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Embedding

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Contents

Example

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Supporting the use of embed codes for rich media and applications can enable organic growth and runaway memes.

What

Users like to be able to collect and display media objects (such as videos, images, and even slideshows) as well as badges and applications on their profiles, blogs, and activity streams.

When

Embedding works best when displaying media or other objects that can be distributed freely.

How

Generate an embed code. An embed code is a snippet of markup that a user can copy and paste directly into a blog entry template, MySpace page, or other social space for sharing that the user controls.

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Copying and pasting text strings is definitely an interaction flow that could be improved upon, but it's the state of the art today for flexible embedding.

You may need to supply unique variations on the code to support variant hosting environments or to make the process simpler. Slideshare, for example, offers a generic embed code for most situations and a different code for embedding slideshows in WordPress blogs.

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Slideshare offers a custom embed code for Wordpress bloggers.

Optionally, give your users the option of customizing the size, color palette, and presentation of the embedded object (both Slideshare and YouTube, for example, enable the user to opt out of the display of related objects - slideshows and videos respectively).

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YouTube supports customization of the embedded object, within limits.

When possible, gather statistics about number of times an object has been embedded, where, and how often it's been viewed or accessed through embeds.

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When possible, share embedding statistics by posting them alongside the object in its native habitat, as Slideshare does here.

Why

Users like to share and display content. The more easy you make it for them to do so, the more likely they will. Embedding also has strong potential for organic spread, as it enables rapid duplication and redistribution. It is widely thought that YouTube obtained much of its early phenomenal growth from the fact that its videos could be embedded easily on MySpace pages.

Related Patterns

As Seen On

  • YouTube
  • Slideshare
  • Vimeo
  • Scribd

Sources / Similar Patterns in Other Libraries