You Can Now Convert Hubs to Videos

Great news, Hubbers! It is now possible to convert Hubs into Videos.

Up to this point, Videos had to be started from scratch, but now, by clicking “edit” on any of your existing Hubs, you can turn them into Videos.

The process is simple:

  1. Click the “Convert to Video” button under Special Layout Options in the HubTool
  2. Select the video you would like to meld with your existing Hub
  3. Click OK when prompted with the warning pop-up window

 

What exactly does making this conversion mean?

  • What was once a Hub will now have a HubPages-hosted video featured at the top
  • The video cannot be moved, but the original Hub will remain unchanged below the new HubPages Video Capsule that has been added to the top
  • You can always switch out videos and edit the other capsules below
  • Your Video will get special treatment in search engine results (which is to say that searchers will see a pretty thumbnail instead of just a title and summary)
  • The video will play automatically when people visit that page
  • You will be able to earn additional revenue from advertisements featured on/before the video

Keep in mind that this change is irreversible. Once you have made the conversion, you will not be able to change your Video back into a Hub- it will always have to have a HubPages Video Capsule floated to the top, and while you will be able to switch out the videos you feature in that capsule, you will never be able to remove the capsule itself. We therefore urge you to think carefully before making this permanent conversion. This change is irreversible because the URL and class of your page has been physically altered and it would be detrimental to your page’s success if you changed its class back and forth.

Though the conversion should not be taken lightly, there are some major benefits that come with converting existing Hubs into Videos. Videos stand to make a significantly higher amount of money in ad revenue, which means that you can earn even more from highly performing Hubs by turning them into Videos (provided, of course, that whatever Videos you add to the Hubs are just as high quality as the Hubs themselves).

We hope this change encourages you to think about Hubs of yours which might make good Videos! This update is a great opportunity to turn many of your established articles into even richer resources.

Big thanks to Edward Zhang for the update. It’s great to have the ability to do this!

Why do Microformats Matter?

Microformats are, simply put, open data formats built upon widely accepted standards. Microformats are somewhat like MLA bibliographies in that MLA-style bibliographies share different specific pieces of information (such as citations to movies, books, radio shows, talks, etc.), while following a common, standardized format.

In the case of microformats, the common standards involve specific tags that are added to particular types of information, such as thumbnails in videos, star ratings in reviews, ingredients, instructions, nutrition, and cook time information in recipes, dates and times in calendar events, and names and employers resumes. These tags make it easier for search engines to recognize and present (not to mention filter) this format-specific information.

Online videos, recipes, reviews, and other articles and posts that incorporate microformat tags enjoy several benefits, especially when it comes to the attractiveness of your work in search results. Listen in to this week’s podcast (Why Microformats Matter) to learn more about these perks.

We hope this podcast gets you excited about microformats, and that you take advantage of the easy-to-use special layout options we’ll soon be offering that make it easy to add review and recipe microformat tags to recipe and review Hubs!

Is there another online-related vocabulary word or standard that you’re unfamiliar with? Tell us about it in an email to podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com! We may very well discuss it in a future podcast.

Video vs. Online Articles

For about one week now, all Hubbers have had the ability to publish Videos in addition to regular online articles. We have already seen a litany of great Videos published on HubPages addressing everything from travel to recipes, but many writing-centric Hubbers are still a bit dubious about the new format.

What advantages does online video have over traditional multimedia articles? We cover the top perks in this special bonus edition of the Online Writing Insider (Video vs Online Articles). The gist is this: in addition to being an additional source of revenue, online videos are often more attractive to searchers, they are highly engaging formats, and they can help you as an author cater to different learning styles.

We hope you enjoy the new feature on our site, and have a go at branching out into one of the Internet’s most popular and quickly growing formats!

Do you have any online writing or video issues that you would like some help with? Tell us about it! Our email address is podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com, and we’re always looking for new subjects to address in these podcasts, so send suggestions our way!

Publishing Standards for Video on HubPages

Soon, Hubbers will be adding video publishing to their repertoire. Before this feature is released, I’m going to give you a quick overview of the types of video content that will not be permitted on HubPages. All of these rules are slight modifications to our existing rules, outlined here in our Violations section of the Learning Center. We will not be reviewing all Videos that are published, so we encourage Hubbers to flag any Hub or Video they encounter that violates our Terms of Use. The Moderation team’s workflow depends on community flags to keep the site clean!

