Social Media 220: How to Customize Your YouTube Player

I have been interested in using a YouTube player to display some of our Mayo Clinic videos on our Mayo Web sites. One concern is that at the end of an embedded YouTube video, a list of related videos is automatically displayed at the end.

Here’s an example of a brief video I did to document my newly cleaned office as I prepared to start fresh in 2012:

With a quick Google search, I found this site, which makes it really easy to customize your player.

Among the changes you can make are:

  • Autoplay (have the video start automatically when the page is loaded)
  • Hide the video title
  • Hide the related videos list
  • Adjust size of the player
  • Enable or disable full-screen mode
  • Start the video somewhere in the middle.

Here is what it looks like after the customization:

Here’s another version with looping of the video (and showing the related videos):


The other neat thing about this online tool is that it lets you understand the syntax involved in the embed codes, so that you can adjust the settings manually.

Finally, here’s one more embed, in which I have our Mayo Clinic “Know Your Numbers” video start at the beginning of one of my two cameos.


Do you have other tricks for customizing display of your YouTube videos? How do you do it?

Where’s Lee?

This isn’t an allusion to my travels; I’m staying in Minnesota for the whole month, with no trips scheduled until February.

It’s about this video we did through our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, in cooperation with our colleagues in the Office of Women’s Health and our cardiology group.

I wrote the lyrics to this parody of Tommy TuTone’s 867-5309/Jenny and was the Executive Producer, and Makala Johnson from our team shot, edited and coordinated production. We had a great team for the project, including a band and back-up singers drawn almost entirely from our Mayo Clinic employee population, and over 100 enthusiastic concertgoers.

So here’s the trivia question for the day:

Where are my two cameos in the video?

Put your guesses in the comments below. And with February Heart Month coming up, I hope you’ll also help spread the word.

Guest Lecturer: Seth Godin

Last week I shared a video from David Allen on Getting Things Done, or GTD.

Here’s some more Saturday viewing from another author who has taught me a lot: Seth Godin. He even has his own section among the SMUG-recommended textbooks. Seth is speaking to employees at Google, and for those who haven’t read his work, it’s a good introduction:

Check out Seth’s blog, too.

Twitter 310: Custom URL Shortening Case Study

So you want to get a custom-shortened URL for your Tweets.

How do you do it?

This post builds upon Twitter 210, and provides the answer. By watching the video below and following along with the slide presentation, you will see step-by-step how I created the custom short domain, and how you can do something similar.

It’s not expensive (at least it doesn’t have to be), and you can do it in an hour or so.

So, grab a Slurpee or your other favorite beverage, hit play on the embedded video, and follow along.

Was this helpful? If you use this to guide you in creating your own custom URL shortener, please leave a comment and let me know what short domain you used.

Or if you still have questions, let me know about that, too.

Please also check out my Christmas letter, which I tweeted with this link

Twitter 210: Vanity URL Shortening

In Social Media 110, I highlighted 7 services for shrinking URLs as a way to pack more information into the 140 characters Twitter allows.

After all, if you can compress a 90-character URL into 20 characters or fewer when sharing a link, that leaves you more space to provide information on what people will see when they click the link. That serves you and your users in two ways:

  1. You can be more colorful in your description, to encourage people to click, and
  2. You can give enough info that they may not need to click right away, but can perhaps “favorite” the link for later viewing or for reference.

Any of those seven link-shortening options work well, and there are no doubt dozens more available.

I’m returning to the subject today with an option some of you might find helpful, particularly if you work for a large organization. But it isn’t necessary that you be with a big company. In fact, even a small (but global) university can do this, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot.

You may have noticed some different shortened URLs in your Twitter stream from time-to-time, following a format like:

These are, as you might have guessed, custom-shortened links for a YouTube video, a story in the New York Times and a program note on CSPAN.

Why would they do that?

I see two main reasons for this strategy:

Branding: With, and, these organizations are “getting their names out” with every tweet that uses a link from their domain. Instead of the link being and just looking like hundreds of millions of others, CSPAN’s version carries its network name. Likewise for YouTube and the Times.

User confidence: With a or or link, you never really know what’s on the other end before you click it. Creating a custom-shortened link system with a domain that you control enables users to click your link without worrying whether a site that is NSFW is on the other end.

How did they do that?

That’s the topic of my next post, in which I will take you step-by-step through how I created this shortened link to my annual Christmas Letter:

Meanwhile, I have a closing question: Besides the two I mentioned…

What are some other reasons you would want to have a short custom URL for your organization?