If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is a video worth? According to the following statistics from November 2011, video is so popular in online media it is nearly priceless:

  • comScore (October 2011): 184 million US Internet users watched an average of 21.1 hours per viewer and engaged in 42.6 billion video views. A record 20 Billion Content Videos Viewed on Google Sites!
  • NielsenWire (November 16, 2011):  the amount of time spent streaming videos online is growing at a much faster rate than the number of video viewers.
  • eMarketer (November 28, 2011): forecasts the number of the number of US tablet users will reach 89.5 million in 2014 and by 2015 there will be 148.6 million smartphone users, stoking demand for mobile online video.
  • Mashable (November 14, 2011): 71% of US Internet users visit video sharing sites on a typical day.
  • Unbounce (October 31, 2011): reports that using video on a marketing landing page lifted conversion rates by 100%.
  • Futuresource Consulting:  forecasts consumption of legitimate free and paid for online video is on track to exceed 770 billion views across the USA, UK, France and Germany this year.

How to Embed a Facebook Video Into Your WordPress.com Blog
In his blog post, “Why Flickr Images Boost Your Blog,” blogger Ari Herzog illustrates the importance of including images with the words of your post. Given that there are different conditions under which you can use images on Flickr, Herzog’s blog also links to a very helpful blog post titled “A Complete Guide to Finding and Using Incredible Flickr Images.”

Given the above statistics, it stands to reason that including videos in your blog posts is an additionally important way to help people not only find your blog posts, but engage with them as well.

Noted social media consultant Chris Brogan encourages using video in blog posts, and he can’t be wrong, can he? Notably, in a September 1, 2011 Entrepreneur.com article, Chris also shared several helpful strategies you can use to start video blogging.

But not all videos are created equal. Rather I should say that not all videos are equally easy to include in your blog posts — specifically your WordPress.com blog posts.

YouTube and WordPress.com have facilitated the ability to insert videos with short URLs and  a simple code syntax (remove the space after and before the brackets; I needed to include the space here to prevent WordPress.com from actually trying to embed the example YouTube URL):

[ youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=video-id-here ].

However, for certain topics, as in the case of my recent blog post, (I’ve Had) The Time(line) of My Life, I wanted to include a video that was only available on Facebook. Doing so wasn’t nearly as intuitive or easy.

Eventually, after several minutes of serious searching online, I found a website with a solution that worked: How to Add,Show or embed facebook video on your wordpress, joomla, blogger blog or website.

To briefly summarize the three simple steps to follow so you can embed a Facebook video into your WordPress.com blog:

1.)  Locate the URL of the Facebook page in which the source video is embedded. The URL for the video from the (I’ve Had) The Time(line) of My Life post (pictured below) is https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=980256227111.

2.)  identify the number after the “v=” — in the case of the previously mentioned video, the number is 980256227111.

How to Embed Facebook Videos

3.)  Insert the number after the “v=”video into the code follows below. Again, as was the case with the YouTube example, please remove the space after and before the brackets (I needed to include it to prevent WordPress.com from actually trying to embed the example Facebook URL):

[ gigya src=”http://www.facebook.com/v/980256227111
codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0″ width=”400″ height=”224″ ]

Please see the actual embedded video below:

And there you have it — you have successfully embedded a Facebook video into your WordPress.com blog!

Frequently being on the road driving to and from the classes I teach gives me the opportunity to occasionally see some fairly odd things.

Most often I observe people with strange items in their trunks, on their cars or otherwise in-tow. I’ve learned to never underestimate the creativity (or, in some cases, stupidity) of people when it comes to their cars!

I decided to start documenting as many of these “moments” as possible and aptly title them under the heading of “Junk in Your Trunk.” I will randomly post images as I take them or discover images I took earlier that seem to fit the bill. I am also willing to post photos anyone else takes and sends my way — so feel free to “shoot and send!”

Car Engine on Highway 99 NorthThe photo to the left was taken on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 while I was driving north on highway 99 en route to Bakersfield (where I was teaching at DeVry University later that afternoon).

It is a bit hard to see, but there is a car engine in the trunk of the silver Honda Civic in the foreground! I am unsure why there is a car engine in the trunk, though I was certain it was not the engine powering the car, but there it is!

Note: Unfortunately, the camera in my Palm Centro is adequate, but not always ideal. However, you can click on the photo to see a larger, and slightly clearer, version of the photo.

On March 5th of this year I posted photos I took while traversing the Grapevine portion of Interstate 5 in California on the morning of January 23, 2008 to the DeVry University Center in Bakersfield where I have been teaching since October 2007.

As I mentioned, due to the snow that began to fall that morning, as of 3 p.m. that day the California Highway Patrol (CHP) decided to close the 5 between Castaic and the base of the Grapevine and it remained closed through a good portion of the following day.

Due to my teaching schedule at DeVry I had already planned to stay over in Bakersfield that night, but the continued closure of the 5 the following day, Thursday, January 24, 2008, necessitated my taking the “long way” home on Higway 58 East through Tehachapi to the 14 Freeway South.

This was  a route which, at that time, I was driving on Monday afternoons to get to a class I was teaching in Palmdale once I finished my classes in Bakersfield. From the 14 South I made my way to Interstate 5 North and home to Santa Clarita (though this post does not include photos of that leg of the journey).

With Southern California currently sweltering under a relentless heatwave, today seemed like a perfect time to share some photos I took of that snowbound adventure.

Note that the photos below were taken roughly between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and are only from the portion of the trip on Highway 58 and do not include much less interesting shots I took while driving south on the 14.

Although it was not heavily snowing, though there was an intermittent dusting. Overall it was an enjoyable drive and was especially interesting once I got to the portion of the highway where the windmills are visible.

Hopefully the photos of this trip will provide some kind of relief for those of you who are now contending with temperatures in the 90s and 100s.

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East

Photo Taken January 24, 2008 on Highway 58 East