Adult content

This rule is fairly straight forward. No sexually suggestive nudity, pornography, lewd or provocative images, explicit or profane content, and no promotions of adult websites, services, or products. As always, our standards for adult content are more lenient than the standards of our advertisers, therefore ads may be disabled on sensitive content that is acceptable for publication on HubPages.

Mature content

Videos depicting fighting, gore, violence or links to any site containing mature content will not be permitted. Self-defense instructional and minor dramatized violence will be allowed, but videos of gruesome assaults, wartime causalities, or domestic violence will not permitted. In addition, content that contains depictions of illegal activities will not be permitted. For both Mature and Adult content rules, ask yourself if you would be comfortable presenting your video to your children. If you wouldn’t be, the content may not be appropriate for HubPages.

Overly Promotional content

Video advertisements, just like written promotional flyers, will not be permitted on HubPages. Unbalanced discussions on a particular product or service, especially when accompanied by links, email addresses, or other contact information will be strictly prohibited.

Poorly Structured, Watermarked, and Pixelated content

A Video with distorted, warped, or excessively noisy audio, watermarks, or pixelation will be considered low quality. In addition, a Video that has no discernible value independent of your other Hub content will not be acceptable. If you encounter problems in your video file after the uploading process, please do not hesitate to contact us – it may be a bug!

Content that is not recorded in English

Content that is primarily recorded in a language other than English, even if it contains subtitles, will not be permitted on HubPages. Tutorials on how to communicate in a foreign language may be permitted, as long as the majority of the content is spoken in English.

Purely Personal content

HubPages is a wonderful place to find others with similar backgrounds and interests that you share. We ask that you reserve diary entries, whether video or written, for your personal blog.

Content that infringes on copyright

If you are not sure that you have the rights to use the content you are publishing on HubPages, do not publish it! Copyright issues are complex, so we encourage you to brush up on copyright rules before using any media that you did not create from scratch.

Video Tips from K9keystrokes

K9keystrokes is one of our community’s strongest Hubbers. In addition to regularly turning out useful masterpieces (often related with our Weekly Topic Inspiration theme), K9keystrokes is participating in our video beta program, testing out our new hosted video feature that will soon be available to all Hubbers.

The video Hubs that K9keystrokes has created so far are fantastic, so we asked her to share some tips and tricks with the rest of us. We hope her excellent advice will inspire you to make some videos of your own soon!

Your video Hubs are a fantastic combination of video and text and photos, and all the information you’ve shared goes really well together. When you’ve started these Hubs, do you already have a plan and layout in mind, or do you kind of wing it?

I guess I would have to say a little of both. When I first created a video for HubPages it had been some time since I had been involved in anything to do with this medium, years in fact. So, I went pretty sparse just to get my feet wet. I chose a more “cottage-rough” style rather than a refined teaching style about clarified butter. This was simply for my own sake and to re-familiarize myself with techniques. No real plan or layout, just a chronological rendition of the topic. Turned out pretty choppy, over edited, and a total mess; but also was a blast to make! The next video, about making Sock Puppets, was more refined and better planned out; still maintaining a chronological take on the subject (which I think is paramount when teaching any subject or project). Having a plan always works best, but sometimes when you are deep within creative thinking, winging it has its advantages. Here’s what I mean; when I watch the raw (unedited) video footage after shooting, the initial plan may not work at all. So, I try to stay open to revisions during editing. When dealing with a video that is built specifically to fit within a written article (hub), flexibility is proving very helpful! But having a plan keeps me on task and within the time frame required.

6021422_f260Two of the video Hubs you’ve created detail specific projects- namely making sock puppets and repairing laminated wood veneer. Did you do those projects to demonstrate things for video Hubs, or did you just turn projects you were already doing into video Hubs?

