Music Video Or Ad? (Always Both, Right?)

Last week I posted directly on the Facebook page for this blog after I created a promotional video for an upcoming concert and the client had issues publicizing it with their own Facebook post.

https://www.facebook.com/478531892336962/posts/875709779285836/

SERVICE WITH A SMILE

I may get into how I captured and created the visuals later, but let’s get into the technical part of serving your client. Whether they be a paying customer or a friend, if you are helping someone out, I tend to consider that as doing somebody a favor.

That’s not from arrogance; I am trading my time for someone else to benefit from and that’s a favor. It doesn’t matter if I am also getting paid for it or not. There are literally 1 million other things I could, do including nothing, including things I choose or do not choose. In turn they are doing me a favor by participating in the partnership, whether they do that well or not!

With that attitude, if someone has a problem I may be irritated but I don’t get angry about it. If someone misinterprets something or doesn’t like what I have done, I may be disappointed but I also want to solve the problem, because I try to see us as a team.

Sometimes that’s difficult or nearly impossible, but I strive at least not to let that be my fault.

This case was none of those, although he asked for changes and additions I was hoping not to make. But by doing them I made it better.

LET’S GET TECHNICAL

And now we will get into the technical part and point of this post: Facebook is really annoying. If you don’t give them the video to host, unless it’s YouTube they like to show you a link. If you want to embed your Facebook post somewhere else, like I want to do now, you will generally get a link and not the visual you like, or if you do, not in a way that you can make look prettier.

Wait, what am I saying? That the big technology players don’t see each other as a collaborative team and try to solve the problem and make it easy for the end user that works with both of them? I was just talking about. customer service….

So funny.

Anyway, I’d shared the video via OneDrive this time, and I am assuming since he was on mobile, he grabbed the link and posted it to Facebook, and because I shared it with relaxed enough permissions it did technically work.

But it didn’t auto play, had a crap thumbnail, and it branded for the Microsoft product. Plus, he need to change the name of the file which was displayed instead of something more on brand, and without the extension. But it was already on his page and he was driving and couldn’t call me back, and people were going start liking it and then when we fixed it it was going to get zapped and all those likes would go away and they weren’t going to click like and share again.*

So my solution was to immediately copy the text of his post with links intact (and a couple of improvements like a direct link that you use to get tickets for the show.) And then I uploaded the video to Facebook and created a public post on my own page and made him share that as well. Then people could share his copy of the post of my copy of the post and it would all go through the same the locus point, so as it got more views and likes it would show up better in the Facebook feed and reach other people, and he would still get likes and shares for his page. And patrons for his concert.

I think that’s a win-win. The funny thing is that solution was actually my second attempt in five minutes. My first brilliant attempt was to share a post directly on his wall, the same way you go and wish somebody happy birthday so that the video or picture shows up in their feed.

The problem we had, however, was that my post was only visible to “friends” of his page, even though I would’ve posted it publicly, because that’s what his default page settings were. So then he shares it and it’s public on his page, but fans and performers can’t share it again because the details and video won’t show up, just his header (since he didn’t have to write anything that was already right there below it in my post!

I asked him to try to change the settings on my post to public, because I know that I cannot. I never heard back if he was able to do that, which would solve the problem later, but again, he was driving, so I provided the other solution, and he shared that one. It stayed public all the way down the line.

So next time I have Facebook-targeted content, I will include a list of the steps up front that “our team” will take to share to our best effect, and a plan ahead of time. I will probably create that plan on my own, using my own account and my page, and a relative to test things on their account. Maybe a dog picture.

—–David

P.S. Funny enough, if I had known that the last edit I sent was actually going to be approved and final, I could have put it on YouTube which would have posted friendly to his page, shared easily, and put all direct video likes in the same place, slightly benefitting me in the end, and giving me a little promotion for being a producer in the first place. But once the clock was ticking, uploading again to YouTube and creating all of that data set would’ve taken more time than the two different versions that I did to solve it the way I did.

* Oh and yeah I’m trying to lay down with an ice pack because I was in a car accident recently and my back hurts if I spent too much time at the computer!

Music Video Or Ad? (Always Both, Right?) was originally published on Creative Uploads

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Well, That Was Fun

Sorry the site has been down for a little while. But now it’s back live again and at our very own domain name, CREATIVEUPLOADS.COM !

The megawatson.com page is still live, the /CU subdirectory takes you here, and the root is still pointed at my Tumblr for now, but we’ll see what happens in the future.

I actually registered the domain in January right before starting a new job and attacking a dance show edit, at the same time I was helping a close relative recover from surgery…. time management worked great, time availability did not. In between wondering if I should leave the site data where it was or move it and play the SEO dance, it decided to go down and I didn’t have time to fix it.

