Someone asked me recently if I would write a how-to about posting video on a blog and using YouTube. I was surprised, actually, because I’m certainly no expert at using video, so I’m going to stop short of calling this any kind of tutorial.
If you want expert advice about posting video on a blog and using YouTube, read your camera manual, study the copious instructions available at YouTube, and google around the internet for tips.
I would rather pick up a piglet all day long than do any of that. And we know I don’t want to pick up a piglet.
So, in keeping with my advice about cameras and photography, here’s the low-down on how to post video on a blog and use YouTube if you’re like me and technical information makes you want to go blow some bubbles.
First, you need something to take video with, of course. You can use an actual video camera, or you can use a regular digital camera that has video capacity (preferably one that can also record sound).
I use a Canon S5IS and I adore it. I don’t, however, adore the manual (or any manual, for that matter). I haven’t read the manual and I don’t intend to. On the top dial of my camera, it has a little doohickey that looks like a video camera, so I just turn the dial to the little video camera doohickey. There’s another little red button that, when I push it, comes on the LCD monitor and says “Rec” to show that I’m recording. Fantastic! Now I’m taking video without reading the manual. Life is good!
If you have a camera with video capacity, you probably have similar buttons. If you can’t figure it out on your camera, you might have to break out the manual. (Horrors!)
Now what? The first time I took a video, I had no idea what to do next and I really didn’t want to read anything to figure it out. I also don’t have any special video software. However, most (if not all) computers today come with some sort of media package bundled in the standard deal. Hit the Start button on your computer and start looking. I found Windows Movie Maker, and most likely many of you have the same thing or something very similar on your computers.
After I download the video off my camera and into the usual photo file on my computer, I open Windows Movie Maker and, under Capture Video, import the video from my computer. There are a lot of things you can do with Windows Movie Maker under “Edit Movie” if you want to read the instructions. Me, I just click and drag the video file, after I’ve imported it, into the storyboard.
If you fiddle around some, you can figure out a few simple things. I learned how to “trim” the beginning and ending of a video by moving the little bar in the storyboard. Sometimes I start recording before the “action” starts and record too long, so this lets me cut off the boring parts. I’m sure, eventually, I’ll learn more just by fiddling, which is my preferred method of absorbing technical know-how.
Then under “Finish Movie” I click “save to my computer” and I’m done. It’ll ask you a few things along the way, like naming the movie, but other than that I just go with all the standard things that Windows Movie Maker wants me to do. (It’ll give options and tell you what’s recommended. I just do whatever it recommends.) This whole process takes like 5 minutes.
Next, you need to register at YouTube. Once you’re logged in to your account, click on Upload (near the top right of the screen), browse to choose the file on your computer, and bam, you have a video on YouTube. You can copy and paste either the URL to the movie for a link or you can copy and paste the embed code YouTube provides to display the movie directly in a post on your blog.
Again, there are tons of instructions at YouTube and all sorts of options if you want to read all that stuff! I’m just here to tell you that you can do it without reading all that if you’re like me and you don’t want to. YouTube is very user-friendly.
And honestly, all that stuff I said in the above paragraphs? If you’re like me, that’s too much to read. So here’s my real how-to about posting video on a blog and using YouTube:
1. Pick up your camera and look for the video camera doohickey and the red “Rec” button. Shoot some video.
2. Click “Start” on your computer and find some kind of freebie video software that came with your computer to finish and save your movie.
3. Make an account at YouTube and upload the video.
4. Copy and paste the URL or embed code to your blog.
It’s easy! You’ll figure it out. I could sum up this whole post in three words: Be not afraid. I would have done video sooner if I hadn’t felt so daunted by the prospect, so if nothing else, I hope this post encourages you to just do it and stop thinking you have to know a bunch of technical stuff.
On a final note–remember that not everyone can view video. In fact, sometimes I can’t view video (and can’t upload it). You need high speed internet to handle video adequately and sometimes our satellite internet isn’t working or is too slow and I have to use dial-up. So, don’t make video your whole story and don’t post it too often. For the most part, I intend to use video as an occasional adjunct to stories predominantly still made up of text and photos.
I love to tell stories with my words and my pictures. Video is just another way to tell my stories, or add to my stories. Pictures can tell a thousand words, but sometimes you need a thousand and one–and video is that extra word. The sound and motion of video is a value-added bonus.
And since I can’t write a post about videos and not post a video, here is a totally gratuitous Number Nine movie. Number Nine doesn’t really need his bottle of cat milk anymore. He’s eating regular kitten food now. But oh how he loves his bottle. He follows me around, crying and biting my ankles, until I give it to him. (He’s still inside full-time except for brief, supervised visits to the porch.)
See how much he loves his bottle here:
He always takes a long nap after he has his bottle. My ankles really appreciate that.
P.S. Subscribe to my channel on YouTube and don’t miss any of my videos! And if you have any tips or advice about posting video on a blog or using YouTube, feel free to share with us in the comments! I’d love to hear it.