The two video hubs you mention were done for the sake of making the videos, but served double-duty in terms of projects around the house. The Sock Puppet project was meant to help build interaction between families while having a little fun in doing so. My nieces and nephews come from large families where budgeting is important. The fact that making these adorable creations is dirt cheap was important to me because today, most every family is in this same tight economical position. Nothing wrong with a little cheap and easy homemade fun! The Veneer video was actually derived from rummaging through yard sale stuff and finding an old table that would work great in the house, but had some damage to the veneer top. I researched a few wood working pointers (ummm…I asked my retired Contractor dad) on how to handle laminated surfaces. It worked out great, and fit my needs as well as the Weekly Topic Inspiration on HubPages, which was a real bonus! I must admit, there is a little reenactment during video making, but the projects themselves are real. And, when making videos there is no shame in providing reenactment of a needed process or step if it aides in providing clarity about a task (and hides the fact that you burnt the crud out of your fingers because hot glue is about a thousand degrees in its molten state!).

http://hubpages.com/embed/video.php?vid=139&w=500

Have you made many videos before?

I was involved with making videos for many years, primarily from a producer or directorial position. I lead a team who made everything from Solar Energy Commercials, to Music videos. But, having to push all of the buttons and do all of the actual “work” myself is something new. Managing linear production editing has always been something left for others far more savvy than myself. Doing it all on my own, would have never even crossed my mind. Having the chance to learn to develop the projects from shot to finish, for the sake of articles on HubPages, has been wonderful and a surprisingly easy transition. I think most folks will find videos easy to master and a fun addition to any Online article. I am in no way trying to say I am a master in the realm of video editing, because this is just not the case. I had to learn the process for myself (and am still learning). I was scared out of my wits at first and had little know-how for the process. But, by just doing it, video making has become a joy. Know that I asked questions at any turn that I wasn’t certain about (Thank you HP team), and read up on modern techniques. As much as I hate to admit, it has been beneficial to step outside of my comfort zone. I miss those brilliant editing and video teams who made all of it so much fun back then. But, I find an intense satisfactions from being able to it all for myself today. If you have a chance to make videos with people you delight in being around, you should do it! It is just plain fun!! Yet, doing it all for yourself, brings its own kind of fun and sense of accomplishment.

Do you follow any particular process when creating video Hubs?

I do my own process for creating video hubs. Once I decide on the project or topic and what the video has to convey, I configure a time line, shooting everything (as much as possible) in the natural order of occurrence. I find this pays off BIG when doing the actual editing. As each segment of the video is set up, I am also thinking about which “still shots” will be most helpful in the body of the hub (and within the same time line). This is because each video has to also offer a written format and still images. It is easier to take the still shots as I go through the process so I don’t have as much to reproduce later. In my humble opinion, this gives each reader more than one style to learn from. Still images, written directions/information, moving video, and in some cases audio. Everyone learns best in their own way, so I try to provide as many learning tools within the topic as I can. This method also keeps readers on my page even if they don’t have the band width to accommodate videos, because it still provides the project information, and on occasion more detailed information.

What sort of camera do you shoot with? What editing program do you use?

I shoot with an older Sony Digital 8 Handycam video camera, and a Fuji S2 Pro digital Photography camera for the stills. I can capture stills with the Sony, but I prefer to shoot them with the Fuji for personal reasons. I download the video footage direct from the digital device to the editing software using an USB cable, which is as easy as plugging it into my PC. The editing program I use (no laughing now) is Windows Movie Maker. It is the free program that came with my laptop PC. My Mac took a turn for the worst so learning to edit with my PC has been a cherished lesson. It is so simple to use, and does just enough to keep me from over editing and under producing, which is the downfall of many new video makers! I also produce PhotoShop still images for each video from the still shots taken with the Fuji S2. Creating my own titles and directions in a step by step manner offers a polished look to the production. And most image editing software provides a wide range of options. Once a title shot or instruction image is done, I simply import the picture to the collections section (video clips) of Movie Maker and slip it into the video according to the time line, using a simple click and drag action. I also use these same instructional stills within the body of the written article which provides a coordinated eye-appeal to the viewer, while teaching the same methods with the still PhotoShopped images as found in the video. For me anyway, it makes a bigger impact when everything looks similar and appears to belong together. I take pride in how hubs look and feel. If it’s worth putting in my published hub collection, it’s worth doing right.

What has inspired the video Hubs you’ve made so far?

