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!

Have you met TED?

Founded in 1984 TED is an annual conference of ideas intended to unite leading thinkers and doers from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. During each conference speakers share their thoughts in 18 minutes sessions. For those not part of the limited in-person audience, TED has made videos of more than 1,900 talks available online.

The collection of presentations is nothing short of infectious. And I mean that literally: at the February 2009 conference in Long Beach, CA Bill Gates released a jar of mosquitoes, emphasizing that people in developed countries are not concerned enough with the impact of malaria in the developing world.

Sir Ken Robinson speaks about creativity and education at the February 2006 TED Talk.Another talk of particular interest to me as an educator and lifelong learner was given by Sir Ken Robinson at the February 2006 conference in Monterey, CA.

Robinson — who earned a PhD for research into drama and theatre in education — is a British creativity expert who challenges the way we educate ourselves.

Recognizing that formal education is unequally focused on linear, quantitative subjects, Robinson proposes a radical re-imagining of our school system that more effectively cultivates creativity and acknowledges multiple types of intelligence.

I can relate to this as I’ve always been one to “think different” (as the famous Apple advertising slogan once encouraged us to do). Specifically, I test poorly on standardized tests: my brain just isn’t wired that way. This is a significant concern as I draw closer to applying for PhD programs.

I need to find an effective and, given my present circumstance, outrageously affordable way to elevate my GRE scores to ensure my application is viewed competitively by admissions committees. (Perhaps at a later date I will discuss my thoughts on the highly questionable financial stranglehold ETS — Educational Testing Service — has on the high education process).

I personally enjoyed the video a great deal — it reminded me of my teaching philosophy which is anchored in the idea of generative learning. The “tipping point” that motivated me to post this blog was that shortly after watching it I logged into my WordPress.com account and read that the system now supports embedding TED videos.  Serendipity!

I couldn’t resist the urge to share this video. Although the talk occurred more than three years ago the ideas seem timeless and more relevant than ever. My two favorite lines from Robinson’s talk are:

“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it.”

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

Truer words were never spoken!  Additionally, I also found these comments particularly insightful — especially since they reflect my views on education and seem to validate my desire for an interdisciplinary doctoral program:

“We know three things about intelligence:

One, it’s diverse, we think about the world in all the ways we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement.

Secondly, intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions of a human brain, as we heard yesterday from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity, which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value, more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things…

And the third thing about intelligence is, it’s distinct.”

And so, without further adeiu, here is Sir Ken Robinson (you can also watch it on the TED website and follow along with an interactive transcript):

Hopefully you found this talk as encouraging as I did. You can also read a transcript of Robinson’s entire talk. Additionally, earlier this year Robinson published a new book, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything,” which presents a deep look at human creativity and education.

I invite you to explore some of the videos on the TED website or to visit the organization’s “TEDTalks” YouTube channel. I don’t think 18 minutes of your day could be better spent!