Whilst I was away I managed to get hold of one of the rare invites to try out Seesmic, a new “video twitter”-like service that is currently in alpha. Today, I finally got around to trying it out. Within a few minutes of posting my first entry, I started to get responses…. so I was immediately drawn in. A true social experience from the start.
Embedding video on WP.com
Then I decided that I’d quite like to be able to embed the odd Seesmic post into my blog, and that’s where things fall apart slightly. You see, if you are hosted on WP.com, only certain types of video or embedded content is supported, via short tags. According to the FAQ, that list includes YouTube, DailyMotion, Odeo and a few others. Seesmic offers embed code below the video, but WP.com strips it out.
That’s OK. WordPress.com is a free service, and I agreed to and accept the terms and conditions, and that includes limitations around embedding content.
Only, actually, the list of supported formats includes more than those mentioned in the FAQ. I posted a couple of items from Viddler this year. I’d thought that Viddler support was documented, but now I can’t find the explicit reference about it in the WP.com FAQ, the forums, or on the Viddler site…. in fact I’d thought that Viddler used to actually show the short tag for embedding on WP.com on the video’s page, but evidently I was mistaken (or the feature has been removed).
Why is this relevant? Well both Viddler and Seesmic offer Flash-based players, so I would have thought Seesmic isn’t too much of a stretch. It’s alpha, of course, so it’s fair if the WP.com folks want to wait before doing anything about it.
So I spent a bit of time scrabbling around looking for ways to embed Seesmic; remembered Viddler; failed to even find the information about how to embed Viddler, let alone Seesmic; and now I’m mildly annoyed.
The Seesmic experience?
So what do I think of Seesmic? Interesting. I’m not sure how much I will make use of the service, but we’ll see what happens. The interface is a little icky in places… For instance although you can “post reply” to a video, there’s no obvious way of seeing replies to your own unless you follow people or trawl the public timeline (update – ok now I see the “previous reply” link below the video, d’oh!). Finding and following friends is not as smooth an experience as I’d like, either.
I still like Viddler. A lot. I’ve not had much reason to use it, but the fact that I can annotate a video is really, really nice. I notice that I can effectively suck in content from elsewhere into Seesmic, but I’m not sure whether it will consume Viddler. Maybe I’ll take a look at that.
2008, the year of video-me? Who knows. I notice that video blogging is a big part of Quarterlife, so maybe it’s another scale waiting to be tipped.