Creating a Virtual Tour with YouTube Annotations

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83 Comments

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83 responses to “Creating a Virtual Tour with YouTube Annotations

  1. Wow. You just rock.

    This is a great idea and I love how you demonstrate its value. I’m a fan.

    Please keep going with your video blog.

  2. Love the new blog series, Seth! I just recommended this to a client last week. I told them to frame it as a “Choose your own adventure” type of thing, like the books we grew up loving ­čÖé I really hope someone runs with this, wouldn’t be too hard once you lay out the framework! Keep it up, and hopefully we can get together again sometime soon!

  3. Picture in picture is a nice touch!

  4. Great post! I love that you offer very practical, actionable advice. I’m going to share it with schools that we work with to build Facebook communities for prospective / admitted students. This idea could be a great way to pull students in and get them highly engaged in the community.

    This blog is definitely becoming a must read! Keep up the good work.

  5. One more thing. I think the annotations do work in the embedded version (or, at least, they did on this blog), which I think is a must-have if schools are truly going to embrace this.

  6. sethodell

    Thanks for all the great feedback. I REALLY appreciate it. You guys are great!

    Mark – Great catch regarding annotations working in embedded videos. I just noticed this yesterday and totally love it. I’m not sure when YouTube made the upgrade, but I am SO glad they did.

  7. Dude. You rock. I’ve sent both of your posts around to my colleagues. Love this idea. It’s great to see some innovation with a YouTube feature that’s been around for a while like annotations.

    My only concern is if you get a few videos deep, and you want to go back to the beginning, what do you think the best way is? You could go the multiple annotations route, I suppose but that would probably be annoying. A playlist would probably be a better option.

    The only problem I foresee with doing this is that the person has to be on YouTube to see the annotations. It loses its luster if you want them to have the experience within your branded site.

  8. Chris Weaver

    Very nice! I couldn’t agree more with your philosophy of giving the user control over how much content they want to see, and in what order.
    Great posts here; you’ve got yourself another subscriber.

  9. sethodell

    Devin,

    Great comment man. You have brought up some really good points. The bigger this thing gets the harder to navigate and stay organized. I’ve mapped out some ideas, so personally here is what I’m thinking…

    For now the only way to navigate from video to video is on YouTube itself. If that is the case then I say let’s embrace that and utilize the sidebar. I would have the host literally point to their left and say something like “at anytime you can go back to the original video by clicking the link in the sidebar.”

    Not sure if this is practical, but it could work to also post a directory video that just includes annotations listed in some sort of order for every single video in the tour. That way if someone was looking for something specific they could go there and click it.

    Not ideal solutions, but I think if you really mapped everything out beforehand you could find a way to make even a really large tour flow.

    Thanks again to all of you for such great comments! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

  10. Great tip, now if only YouTube can add this functionality for embedded vids it would be awesome!

  11. Thanks for this great insight! I’m definitely interested in learning more about picture-in-picture in both FinalCut and iMovie.

  12. Seth,

    I’m just about to plan an overhaul of our virtual tour and I definitely want to incorporate annotations. Adding them looks pretty simple, but how did you add video in the annotation (of your freezer, for example?).

    Thanks for your help. Love the ideas. Keep ’em coming.

  13. sethodell

    Ed,

    Glad you find it useful! Make sure to send me a folo up when you’ve finished the virtual tour overhaul. I’d love to see what you put together

    Adding video in the annotation is sort of an interesting topic. On YouTube you can’t actually add video inside an annotation at all. So, what I do is I actually edit that moving video on top of the other video in Final Cut (you can also do this in iMovie) and then I upload it to YouTube. Once on YouTube, I use annotations to put a box around the already moving video.

    I realize this is a bit confusing. Some folks expressed interest in a tutorial vid on how to do picture-in-picture editing in iMovie and Final Cut, so I’m hoping to put something together soon.

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