Matchmaking: Message and Medium – Part 2

In Part 1 of Matchmaking: Message and Medium, I noticed a disconnect between the intention of getting information about fire safety out to the public, people like me, and the way that it was being presented. After looking at the top three Google Canada sites on the subject, I was no further ahead in how much I knew about what to do to make my home safer than I knew before. I discovered that these agencies have lots of programs available, they have annual reports, and they have lots of other (presumably) good but irrelevant-to-me information.

Then I watched a short little YouTube video, 48 seconds in total (here’s the link again), showing an entire living room going up in smoke after the Christmas tree, ‘way off in the far corner, catches on fire. OK, so this tree was helped along a little bit at the very beginning, but I get the point. Every year, I read a few stories in the local papers about people losing their homes (and occasionally more) during the Christmas season, but I’ve always assumed “those folks” were doing something foolish.

Silly me.

When I saw this video, well, I was shocked to see how fast the room went up. I’m rethinking our sorry excuse of a dried-out Christmas tree that we “nursed” through to New Year’s Day last year, and wondering if the investment in a good-quality fake tree might be worth it after all. All because of a 48 second video. I showed it to my “I hate fake trees” Awesome One, too, and even his eyes popped wide open! I actually have to try not to let my vivid imagination take off, placing someone I care about flopped out the couch in that scene.


Today I have a much less dramatic example of effective communications through a format/medium other than text. (Better yet, no living rooms were harmed in the making of this message!)

I’ve been busy learning a few things about WordPress for about the last year, and one thing I’ve been doing in my personal/experimental blog is adding video. (No, no, I’m not telling you where my “secret” blog is, sorry. If I did that, I’d — uh… must avoid cliché — be afraid to experiment on it anymore!) Mostly, those videos are on YouTube, whether they are someone else’s or my own, which is nice and handy. I spent some time reading the WordPress forum on video, and carefully following the steps some very smart people very kindly shared, but something kept going wrong every time.

Finally, I found a little plug-in, called Smart YouTube, that lets me just pop the URL for the video into my post –- except that I need to add a “v” after “http” to clue the plug-in in to do its “thing.” (Get all that?) It works great, but it doesn’t work on mobile phones, so I always set up a full <a href> type of link to the video in YouTube, too, so mobile viewers can see some band play Sweet Georgia Brown with a tractor as the drummer… (OK, OK, I will give you that link at least… here… or whatever other fun stuff I want to share with my friends… (More gobble-dy-gook… sorry…)

Today I went searching again, to see if I could find a smoother option. Other WordPress sites don’t have to provide my workaround, so what are they doing differently than me? Again, more text-based techno-speak efforts by some very generous, smart people… but it’s all “blah blah blah” to me.

Still no joy.

Then I found this short YouTube video where some fellow, named Jack Humphrey of Friday Traffic Report, shows a screencast of how to set up YouTube videos in a WordPress blog post quickly, easily, and properly.

I tried it, it worked, I’m a happy gal. (Thanks, Jack!)

The medium helped the message get through to me.

Finally! 🙂

(Now, what to do about that fire safety information I still don’t have…)


PS — For your convenience, and to show off a little, I’ve embedded Jack’s handy little YouTube video right here! For fun, I picked pink for my border this time… and selected HD… so it might take a moment or two to load…

About Erin Anne Beirne

I use storytelling and "content marketing" to promote my clients' work. I develop and implement communications strategies using all the on- and offline tools and media at our disposal, publish books and ebooks and market them internationally, or even just simply create a new website and teach the client how to run it. If you have something interesting to say, a valuable service to offer, or an important cause to promote, I'd love to work with you, too!

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