I was reading Nick Bradbury’s blog the other day & he had a post on RSS Good Practices: Provide Alternate Content When Embedding Video where he said
Lately I’ve noticed a lot of feeds that contain embedded videos which fail to provide alternate content for readers who can’t view the videos. For example, a number of feeds use the HTML <embed> tag to embed video objects but neglect to include <noembed> sections. The end result is a less-than-optimal experience for many people …
… A more user-friendly solution would be to include a <noembed> section that contains a thumbnail image of the video which links to the actual video
This is an important thing to consider, especially for people who provide a full-text RSS feed. Unless someone wants to comment (or read the comments) there’s not often a reason for people to leave their feed reader and actually load up my website. But if I’ve embedded video in a post, they can’t see it. And if it’s come from YouTube or a similar service, they simply won’t see anything because YouTube doesn’t provide a <noembed> section in its code. Neither does Google Video, Soapbox (it does have a HTML link back by default though) or GameVideos. This is a real shame, because it would be trivial for them to do so & it would make the user experience much better, not to mention increase their click-through rate.
So anyway, I’ve made a WordPress Plugin that parses the post output before it’s displayed and adds a <noembed> section for all embedded content that doesn’t have one. The message it displays is able to be set in the options of the plugin, but it defaults to
There is embedded content here that you cannot see. Please open the post in a web browser to see this
with the link there linking back to the post on your blog.
As an added feature, using the YouTube API and the excellent phpYoutube script written by Erik de Vries, if the embedded content is a YouTube video, it will also show the video thumbnail as a link too.
I haven’t got a permanent page up for this yet because this is still in testing. If you’d like to help test please download this zip file & extract it into your plugins folder. Please let me know what works, what doesn’t and how it could work better.