YouTube Playlists: Embedding and Promoting

I don’t know whether this works or not, so I’m giving it a try. That’s the great thing about a blog: You can experiment and see what works, and then modify your approach based on what you learn. And so that’s why I’m doing this as a SMUG research project, so that later I can add a fully cleaned-up post to either our Mayo Clinic News Blog or Podcast Blog. And by doing this learning in public, hopefully I’ll get some additional ideas from the SMUGgle community. I hope you’ll share those in the comments.

So here’s the issue: Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center has created a series of three Stop Smoking videos, such as this one I’ve embedded below:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ewwzazHfq4]

I created a playlist too, which we’re going to feature for a time at least on the front of our Mayo Clinic YouTube channel.

But I also wanted to see whether that playlist could be embedded within WordPress.com blogs. I tried embedding below using the standard “Add Video” button, but at least in the preview it wasn’t visible.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=F65A784F26782AF6]

If you still can’t see it in the space immediately above now that I’ve published it, that means it still didn’t work.

YouTube does have embed codes for its playlists that would work on Blogger or Typepad (and I expect for WordPress blogs that aren’t hosted on WordPress.com). But for security reasons, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Flash widgets on its blogs, because it doesn’t want someone to upload malicious code that could bring down millions of blogs. So your users can’t view the entire playlist unless you embed each video individually.

So what’s the workaround?

I would suggest that if you’re on WordPress.com and want to highlight a YouTube playlist, you should embed one of the videos (and probably add some annotations) but then just say something like:

“Check out the whole Mayo Clinic Stop Smoking playlist on YouTube” and have it open in a new window.

YouTube playlists also can be shared directly from within YouTube by e-mail, and individual videos also can be shared through Facebook and MySpace. I guess that probably makes the annotations even more important, because they can include links to the playlist, so people who find one of the videos will also have links to the others.

I also have featured this playlist on the wall of Mayo Clinic’s Facebook page, and then I Tweeted it. I also shared on Facebook by posting it to my personal profile. I suppose I could send an update to Mayo Clinic’s fans on Facebook, but I want to be pretty judicious in how many of those I send.

I have, of course, added the Get Social series of buttons at the bottom of this post so it can be shared easily via Facebook, StumbleUpon and other networking sites. I suppose that in the post I do on the News Blog, adding these would be a good way to spread the word.

What do you think? What other methods for promoting a YouTube video playlist would you recommend?

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 13. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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