Tag Archives: media

Development, WordPress

Adding a Time Start to WordPress Media Embeds

Ever have those times that you’d like to share a piece of media but have it start at a particular time? I did recently, and figured I’d share my solution.

It turns out, WordPress does not support this feature out of the box (though you could argue, theoretically, that it should).

We just remembered the 50 year anniversary of the Selma march which was nicknamed Bloody Sundy as 600 civil rights marchers were attacked viciously by law enforcement in 1965. It seems appropriate to sample the MLK “I have a dream speech for this demo.

Now of course, it’s all a great speech worth listening to, but what if I want to start the audio at the place we all know?

Boom, just like that. The nuts and bolts of this are tied up in this code:

Simply, I filter the shortcode attributes for the audio and video shortcodes adding a new argument – “start”. This is in seconds.

The second adds a little snippet of Javascript after each embed that moves the internal time pointer to the appropriate spot in the supplied media.

Caveat: This will not work for media that is simply cut and paste. While WordPress will translate appropriate media URLs into embeds, it does not pass anything more than the required `src` argument.

Full source code, as a WordPress plugin, can be found on Github. (Pull requests encouraged)

guest blogging

PopTok: usa tus películas favoritas para enviar un mensaje

Ya no tendrás que escribir “Hasta la vista, Baby!” o “Groovy!” en tus mensajes. Gracias a PopTok, podrás utilizar un video clip de tu escena favorita para transmitir tu mensaje.


PopTok, respaldada por Mickey Schulhof (anterior jefe ejecutivo de Sony America) y Jerusalem Venture Partners, y dirigida por Scott Kauffman, ex-Yahoo!, piensa ofrecer su servicio a las productoras y distribuidoras de películas como una herramienta de promoción de sus bibliotecas de contenido. Ya han firmado acuerdos con CBS, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, SonyBMG, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers y Warner Music.

El servicio funciona con la mayoría de los sistemas de mensajería instantánea y una versión para Mac está por salir.

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Aaron Brazell

The Power of Bloggers

I subscribe to a handful of blogs that are completely unrelated to my niche. The reason behind these subscriptions are varied: historical niche coverage that I’ve done (for instance, politics when I got started), friends or associates, really killer blogs related to specific sports teams, etc. There’s different reason. Largely, though, my RSS reader is a smattering of technology news, analysis, business, etc combined with a growing number of search feeds from Technorati, Google Blog Search or Icerocket.

One of the blogs I do subscribe to is Outside the Beltway which is one of the few political blogs that stuck after I stopped covering politics. Occasionally, James covers a topic that has crossover into the Technosailor market. This was one of those posts.

I still think the political space is different than the rest of the blogosphere and is a bit myopic (okay, a lot!), but there’s some great stuff. In his article, James notes that back when he began blogging in 2003(?), bloggers liked to write about blogging.

Unfortunately, it’s still that way today. Am I doing it now?

Largely, he makes a good point inadvertently, that the great blogs today are blogs that have something to say. They might be seen as “media”, depending on the niche. They might be seen as Journalists, depending on the niche. In the tech space, I’d call Gigaom a journalistic property, more than a blog. TechCrunch is largely a media organization, but I do question the journalistic legitimacy of a “publish now, correct later” site (something that Mike acknowledged in a Mesh Conference keynote last year and numerous other times as well).

I don’t want to get broiled down in the question of what is journalism and what is not? I don’t really want to discuss the “media merit” of any site, really.

More importantly, there is an evolution that takes place where a blog goes from a blog to a media property. It’s hard to tell, at least for me, what that point is. Is it when a site gets more than one author? Is it when there is a certain “rate of fire” on posts per day? Per week?

Is it pageviews and eyeballs? Is it simply a nomenclature thing where the Editor stops considering and calling the site a blog and starts referring to it as something else? Is it advertising? Is it the presence and participation in a network?

What’s the difference? Where is the line?

I think it’s obvious that some sites are “media” while others are not, but where and how does this evolution take place?

I expect other people to have different theories than I do, and that’s okay. My feeling is that it’s a combination of all of those things, but mostly it’s how the site is “sold” to readers? I see Technosailor.com, for instance, as a media property. Yes, it’s a blog? But is it?

