Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nebraska's most influential daily covers gay marriage ruling — and then shoots itself in the foot on the web

We thought the World-Herald did a good job in print and a great one on its web page, by posting the County Clerk vows of what was probably the first gay couple in the state to marry.
     Unfortunately for the Herald, the hamfisted decision-makers in its IT department ruined the publicity their paper might have garnered for itself and the community from publishing what was surely one of the most poignant and affecting videos on gay marriage made anywhere in the United States on that historic Friday.
     And how did the World-Herald do that? By coding its video to rudely autoplay, and then trigger the cueing of other, unrelated videos.
     Is the World-Herald ever going to understand the nuances of making video content embeddable?
     It's clear that the crude tyros in its IT department or web department or online department or whatever they call it, are tone-deaf to the needs of bloggers or websites that might want to showcase unusually good work the World-Herald makes embeddable.
     We understand that the paper has every right to limit the availability of its content and to make it available in any way it chooses.
     But if it chooses to a video embeddable, then why doesn't the paper observe the etiquette about embedding that virtually everyone else online seems to understand, except it? 
     Doesn't anyone at the Herald understand that if you choose to make a video available to the Internet by publishing embeddable html for it, and that if you want popular websites and bloggers to give your enterprise free publicity by running said embeddable video, that YOU TURN AUTOPLAY OFF!
     The bloggers and websites who typically run embeddable video don't run autoplay videos. IT ANNOYS THEIR READERS.
     Why does the World-Herald still not get this?
     AKSARBENT noticed, on Friday, that one of the three most popular gay bloggers in the English-speaking world briefly ran a post on the effect of the SCOTUS decision in Nebraska — and then removed the post within minutes. We asked why, and the webmaster told us that he really liked the World-Herald video  and wanted to share it with his millions of readers all across America and Europe (few of whom have ever heard of Omaha's daily newspaper), but he didn't realize that the clip would behave so badly when embedded in his extremely popular blog.
     So he axed the entire post, as he had made the video the post's centerpiece.
     It's sad to see one part of an organization sabotage the first-rate efforts of another part of the same organization while editors remain apparently oblivious to the whole thing.

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