Fargo Design Company

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Video Upload: FAQ

Frequenty Asked Questions for Video Upload on Blogger in draft

Why can’t I see the video upload icon?
The icon will only be visible in browsers that support the Compose mode editor (Firefox and Internet Explorer) and only when you’re logged in to draft.blogger.com.

Where are my videos hosted?
Videos uploaded through Blogger are hosted on Google Video.

Are my videos indexed or searchable?
No, your videos are kept private and will not be included in Google Video search.

How long does it take to upload and process a video?
Uploading a video may take a while, since videos tend to be very large files. However, the exact amount of time required will depend on the size of your specific video and the speed of your internet connection. The processing stage usually takes about five minutes. Blogger will display a status message below the post editor to let you know how this is going, and there will be a placeholder icon in your post to show where the video will appear.

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Enclosures and Video Podcasting

The other feature launched to Blogger in draft today is support for enclosure links. If you haven’t heard of “enclosures” before, they’re the bits of info in Atom and RSS feeds that make podcasting possible. With the new enclosure links UI, you can turn your blog into a podcast quite easily.

To turn on enclosure links, just go to Settings > Formatting and set the “Show Link fields” option to “Yes.” This will add the enclosure link fields to your post editor. From there, just paste in the URLs of your recorded media, and your blog will instantly become a podcast.

Here’s a quick video showing how to get the enclosure links to show up:

That’s all very well and good, but we’ve gone a step further by hooking enclosure support in to Blogger in draft’s flagship feature, video upload. Starting today, we’re automatically adding enclosure information for Blogger video uploads, so your blog with video has instantly become a video podcast. Your readers can watch your videos on your blog with the Flash player, or they can subscribe to your videos with their favorite podcatcher.

Videos are provided for download in MP4 format, so they’ll play great on an iPod (or iPhone, but we haven’t tested that quite… yet…), as well as tons of other places.

Watch how we can turn our favorite video upload example video into a video podcast in this video:

We’re not 100% versed in podcasting ourselves (those guys left), so this is an area where we’re really listening to you for advice. Is there more metadata you’d like us to collect and provide in the feed? How’s the interface? Slick or merely functional? Podcasting pros: any tips for people just starting out? Where do you host your audio or video?

Speak your mind in the comments!

(Of course, since we’ve been uploading these demo videos with enclosure support, that means that this blog is now a video podcast. Perhaps you’d like to subscribe in iTunes?)

Some technical notes:
  • Blogger supports adding multiple enclosures to a post, but for maximum compatibility with popular podcatchers, you may only want to include one enclosure per post.
  • By default, Blogger feeds are in Atom format. If certain podcatchers require RSS 2.0 format, have them subscribe to http://yourblog.blogspot.com/rss.xml.
  • We auto-detect the MIME Type for common podcasting file extensions. You probably want to leave this alone unless you’re really sure what you’re doing. (Did we miss a file extension that you use? Tell us in the comments.)
  • If you don’t have the enclosure links visible (i.e. “Show Link fields” is set to “No”), we auto-add and auto-delete the enclosure links for your video uploads. If you do have the enclosure links visible, we’ll auto-add but not auto-delete.
  • Due propers to my hometown pals at Ambrosia Software for adding Intel support to Snapz Pro X, which was used to record the demo videos.
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Polls Page Element

The Polls page element is one of the new features we’ve added to Blogger in draft today. With this new page element, you can add a poll to your blog’s sidebar that your readers can vote in. Add as many answer choices as you like, and even select a date that you’d like the poll to close on.

Here’s a quick video of putting the polls widget into action:


We’d greatly appreciate your feedback on this feature and the other features on Blogger in draft. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

All new features on Blogger in draft are works in progress. We’ve got some ideas on how to improve this widget — for example, we’re working on making its style integrate better with the rest of your sidebar — but we want to hear your opinions as well.