We’ve recently refreshed the layout of the site to be more of a newspaper look, thanks to a large degree of influence from Huffington Post and The New York Times – both significant, and undeniable, “media outlets”.

Is that enough though? Probably not.

I’ve also hired other writers and contributors with an eye on hiring more as I’m able to recoup costs via advertising and other sponsorship. This is another ingredient, or at least that’s what Google News believes, since it does not accept any sources that don’t have multiple authors.

What’s the difference? Where is the evolutionary point?

Aaron Brazell

Drinking the Kool Aid, Believing the Hype

Congratulations to the New York Giants for upsetting the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. It was unexpected. It was exciting. It was nailbiting.

However, I’m absolutely disgusted with the national sports media surrounding this Patriots team. Somehow, they have created a hype that history now shows us could not be sustained. All year, the idea that this Patriot machine could not be beaten was pushed and pushed and pushed. There were obvious signs that this hype was not reality, but foolishly the media failed to recognize the signs and continued stumping their speeches. And we believed them.

In Week 12, the Philadelphia Eagles had the Patriots beaten in the 4th quarter and Brady’s squad engineered a comeback. In Week 13, the Baltimore Ravens had the Pats beaten 3 times in the fourth quarter, but penalties and poor officiating gave the Patriots the inches they needed to get the win. Finally, in week 17, Brady had to play from behind again to pull out a win against the New York Giants. Yes, the same now-World Champion New York Giants.

On Fox Sports Radio this afternoon, Vic Carucci stated that “we are just waiting for the inevitable” noting that the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl had been dull and dry and lacking any kind of real expectation.

After the Giants won tonight, another radio commentator asked, “How did we not see this coming?”

My answer: You bought into your own hype. You forgot that the Giants were the NFC Champions. You believed that there was no way that the Patriots could not go undefeated. What a fantastic news story that would be. The only team to go undefeated since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. You lined up Don Shula on radio show after television show. You predicted that the Patriots would win the game in the first quarter. You said that Eli Manning was a nobody. You said that Bellichick was a master with or without “Spygate“.

You created your own koolaid, and then you drank it. Shame on you.

Aaron Brazell

Why Stale Media Won't Survive

I could probably give a thousand reasons why Old Media, referred to by me as stale media, simply won’t make it in the brave new world of new media. It’s the same argument that Apple’s Steve Jobs tries to make in his spinnish way regarding DRM and the music industry, and the same argument that YouTube is trying to demonstrate to the movie industry. In the 21st century, revolution is the same as it was in 1776 when a bunch of ragtag farmers took up arms against the polished steel of English forces servient to King George. Revolution begins at the grassroots.

Stale Media won’t make it in the 21st century trying to play the game the 20th Century way. In the 20th century, information was disseminated from golden palaces set on hills and adorned with letters that struck fear and trembling in those they wrote about. Those letters spelled out words such as ‘New York Times’ and ‘CBS Evening News’.

In 1969, Americans gathered around television sets to witness Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. In 2001, the tubes were clogged because people were trying to get to the internet to find out about the World Trade Center. In 2007, Google indexes blogs next to mainstream news sites. The relevance has shifted.

Mark Twain famously said, “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink in barrels”, referring to taking on those with the power of the pen – main stream media, or newspapers of his day. That has generally been the accepted rule until new media changed that. Now, the record labels license music to be sold (with DRM) on iTunes and the Zune store among other places. Now, many of the television networks air their shows on the internet and, notably many online news outlets have embraced new media-centric tools, such as Technorati, as a feature of their websites. Blogburst helped by syndicating bloggers to online news centers.

But there is still a bastion of arrogance that will kill the online stale media business if it is not rendered obsolete. That is, this notion that users should have to register to be able to read articles on websites like the Washigton Post or the LA Times.

You see revolutions begin with people like you and me deciding that things can (and should) be different. I have taken the position that I don’t register for these websites. It’s painful at times especially when those newspaper columnists have toiled away at that killer headline. Truth is, I have the world of new media and generally, the content is much more lively.

I leave you with this video (thanks, Seth!) which is an Apple commercial from 1984 when the first Mac would be introduced. Revolution starts somewhere.