The videos so far are totally inspired by my need to learn something new, and the desire to share something I know. I rarely do anything without a reason or meaning, even those things as simple as commenting on a hub I have read, or engaging in conversations in the forums. It is all very real to me, and matters. If it didn’t I just wouldn’t bother with it. This is not from a viewpoint of smugness, but rather from a place where I am old enough to know that, if I am not having fun or can not find appreciation for what I am doing, why should anyone else? And so far, making videos and writing within the HubPages community has provided real significant meaning, and I find myself appreciating this daily. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! So, in a nutshell, my inspiration comes from NOT wanting to let the community or myself down; thus providing high quality written as well as video content is an imperative.

Bonus Tips from K9keystrokes:

A. When first editing videos it is really important to know when “enough is enough”. Transitions are fun to use, but really easy to overuse. My suggestion would be to find a transition that moves smoothly into the next segment of your video and stick with it throughout that video (I like the feel of a “fade” transition). Adding in “punctuation” transitions is fine, but judiciously. Too many obscure transitions can be distracting to the viewer. So, unless you are trying to make something really bizarre and intense, keep transitions subtle and easy to process for the viewer.

B. If you hand hold your video camera remember that when you zoom-in “tight” on something, every tiny movement gets exaggerated greatly. It can even make some folks a little motion sick. Try using a tripod when you have to zoom-in on your shot, this makes for a far more steady and appealing close up.

C. Shoot from different levels. What I mean is take footage from more than one position, i.e., a standing potion, a sitting position, and even a laying down prone position. These different camera angles add interesting components to your video. But, as with editing transitions, use them judiciously.

D. My favorite bit of advice for new video makers is “let your camera do the work” it is made to do. Use auto mode for lighting and focusing. This allows you to considerate on getting the shot framed just how you want it to be around your subject, without the worry of what exposure and aperture to use.

E. Today’s search engine user has a pretty short attention span, usually wanting to get in, get the information, and get out. Even as video can keep viewers on your page longer (simply by its design) keeping videos a reasonable length will also keep these same users coming back. So, edit out as much of the extraneous footage as you can, without damaging the integrity of the video you are creating.

F. Above all things, make sure you are having fun! If you’re not enjoying what you do, why should anyone else? Now go shoot some videos!

It’s All About The Connections: Thoughts, Highlights And Lessons Learned From Blog World Expo 08

After being to exposed to as much blogging as I could ever possibly handle in 3 days out at Blog World Expo 08 in Las Vegas, I have now had time to digest what all I saw, what all I attended and most importantly who all I was able to connect up with while I was there. You see, although the days are jam-packed with keynotes, panels and parties the number one thing that a majority of the attendees noted as their most memorable part of the conference was a little more simple and something that we all should be shooting for – real world relationship building.

Now, I must admit that although I’ve been to my fair share of tech parties and meetups around Silicon Valley, I am practically a newbie to the whole tech conference scene which is a whole other beast altogether. Hanging out with a few fellow computer geeks for some cocktails while exchanging business cards in San Francisco is one thing, hanging out with some of the most passionate bloggers, new media entrepreneurs and evangelizers is totally another.

Having all of these different members of the online ecosystem in the same place in an approachable way is practically a dream for any type of marketer that’s in the new media/web 2.0/digital space. So much of a dream in fact that it’s practically overwhelming, which initially resulted in me thinking about ways that I could get HubPages in front of them and grab their attention so that they all knew how awesome we were and what we were up to and why they should all tell everyone who reads their blog about us. It sounded totally doable and a goal to shoot for the time that I was going to be at the conference. Simply put, I was going to get the word about about HubPages and all of the fellow bloggers were going to love it!

Damn was I wrong…WAY wrong.

Yep, my initial plan quickly went to hell as I soon realized that this conference was not something to be ‘milked’ for HubPages sake and if I was going to get something valuable out of these 3 days then I had better start meeting people as a lover of new media, blogging and all things web first and a marketing manager for HubPages a distant second. Basically I realized what I already knew, but somehow forgot as I began to roam through the halls of the conference – this group of bloggers, business people and entrepreneurs are different. They’re real people who have somehow figured out a way to turn something that they love into something that pays the bills, which surprisingly doesn’t make any of them less approachable or any less likely to drink a beer with you at a roulette table in Vegas. You see, it ended up that this wasn’t just some other marketing opportunity, this was an opportunity to create a real relationship with some of the best bloggers and fellow online addicts that the web has to offer.