Technical notes:

New feature: Search Box

We just added a new feature to Blogger in Draft, the Search Box page element:

It uses Google's Custom Search Engine to dynamically search over your blog's content, as well as anything you've linked to in your blog posts, and even your sidebar-based link lists and blogrolls. In other words, it's really nifty - you can find it in your blog's Template | Page Elements tab, in the "Add a Page Element" popup.

Many thanks to the CSE and Ajax Search API teams for their work on this feature. Comments are enabled for this post, so let us know how it works for you!

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New Feature: Gadgets for your Blog

We’ve added some fun new functionality to Blogger in Draft: Google Gadgets for your blog. This feature lets you add pretty much any Google Gadget to your blog’s sidebar.

The Gadget directory is the same one used on iGoogle, which means there are thousands of Gadgets available for you to try. (Note: since most Google Gadgets were designed for iGoogle, they won’t all make sense for display on a blog.)

The Gadget directory is available directly in Blogger Layouts, in the Template | Page Elements | Add a Page Element popup:

This is an early version of our integration with Google Gadgets, so there will likely be some rough edges. Let us know what you think in this post’s
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New feature: OpenID commenting

Blogger in Draft now lets you enable OpenID-based commenting, in your blogs' Settings | Comments tab:

(OpenID comments work in both the Anyone and Registered Users modes)

This means that users of OpenID-enabled services — such as LiveJournal and WordPress — can comment on your blog using their accounts from those sites, rather than with Blogger/Google accounts:

For example, if you see an OpenID comment with the URL http://brad.livejournal.com/, you'll know that it was Brad who wrote that comment, and not an impostor.

This feature is in Draft because we'd like to hear feedback about the implementation, and to test it further before moving it to Blogger's main site. We're also working on functionality to let Blogger's URLs (both Blog*Spot and custom domains) be used for commenting elsewhere on the web.

Let us know how this is working for you in the comments below.

Update, 12/3: We recommend Sam Ruby's OpenID for non-SuperUsers, which explains how to set up OpenID delegation. Delegation is a way for you to use your own URL for OpenID, but still sign in with AOL, LiveJournal, etc.
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New feature: Subscription Links

Our new Subscription Links page element makes it easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog's feeds. We've added one-click subscriptions to six popular feed readers: iGoogle, Google Reader, Bloglines, Netvibes, NewsGator, and My Yahoo!. Since you can now put your feed links in your sidebar instead of just at the bottom of your blog, more readers will see them and subscribe to your blog.

In addition to blog posts, your readers can subscribe to feeds of comments. The comments feed on your blog's homepage contains all comments, while the feeds on post pages only have per-post comments.

We are launching this feature on Blogger in draft while we gather feedback from you. Are we missing your favorite feed reader? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

In case you missed it: if you're looking for more control over your feed, try redirecting it to FeedBurner!
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OpenID Commenting Update

OpenID commenting is now live for all Blogger users, not just Draft users. A few updates with this release:

  • OpenID icons now appear on Post Pages in addition to comment.g; they have their own CSS class (openid-comment-icon) in case you'd like to customize their display
  • Nicknames with "www" in their URLs are now correctly parsed
  • Comments from Blogger/Google accounts now have the Blogger favicon
If your blog allows anonymous comments, OpenID-signed comments are enabled by default. Otherwise, you can turn on OpenID signed comments by restricting your Who Can Comment? setting to Registered Users - includes OpenID. This will exclude anonymous commenters.
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New feature: Blogger as OpenID provider

Filed under: homepage, openid

As we hinted before, we’ve been working on making Blogger an OpenID provider. With our latest Blogger in Draft release, we’ve done just that. You can now use your blog’s URL as an OpenID URL on any website that accepts OpenID 1.1 authentication.

To enable OpenID for your blogs, just edit your profile on draft.blogger.com and enable the checkbox which says Enable OpenID for Blogs and you are all set!

After checking this box, you can use the URL of any of the blogs you are an admin of as an OpenID identity. When you use it to log in to another site, you will be taken back to Blogger where you can confirm that Blogger can tell the site that you own the domain.

You can find more information about OpenID and how it works at OpenID.net.