I suspect it was an implementation of some fancy caching to make things faster, but in any case, I then had to decide if I wanted to fix it, then decide whether to move it or not…. layers on layers, what I love to do! Who needs Sudoku when you have brain teasers readily available, right?

Since I had grabbed a copy of the installation mid-January using the fabulous and famous Duplicator plugin (planning ahead is time management too!), I decided to just try a fresh install on the new server, and here we are half a day later with a live site that seems to have everything in its place!

And that half day included time to go to dinner and a play, so not that bad really.

So thanks to the Duplicator folks (the Lite free version even!*) and Google for the nice searches on fixing my redirect htaccess pages, especially this one at coolestguidesontheplanet since I wanted to move the subdomain and leave the rest where it was.

And here we are!

—– David

P.S. My video edit is done, my medical charge is motivating under her own power and my new job is fun and familiar now. Plus, the site is up. I should have written all these goals down on a piece of paper to give me the psychological satisfaction of crossing them off as encouragement for future endeavors!

Ah, what the heck:

  • Edit video and produce discs
  • Play nurse
  • Enjoy work, learn new stuff and get paid 
  • Fix website

Next!

  • Backup this fresh site while everything’s updated and working!

* And you better believe if there is a business need for the Duplicator Pro version they will be my first choice: it adds better migration for multiple sites and automated backups to several cloud destinations.

Well, That Was Fun was originally published on Creative Uploads

Not Dried Up

I know there’s been a drought of posts, but the site’s just been resting while other projects demand to be watered. Researched an idea to move hosts and now planning on taking everything with and not starting with a new blank page. Whether I have the time to post a lot or not, this will be sticking around for a while. I have a plan. And a hosting plan. The broadcast stays on air.

I also wasn’t sure for a little while if I was going to stick with a self-hosted version or just maintain the perfectly adequate and free WordPress.com mirror, and didn’t want to keep it all shiny to have it disappear shortly.* You do want to spend time creating, but not a disproportionate amount creating something that evaporates.

It’s hard to strike a balance. I have that conversation with my theater-loving performing child who rehearses for weeks and only gets to put on the show a few times, versus me wanting her to be on video or do a film project with me, which could last for ages and find a wider ranging audience..

But the camaraderie, process and applause are a siren call, aren’t they? For all of us, in our own way.

—–David

* Reference: borderline hoarding but also the economy of efficiency.

Not Dried Up was originally published on Creative Uploads

Today I Learned, WordPress Edition

That if you wrote a post and published it on WordPress using a PC, then opened the WordPress app on your phone and found an empty draft with the same title, which you thought you made earlier (I really did), you shouldn’t immediately delete it to tidy up.

Because even though it was in Drafts, it was the Published post. So I should have forced a refresh (which you think would happen when you opened the app) or been more patient and double-checked before deleting (which I thought I did but in a rush.)

TIP: Did you know WordPress has a Trash bin? Yeah, it’s available in the web browser, right at the top of your list of posts at the end, past Published and Drafts and all that. You can click Trash and select a pot and Restore it or accidentally delete it forever, whichever. AND it doesn’t show up unless there’s something in it, which is why I never noticed it.

So that’s new too!

—–David

P.S. There’s probably a Trash link in the app too, but I’m done with that for today.

 

Today I Learned, WordPress Edition was originally published on Creative Uploads

WordPress WordPress

This will not seem like a rant.

So I originally created a small Creative Uploads site on wordpress.com, creativeuploads.wordpress.com and since I really wanted a fancier hosted site, I created that later when the opportunity arose. That’s at megawatson.com/cu, or now that the subdomain works, cu.megawatson.com. If you are reading this, you are probably at one of them.

creative uploads wordpress mobile app

Use Your Brain!

That’s because I carefully copied over the original site’s posts over to the new one, likely using the offical WordPress Importer, though now I can’t recall.

Then I set up cross-posting on the new self-hosted site (which is much fancier you know) so that it would publish the new posts I write into the original blog, thereby increasing the chance someone could stumble across me, though not always where I want….

And if I decided to slim back down to the WordPress.com site and drop hosting, I don’t lose content, just the setup and add-ons.

The free mobile WordPress app is pretty cool too. I can start, edit, schedule and read posts on it, for both sites. I can start on the computer and finish on the app. Or vice versa. When there’s a feature set that works better in one, I switch between. Or I can upoad camera photos to the media library while watching tv and use them later in a post.

But boy do I hate it when I have switched between sites and don’t go back tot he main site before I create a draft or a post and it gets pushed to the WordPress.com site and not the megawatson.com/cu version, which DOESN’T CROSS-POST AUTOMATICALLY!* Because then I have to manually copy the post and media over, hopefully while it’s a draft or still scheduled.

