Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Month: July 2007 (page 3 of 4)

FreeIQ Title Screen and Putting Flash on WordPress

FreeIQ is great, mostly. But I’ve hit a problem that may be a dealbreaker for me.

When you embed their player at your site, the title screen shows “FreeIQ”. Besides the obvious unprofessionalism, my biggest problem with this is that, if I have a video “above the fold” on my homepage, then the black FreeIQ screen is going to dramatically change the look of the page. Unless I can get the video player to look good and contribute to the page — even before it starts playing, I don’t want it there.

So I guess I’m back to using Flash and self-hosting the videos, but can I do that in WordPress?

Really Cool Features of Adobe Captivate

Software Simulation – If you are doing a tutorial for software, you can allow the user to “try it” and then coach them along when they click in the wrong place
Scenario Simulation –

Branching – amazing, full-featured branching scenarios for all kinds of personalization
Question: I see that I can import an FLV into captivate, but can I create an FLV in captivate?

Best Practice Ideas for Screen Capture Video

Problem: the whole flash video loads everytime the page loads.

Solution: put in a short segment after the title page that requires an additional user click. Only that first segment would load automatically. And, hey, what if that click could be tracked so I know who’s watching what?

How to use Kubrickr to actually change a WordPress Header Picture/Image

This is known to work for WordPress version 2.1

First, use a photo editor or Kubrickr to get a picture ready.

In your default theme folder, you’ll see the images folder. Inside that is a file called kubrickheader.jpg. You should overwrite that file with your new image, using the same name.

Now go to your WordPress Admin Panel and click on Presentation.

Now open the “header image and color” tab.

Now under the header image you will click “Advanced”

Now click the button that says “Select Default Colors”

Your new header should appear above the buttons.

Why does that work? I have no idea.

The WordPress guys are trying to make things easy for the newbies, and in so doing, they make things hard for those of us who have a decent understanding of CSS.

Oh, well. At least it’s fixed.

More on Sudoku’s Camp Challenge


Here is a topo map of Sudoku’s bike ride. She rode from Ruby Falls at 1,100 feet to Craven’s House at 1,450 feet for a toal climb of 350 feet over 2 miles of trails. The acomplishment brings a big smile to her face.

Process for Tagging Archived Video Content

As I began to publish my flash videos in WordPress, page loads became slower and I became aware that I was wasting my server bandwidth because all videos load when the page loads.

So, I decided to only have one “blog entry” video live on the homepage at a time.

The others will look like videos except for a small tag that says, “Archived – click for more info”. They will actually be a jpg with a link to a page where folks can subscribe to my archive.

So, what process will I use to keep all this as foolproof as possible?

  1. Produce the Camtasia Flash output files as usual
  2. Screen capture the video player as it will appear on the page. Get plenty of extra space around edges.
  3. Open in Windows picture manager
  4. Crop to exact size, plus about a pixel each way. You can adjust the height/width separately using the middle bars.
  5. Overwrite original capture and save to the “outer folder” of the camcast.
  6. Pull to Adobe Photoshop Elements
  7. Overlay layer: “archived stamp shadowed.psd” found in the FR blog folder
  8. Now hit to “save to Web”.
  9. Save as a jpg, medium quality, progressive.
  10. Save that jpg into the inner folder of the camcast. Give it a name that matches all the files: “example.jpg”
  11. Now edit that blog entry and upload/insert that jpg. Insert as “full” and “no link”
  12. Now link that jpg to http://fineremodel.com/archive
  13. In the video archive, type the title and link it to the html for the video at homepage. Example: http://s174823996.onlinehome.us/shelfmatls/shelfmatls.html

Swimming with My Toddler – Day 15


Today, without water wings, Doodle held on to the ladder, lunged for my outstretched hands and kicked and wiggled, suspended in the water for a foot or two while getting his face wet. He had a great time. And we’re making progress.

After reading Willa’s comment on my last post on this topic, I purchased a Little Swimr vest that has removable floatation pads. Now, I later learned that this was not the “bubble” that she was refering to. Still, it has good reviews, and I am anxious to give it a try. It should be arriving here within a week. – milkmaid

Essential Camtasia/Flash Embed Steps

Adsense Codes

for the double, blue side by side ads, use this code:

<script type=”text/javascript”><!–
google_ad_client = “pub-1468217162194476”;
//468×60, created 11/11/07 2 ads B’s first attempt
google_ad_slot = “1940730885”;
google_ad_width = 468;
google_ad_height = 60;
<script type=”text/javascript”

