games, games, games:  I’m surprised that this one didn’t blow the rest of them out of the water—or rather, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one wasn’t the number one reason that Facebook is the one-stop shop for everyone and the number one place for spending time.  Facebook games, which always bring in that social attachment, are highly addictive. FarmTown/FarmVille anyone?

I don’t think that there’s a whole lot more that needs to be said here.  I suppose the only thing that Facebook doesn’t have going for it is a good way to search the internet…oops, they have a Google built-in option for that.  I wonder if time spent using the Google plug-in to search the web (while still in the content-frame/shell of Facebook) counts as time for Google?  Probably not.

Basically, you can do anything on Facebook that you can do on the rest of the internet, but with Facebook’s dynamic social-linking engine, you can do it with your friends.

So why would you go anywhere else?

Google, long being the dominant force of seemingly everything web (well, not really, but it sounded cool to say) has been ousted in one arena by another key-player, Facebook.
According to a survey of web-usage times reported in a recent article, people are spending more time online using Facebook, than they are searching on Google.  Not surprising to me, as the Facebook platform is hosting more and more content in-house, almost as a subset, parallel or secondary internet all of its own! 

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

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