Luckily I figured this out quickly and make a sharp turn towards getting to know some of the attendees before telling them what I was there representing. You want to know what happened after that? Simple, I ended up meeting and getting to know some of the most inspirational, successful, creative and friendly people that call the online world their playground and it turns out that they all do a pretty damn good job playing in it, too.

I took some time to make a video of some of the more interesting people and things that I noticed during Blog World Expo 08 and I thought that I should also list a few of the people who made a memorable impression on me as the conference cruised along.

Logan Kugler – an 18 year-old high school dropout-turned uber-successful freelance tech writer and soon to be best-selling book author. Watch out for this guy, he’s on the fast track to success and he even helped me fill up some of my Hubpages Bags O’ Vegas Fun! that I was handing out all weekend.

Angie A. Swartz – an amazing woman power blogger and all around awesome chick. We met at the TechSet party on Friday and ran into each other many other times as the weekend went along. She helps six figure moms get back into the swing of things after they have there little bundle(s) of joy.

Darren Rowse (in video) – the founder of ProBlogger.net and B5media and one hell of a cool Aussie. Darren joined me for a free steak dinner one night after I somehow was chosen to one of the three lucky winners. He always seems to be super helpful to anyone who is willing to ask for it.

Jessica Berlin – this woman might have one of the coolest gigs there is, she manages all of the social media for the crazy successful and Vegas staple Cirque du Soleil. Jessica sat down with me, Chris Brogan and a few others between sessions and was very, very curious to hear the ideas that we all had. She was also very willing to offer us all tickets to a show of our choice, which I ended up taking Saturday night as me and my friend Chuck Burke went and saw the amazingly produced KA. Jessica is slowly pushing the Cirque du Soleil brand into the social media world and from what I can tell she’s already got a pretty solid start.

Betsy Weber (in video) – a slightly shorter than me, but probably more energetic woman who was preaching the TechSmith (who created the super awesome and free tool called Jing) gospel from the conference floor. I had a lot of fun with her and her crew as we were putting together some interviews for the video below. Also, it’s probably worth mentioning that she has a picture of her and Eric Estrada on the back of her business card. A little creepy, but pretty sweet.

Rick Calvert (in video) – the brains behind the Blog World Expo, Rick is super-passionate about the blogging industry and is an expert at creating conferences and trade shows, so when there was no big blog conferences out there he did it himself. Rick is a guy who you can tell has a ton of fun putting these types of events together and someone who is truly dedicated to putting Blog World Expo on the map. I could tell that he was like a little kid in a candy store when I interviewed him for my video and he said, ‘You know that it was a good conference when we start pulling up the carpet and people don’t want to leave…’.

Eric Romer – this guy is a fellow Indiana-born tech geek just like me. He runs the business development for Compendium, a corporate blogging software that was founded by Chris Baggot who also founded the very successful email marketing platform Exacttarget. It was great to see some of my Indiana guys representing the Midwest well at the conference and it was really great to party with Eric after the long days at the convention center.

Paula Berg (in video) – when you think of most airlines, you don’t really ever think about them in terms of utilizing social media. But, from what Paula told me in our interview, Southwest is definitely doing their fair share of tapping into the social web. From utilizing YouTube for contests to Twittering for customer service, Paula is blazing the social media trail for all of the other airlines to follow. It’s probably also worth mentioning that Paula had incredibly bouncy hair and that Southwest still actually gives you a free drink and peanuts during flights. It’s the little things that matter, right?

Frank Eliason (in video) – better known as ‘the Comcast Twitter guy’, Frank is a really great guy who has been pushed into the spotlight as a leader in the social media world as it applies to businesses. He has been featured in the NY Times and is just now getting into the world of public speaking, which he seems to really enjoy. He commented to me that his panel with Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos who is also a huge Twitter fan, was an awesome experience and something that he really looks forward to doing again.

Bruce Christensen – this guy and his Cart-Away concrete mixer made an appearance at the event as a way to see what social media can do for their business. They got a lot of chatter on the conference floor and hopefully some of that will translate into them getting some interesting conversations going online as well. They were really nice guys and you had to love their homemade neon shirts.

Wow, so that’s actually the short list of people whom I actually met and had some time to chat with while I was out in Vegas this past weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing them all again sometime soon, but until then I guess that the web will just have to do.