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Getting Started With Splashcast on WordPress.com

Posted in Technology, WordPress.com Tips by engtech on January 30, 2007

I first heard of Splashcast when TechCrunch uber-editor Marshall Kirkpatrick left to join them. Today they’re finally opening for business.

how to use splashcast with wordpress.com

What is Splashcast?

SplashCast enables anyone to create streaming media ‘channels’ that combine video, music, photos, narration, text and RSS feeds. These user-generated channels can be played and easily syndicated on any web site, blog, or social network page. When channel owners modify their channel, their content is automatically updated across all the web pages ‘tuned’ to that channel.

Say the what now?

Splashcast lets you create embedded multimedia that you can stick on any webpage that support embedding flash videos. It offers direct integration with Flickr and Youtube. Other people can subscribe to your splashcast and you can host this single splashcast on multiple sites.

What came as a pleasant surprise was seeing that they’ve been working behind the scenes with the guys at WordPress.com — so if you’re running a WordPress.com blog then you already have the ability to use it.

(Hint: more companies should make sure their widgets work with all the major blogging platforms before launch. Good job Splashcast.)

But why would I want to use this?

Always a good question when it comes to web widgets. Splashcast lets you create a dynamic multimedia channel that you can publish in different places. You could use it to

  • create a scrapbook of videos/photos for sharing with family members,
  • create a random slideshow from your flickr stream,
  • create a screencast of how to do something,
  • create a presentation,
  • highlight your best blog posts,
  • or create a channel for a web comic

My first attempt at splashcasting is the latter. How would you use Splashcast?

My First Splashcast

It was very easy to create. The only issue I ran into is how do I post it on my WordPress.com blog? WordPress adds additional mark-up to make it easier to embed supported flash players, but for all that Splashcast was suggesting I host a free blog on WordPress.com, they didn’t provide me WordPress.com specific code for embedding the player.

The important part in that text is the player_code.

<embed src="http://web.splashcast.net/p/" quality="high"
bgcolor="#FFFFFF" FlashVars="player_code=CPAH1932FC"
wmode="transparent" width="400" height="300"
name="player" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="never"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">
</embed>

I did find the code later on by going to edit the channel and view the channel info. They support specific codes for Page Flakes as well. The format is simple, it is

[  splashcast PLAYER_CODE]
IE: [  splashcast CPAH1932FC]

…but without the spaces in front of splashcast.
RSS Readers click here to see the Splashcast
[splashcast CPAH1932FC]

It would be nice if they gave a unique URL for the splashcast the way Youtube does. Those are really handy for linking in RSS, bookmarking and sending by email. I wouldn’t be surprised if they already do, but it wasn’t immediately obvious.

Room for Improvement

I have a few issues with Splashcasts that hopefully they’ll improve over time

  • Too many pop-ups — every modern browser has a pop-up blocker and this creates a headache.
    • At the very least have an intro in the beginning asking people to allow pop-ups for the site and showing them how to.
  • Why is there no option to automatically repeat the splashcast?
    • Since autoplay is an option, you’d think you could repeat to have an automatic slideshow.
  • When adding photos, I could not associate a link with them.
  • When adding text, there was no option to add thumbnail images as well.
  • Justification is for the entire text page, not the selected text only.
  • Manipulating text size/colour/background colour is error prone and did not always save properly.
  • Adding unwanted whitespace in the text.
  • Even though the text fit on the screen when editing, it ran off the screen when using scrollbars.

I’m not sure if Splashcast is still in beta or not, but you can try signing up for an account here.

In the future you’ll probably be seeing a Splashcast permanently in the bottom bar of my blog showing off my best posts.

Related Posts

16 Responses

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  1. jhay said, on January 31, 2007 at 2:49 am

    Nice new service. Is the size adjustable? It would be a waste if it is stuck in that small size.

  2. engtech said, on January 31, 2007 at 3:43 am

    The size is adjustable on Splashcast’s side.

    On the wordpress.com side of things the size isn’t adjustable (yet). I’ve made complaints in the right direction so hopefully someone will get a look at it.

    I like the idea of having fullpage slideshows and itty-bitty sidebar slideshows — especially if they’re all coming off of the same source.

  3. [...] of WordPress.com Blog Bling – SplashCast!: Want to really bling up your WordPress.com blog? Engtech offers “Getting Started with SplashCast on WordPress.com”, explaining how to add SplashCast streaming media channels for video, music, photos, narration, [...]

  4. Marshall Kirkpatrick said, on January 31, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Thanks so much for your support Engtech, really glad you like the service. We’ll be taking a look at your recommendations as soon as the flurry of launch passes.

  5. engtech said, on January 31, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, opening day is always like this.

    The widgets kept running and the site never went down — that’s a major accomplishment.

  6. envec69 said, on February 02, 2007 at 1:07 am

    that seems to be a nice service, definitely checking it out.

    thanks for sharing

  7. CJ Boston said, on February 02, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks I’ll work on implementing a splash on my blog.
    CJ Boston

  8. Coveiro said, on March 15, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Hi guy,Excuse-me but I have a question about your sidebar…how can I create a section named “Featured Posts” like this appears in your blog?

    It´s beautiful form that combine text and image of the latests posts …it´s a extra plugin installed or a simple form in HTML(what´s the code?)??????

    Really Very nice!

    Thanks,

  9. engtech said, on March 15, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    @coveiro: It’s a text widget with HTML in it, and some CSS styles applied to it.

  10. Coveiro said, on March 16, 2007 at 6:29 am

    engtech,

    Please,do you helpe-me to create this CSS styles applied in HTML for my blog?For example, lines of code?
    I´m newbie in customization and really I don´t understand how do you use this but i known the use o widget text in wordpress…the format code it´s the problem for me.

    I think in The WordPress Service isn´t FREE CSS customization,do you paid for this?

    Thank you !

  11. engtech said, on March 16, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Yes, this is the paid CSS upgrade. This is also a custom CSS design I created and not for reuse.

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