Friday, June 20, 2008

TVW embed tool is live

Its official, TVW has added customized embedding for all of their internet content. This includes (as I realized this morning how important this would be) the audio content. I would estimate 70 percent of the really good stuff (state legislative committee work) is audio only.

Via email from Greg Lane:
We’re pleased to announce TVW has added a new embedding tool to all programming found on our website

This new tool allows any event from TVW’s archives to be embedded into websites and blogs, and includes the ability to highlight a portion of the footage, but in a way that honors the balanced, unedited, gavel-to-gavel nature of TVW programming.

The new embedding tool is readily accessible just below the player window of every TVW video and audio event available at

Our goal is to be the most effective resource as possible for citizens to view the Legislature, state government and state public policy debate. We look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions, as well as working with you to improve our services.


Greg Lane, President

What is “embedding”?

Embedding is the ability to place a video or other object in html code in order to display it on a webpage. TVW will now allow you to "embed" a TVW video or audio event on another website or blog while TVW’s servers securely stream that content to your web visitors.

Embedding instructions

Embedding TVW video on your website is simple and very similar to YouTube’s embed function. With a little knowledge of html you can quickly get TVW's video playing on your website or blog.
To embed an event from

* Click in the text field under the video player area or click "Embed". This will select all of the code needed to copy into your site or blogs html editor.
* Use the "Right mouse click" and chose "Copy." This will copy the text to your computers clipboard.
* “Paste” this code into your websites html code or your bog’s html editor.

(For specific hosted blog spheres and how to embed video code, please consult the appropriate help section of your blog site or contact your webmaster.)

Advanced embedding options

TVW’s advanced virtual-clip feature is unique to the web. This feature allows you to choose a “Start” and “Stop” time, essentially creating a virtual clip of a TVW event. This, however, does not edit the actual event - it allows a user to continue playing from the point the clip ends and review the event in its entirety right from your webpage or blog.

To use the advanced features, click the “Use Advanced Embed” button and set the start and stop times. These times must be in a HH:MM:SS format. You can also set the width dimensions of the video. The dimensions feature can only be set in conjunction with using the virtual-clip feature. To simply embed the video without a virtual-clip, click the “reset” or “Use Standard Embed” buttons. This will clear any advanced embed features.

For further questions about TVW’s embedding feature, contact

Here are a few lessons learned from this little adventure:

1. Even though I care about something and have cared for a bit, just me caring about something doesn't mean something will actually get done. I started thinking and blogging about TVW and social media over a year ago, but it wasn't until a more prominent blogger crossed swords with them did this ball get moving.

2. Small organizations with good people can do great work.

3. Mark Gardener, who jumped on this issue early (here and here), apparently trying to pick Goldy on the issue, looks like a total ass. Still. What really bothers me about his writing on this was that he was so quick to make it into a "oh wow, this is really going to hurt those Dems" thing when there were so many issues here to mull over about how this could be bad for blogger, citizens and democracy in general.

Oh well, don't want to look too far outside the blinder, eh Mark?

1 comment:

Daniel Kirkdorffer said...

I’m trying out the advanced embedded video solution and I’m not entirely happy with it because while I can set a start and stop time the viewer has no good indication that what they are viewing is in fact a subsection.

What I think is needed is some better indicator that what they are viewing is a clip from within the full video. While they show the current time position and the amount of time left, that’s for the entire video. The viewer does not know until the video segment ends how long the segment will be. They’re thrown into the middle of the video, but without any visual anchors. When the segment ends and the pause indicator displays a viewer won’t understand why. My suggestion would be that they provide some on screen text that explicitly states that the segment selected ended and they can continue viewing more if they wish.

Worse: there is no easy replay button for the subsegment. If you drag back to within it, it doesn’t stop the second time it gets to the segment end time. This will be really annoying because they don’t have an indicator of the segment start. In effect you get one play through and then you’ve lost all sense of where it started and how to replay just that subsegment. They really need a replay subsegment button.

Also, while their Advanced Embed form takes start and end times in HH:MM:SS, it converts it to seconds from start. So if I want to manually adjust the oddly named “stopPosition” and “stoppoints” parameters, I have to convert as well. It would be much simpler to a user if they took stoppoints and stopPosition parameters in HH:MM:SS format directly and did the conversion in their video player code.

Finally, they don’t validate the start and stop times. If you enter a time period greater than the length of the video in the form, I think it should validate that.