That doesn’t seem like a rant. More like pointing fingers at myself.

TIP: If you have more than one WordPress.com site on your app, doublecheck that you are creating in the intended site before you start.

—–David

* (and that’s okay, because imagine the redundant loop of never ending cross-posts!)

P.S. Ooh and it doesn’t update my Google+ page Creative Upload page either! No wait, BOTH do if the post is unique. That’s even more annoying! I miss you, Google Plus, you were like a cool party where you could just engage or eavesdrop on cool conversations with potential friends and acquaintances. You aren’t gone, but I don’t see your party flyers around like I used to.

 

WordPress WordPress was originally published on Creative Uploads

Crosspost back to WordPress.com

Today I played with this WordPress Crosspost plugin in an effort to keep my original WordPress.com blog up to date with this self-hosted one.

Configuration was a little strange since you install the plugin (which didn’t show in the Add Plugin search under it’s name; I had to just enter “crosspost” and then it was on the list), but you configure it in your main WP Settings menu, as it gets added as an item.

It wanted a Client ID and Client Secret which were nowhere to be found at WordPress.com. Turns out you have to create an Application for them under the Developer pages. Go there and click App.

I was thinking it needed to start at the WordPress.com page but when I tried to use that address in the link I got a warning that wordpress couldn’t be in the URL. What?! Turns out the redirect URL ends up at my self-hosted site looking down the folder names into wp-admin/options-general.php?page=wp_crosspost_settingsetcetera, and the other URL seems to be selected when you link to it from a pop up menu (since both of these logins are linked through a WordPress account, I can choose which site I am editing, viewing or in this case, cross posting too.)

Once the application was given a somewhat valid url it added the directory info and gave me the Client ID and secret code. That gets input in the Settings>WordPress Crosspost configuration screen, then you save it and it validates.

This took a couple of tries as early attempts returned an invalid redirect error, so I edited the URL in the new app I created to reflect the other site. When I finally had it that menu popped up to let me choose the site to crosspost to.

TIP: Open multiple browser windows so you can easily switch between configuration pages you are adding and copying to, plus one with your support pages for reference.

So then I got cocky and thought it would work even though I still had a RED Warning box telling me to “Click here to connect to WordPress.com”. I hadn’t logged in with the wordpress.com username? The test post failed. Changed the user login and still couldn’t get the red warning to go away.

Thought maybe I had to repeat the Create app process from the CORRECT login. Went to the develop page to sign out and log in as the wordpress.com user, then go back to the develop page (since it takes you to a default WP account page when you log in.)

But the app I had created was there on the list already! So I clicked on manage users and gave permission to the WordPress.com user too. It already had it. After some editing got an error indicating as invalid Client ID. Okay. Created another app and also set type to Native not Web. Tried using the WP.com url first.

“Your redirect URL may not contain WordPress in it.” Changed to self-hosted URL”

Arg. Tried again as new site URL and Web not Native. Copied the long url string for the redirect URL from the one the early app attempt created. Might be created automatically but this way it already had the right string.

However this may have been the subtle creation difference:
I went to my self-hosted WordPress site Settings>Wordpress Crosspost page and refreshed the page.

TIP: Hold Control down while hitting the F5 key or clicking refresh. Do this when you think your browser may be holding on to outdated information or pages (like an old key?)

Then I clicked the Connect button. When the site choice page appeared, I first clicked at bottom to log in as different user (WP.com) and when it came back — even though it still said I was logged in as the other user — I chose the WP.com site and authorized. Eureka!

Once you log in successfully you see the WordPress Crosspost Settings page and can access the rest of the options.

Choose at least one default WordPress site to crosspost to, an option that is highlighted if not already set.

Use the Default blog choice in the top colored box, not the next line (Sync posts from WordPress.com – experimental) That seems to be a way to use the same plugin to send info back to (in my case) your self-hosted blog. One crazy experiment at a time for me!

Set any other preferences and click “Save Changes.”

Post!

So if this post shows up in both spots, then I appear to know what I am doing (which is almost as good as actually knowing what you are doing as long as everything works and you still have all your fingers.)

And if you update your post, it appears to update the crosspost too!

— David.

Useful links:

WordPress Developer pages

Plugin details https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-crosspost/

Help page https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-crosspost/installation/

Screenshot walkthrough https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-crosspost/screenshots/

Obtaining a Client ID https://auth0.com/docs/connections/social/wordpress

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/does-not-connect-to-wordpresscom

Crosspost back to WordPress.com was originally published on Creative Uploads