For green, use

<script type=”text/javascript”><!–
google_ad_client = “pub-1468217162194476”;
//468×60, created 11/12/07 green
google_ad_slot = “6975874465”;
google_ad_width = 468;
google_ad_height = 60;
<script type=”text/javascript”
To select text for the google bots to target ads, use this in front on the text: <!– google_ad_section_start –>

use this after the text: <!– google_ad_section_end –>

Producing the video:

  1. General Intro advice
    1. Make sure all the lights are on
    2. Check that no objects are in the background
    3. “going” has two syllables
    4. Think of the Thich Nat Hahn half-smile
    5. Instead of “today we’ll…” say “let’s …”
  2. If you’re using a video clip for an intro…
    1. record video to camera and “narrate” to camtasia
    2. pull it into a camproj
    3. zoom to a 480×360 window if you can
    4. do sound cleanup
    5. produce as a 480×360 avi and pull it into the camproj for your full video
    6. the video seems to lag audio by .25 sec, so move audio back for that.
  3. Producing:
    1. Go custom route and use full quality jpg res
    1. For now lets try producing at 480×360 viewable (480×378 total player size) — if you do a different size, you’ll need to change the dimensions in the kml code below

Putting the video up:

  1. Open a new page at FR and
    1. Insert kml code: [kml_flashembed movie=”http://s174823996.onlinehome.us/name/name_controller.swf” width=”480″ height=”378″ fvars=”csConfigFile=http://s174823996.onlinehome.us/name/name_config.xml ; csColor=FFFFFF” fversion=”8″ /]
    2. Postdate if appropriate
    3. fpvid=yes
    4. think about parent page
  2. Open FileZilla and get connected to the FR account
  3. Once the video finishes production, it should pop up in an html page. Watch it and check for:
    1. Anything glaring
    2. Title and Closing screens.
  4. Now close the IE browser and click to open production folder
  5. Publish the page
  6. Now drag the whole production folder into the homepages top-level folder. You should see all the existing video folders there. You may need to right-click and create a directory and then drag the contents across.
  7. Now test that the video is live. This can be done even if it is post dated by going to “Manage Pages”, “View Page”

Places to look when trying to find a new topic for content:

  1. Picasa — albums already created
  2. Ideas for Content folder
  3. Flickr

Broad Strategy of getting the most from our content:

  1. conceive of a video that can be a definitive treatment of some narrow subject (linkbait) and write out my concept for the video (10min)
  2. do research to confirm or expand my concept (??? up to 3-4 hrs)
    1. keep a list of keywords you see while researching
    2. gather pictures while doing research
    3. create video text, or at least a bullet list
  3. once the outline is well-formed, NOW do the KW-research (20 min)
    1. make a list by prioritized by traffic, ad comp,
    2. add any new words into my outline
    3. write down any blog post inspirations
    4. hazard a guess at what the searchers want
    5. find the highest-traffic 5-cent adwords clicks
  4. get all the images into an album
  5. create the video
  6. when producing, tag the video with the highest-relevance words from list above
  7. publish the video with a “definitive” type title
  8. Picture Work:
    1. make sure the picture titles contain attribution
    2. Take a screenshot of the title screen and add it to the picasa folder
    3. export the pictures from picasa with a size of 160px
    4. make changes to picture-title keywords based on the content being targeted
  9. Blog Post(s)
    1. Punchy title with high-KEI kws
    2. Link to the “definitive video” with an image at the top and text at the bottom
  10. B, integrate images with Blog post draft
    1. put the video screenshot image at the top right of both blog posts and make sure they link to the video
    2. make sure I have a text link to video at the end of the text (not after the “picture dump”, though)
    3. if I have two or more blog posts, then split the pics between them. You’ll still probably have a “picture dump” at the end of the posts. (Use a section title of “more images”) Hopefully we can have rows of pictures rather than a string running down the page. I’ll work on this.
  11. screen capture all the image file names and put that image (with the title “(Page Title) Pictures” at the bottom of the transcription
  12. Put video FLV up at Youtube with accurate, descriptive KWs from my list.
  13. (once vid is done on the front page) transcribe video

Video Screen Capture in Picasa and Windows Picture Manager (Problems)

I like the thought of trying to crank out screen capture tutorials very rapidly using Picasa or Windows Picture Manager.

In Windows Picture Manager, I have to be careful not to put my mouse over the screen or I get the “mouseover” box with info about that picture. So as long as I’m willing to add the callouts later, I guess that’s okay.

Ditto (or similar) for Picasa. Fooling around with the mouse is bound to cause problems.

okay, I’ve found a way around this problem. When the “write on the screen” pencil is active, none of the functionality on the parent application works. So, the key is to keep the cursor away from the record area except when writing on it. and actually, I prefer to do my scribbling while the screen is paused.

Sudoku’s Summer Camp Challenge

Click title above to see the video

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