It’s been a long while since I played with WordPress plugins on the bava. But tonight I was thinking that if CogDog is right, and just about everything we share through various networks can be thought of as blogging, than one of my most productive forms of saving (and inadvertently sharing) I really don’t have a way of sharing with those who might be interested. What I am talking about is my YouTube favorites. I have favorited close to 1000 videos on YouTube since 2006. many of which have suffered the fate of fascist copyright takedown, but there are still more than 689 out there in the open. And what gets me is I have no real way to simply share them. I could hook them up to my twitter, but that seems obnoxious.
I could also blog them—which I wouldn’t mind as much actually—and I even found how get an RSS feed for YouTube favorites here (in example below jimgroom is my username on YouTube):
But when I tried to pull this in via FeedWordPress it includes the title of the video, a permalink that points back to the video on YouTube, and the description in the post body, but no video—which defeats the purpose in my mind. So I went searching for WordPress plugins, and the best i came up with is TubePress. It was just updated in the last two days, and it works well for me on WP 3.0. (It also integrates with Vimeo.) It has options galore in terms of videos you can pull in from YouTube, and while I was just interested in my favorites, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So, to test it out, I put a TubePress widget in the bava sidebar to feature the latest videos I’ve favorited on YouTube. You can see that to the right. You can also embed them within a post or page with a shortcode:
It’s nice and all, but the free version (a.k.a. as “non-premium”) has some real limitations—namely you have to pay for access to additional video galleries, more options, etc. As of now, you can only utilize one of the many options available, which makes it far more limited that it initially appears.Is the premium plugin the way of the future for extensive WordPress plugins? I hope not, cause it sucks.Additionally, the shortcode/widget logic around which this plugin is designed doesn’t provide a feed for my YouTube favorites.
Anyway, returning to my feed issue for YouTube favorites, I have to assume no one really comes to my blog anymore to actually read it, if they read it at all it’s via RSS. So, how to share this stuff in a useful way? I’m not sure, I can definitely pull it into the feed with FeedWordpress, but the lack of an embedded video insults my sense of aesthetics and web decency, so anyway—I see TubePress as an interesting, if temporary, solution to a larger problem of effectively aggregating the work I do in several places around the web. I’m not too diffuse though when I think about it, my blog is foundational, twitter is highly annoying but next (but ever since Twitter Tools started to suck with OAuth I dropped that plugin), then YouTube, Flickr, and finally delicious. I am pretty much a five social network guy, though I admittedly duck in and out of Facebook every so often–and surprisingly more this year than ever.
Not sure how I want to archive and aggregate all this stuff, but I know I do. And keep in mind I am talking about aggregating not archiving. I like Tom’s aggregation site a lot, and I may experiment more with that—but I wanna see if I can find some way to actually frame what’s what more. I don’t know how exactly, I need to think through this more. I think it might be coming up with the right theme to place on top of feedWordPress, and somehow pulling that into bavatuesdays as it is now. It is kinda the method D’Arcy has taken that I like so much—he archives all his own stuff on his web host. And he even excludes certain posts from his feed—his asides. I wonder if excluding some of these and including others would be as easy as a tag on any of these social networks, but all the while pulling them all into my database for archiving. What ever happend to ArchivePress? It’s not exactly what I’m talking about it, but it is in the vicinity. Anyway, it would be fun to figure some of this out, and then approach ds106 this next semester as a kind of aggregating/archiving project for their semester’s work. I did some of this already, but it might be nice to have a clearer sense of what might be useful myself before I try and demonstrate it.