We hope you’ll try out using your blog as your OpenID identity around the web. Let us know how it goes in the comments! If you’re looking for things to do, take a look at MyOpenID’s OpenID Site Directory for OpenID-enabled sites.

Since this feature is still in draft, there are a few caveats:

1. We currently do not support OpenID for blogs that aren’t hosted on Blog*Spot or a custom domain, such as FTP blogs. However, the OpenID web site has a help page that explains how to workaround this limitation by delegating your FTP blog to a Blogger-hosted blog.
2. If you say “Yes, Always” to trust an OpenID site forever, you cannot now delete that trust. We will add this feature soon.

Update, 1/29: We have a quick HOWTO post for delegating to Blogger as your OpenID provider.
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New Feature: Blog List

Bloggers often feature a list of their favorite blogs, called a “blogroll,” in the sidebar of their own blog. Our latest page element, Blog List, helps you do just that, but we’ve mixed it in with Google Reader to make it even more powerful and useful.

At its most basic, Blog List displays a list of links to your favorite blogs, with an optional icon. If you link to a blog with an Atom or RSS feed, however, the Blog List can show the date of the blog’s last update or even the title and snippet of its most recent post.

You can set the number of blogs to show in the list and whether they should be sorted by update time or alphabetically by blog title.

You add blogs to your Blog List by entering blog or feed URLs directly, or by importing subscriptions from Google Reader. When you add by URL, Blogger will attempt to detect an Atom or RSS feed for it in order to show post and update information. If none is found, the blog will still be added to the Blog List, just as a simple link.

Please try this out! Add a Blog List (Or two! Or more!) to your blog and let us know what you think in the comments. We value your feedback, and will try to incorporate as much as we can before the Blog List goes big-time on www.blogger.com.

Remember: Like all features mentioned on this blog, you must log in to http://draft.blogger.com/ to add a Blog List.
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New feature: Scheduled Posts

We’ve often heard that sometimes you’d like to write a post now and have it automatically published at some time in the future. We listened, and are pleased to say that this feature is ready for you to try out on Blogger in draft.

Publishing a post in the future is pretty simple: in the post editor, reveal the Date and Time fields using the “Post Options” toggle and enter a post date and time that is in the future. When you then click the “Publish” button, your post will become “scheduled.” When the date and time of the post arrive, your post will be automatically published to your blog.

Your scheduled posts appear in your Edit Posts list alongside your drafts and published posts. To un-schedule a post, simply save it as a draft any time before it gets published.

Remember: Like all features described on this blog, Scheduled Posts only work when you’ve logged in to http://draft.blogger.com/.

Leave your feedback in the comments!

Additional Notes:

  • We know that some bloggers currently use future post dates in order to keep one post at the top of their blog for a while. Though we recommend that you use a Text page element for this, you can still get this old behavior with just one additional step. First, publish your post with the current date and time. This will publish it to your blog. Then, once it’s published, edit the post to change the date to the future and publish it again. We don’t re-schedule posts that are already published, so the post will stay on your blog but sort to the very top.
  • As with published posts, the post editor does not autosave scheduled posts if you go back and edit them. You wouldn’t want the post to publish while you’re in the middle of editing it! You can save the scheduled post as a draft to remove the scheduling and this will turn autosave back on.
  • In some testing we’ve found that schedule posting is not working for some FTP blogs. If you run across this, please let us know in the comments so we can try to track it down.
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Blogger in Draft Bug Fixes for Feburary 29th

We pushed out a few bug fixes to the latest Blogger in draft features last night:

  • Renaming of feeds in the Blog List now works
  • Correct cache invalidation so that changes to Blog List subscriptions will now be reflected immediately
  • Scheduled posts now have correct permalinks
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Unified Gadget / Page Element Directory

As part of our roll-out of Google Gadget support, we’ve unified the gadgets and page elements directories on Blogger in draft. Just click on the “Layout” tab and then click an “Add Gadget” link to see the new look.

How is it working for you? Does the new presentation, and the new icons, make adding stuff to your blog easier?

Let us know if you find good gadgets, or especially if you make some of your own.

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