Youtube introduces Interactive Cards

Youtube has introduced interactive cards as a replacement for annotations on videos. There’s a new Cards tab available in the Youtube Video Editor to allow you to choose from 6 types; Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.


Youtube Interactive Cards

They’ll work across mobile and desktop and eventually annotations will be phased out to make way for the new interactive cards. Each type of card has specific settings – for instance Merchandise cards allow you to add an image, merchandise url and a call to action, while fan funding cards allow for donations to creators within the video itself.

They display as a small pop-up, and the teaser can then be clicked for more information. In addition there is an information button that shows throughout the video to see all cards at once. And the new interactive cards will also work in livestreams as well as pre-recorded video.

At the moment you can’t choose size, or position them anywhere other than on the right edge. You can have a maximum of 5 cards per video, and the colours are fixed. Plus their location will change depending on the device being used to view them – so it’s not a good idea to point to them when you’re on camera.


Friendfeed and GigaOm announce closures as Apple launches new products

While Apple launched new products including MacBooks and Watches, two pioneering services announced they would be closing. Friendfeed was a useful social network which combined short updates similar to Twitter with the ability to easily collect and aggregate your content from a huge variety of sources, into one feed. It launched back in 2007, and the service and team had been acquired by Facebook in 2009.


There’s no official news beyond the April 2015 closure date, but there is some unofficial code on Github to export your data if you wish.

And at the same time, one of the first big independent tech blogs has ceased operations. GigaOm originally launched in the mid-2000s, and became a full time job for founder Om Malik in 2006. It since acquired PaidContent, launched a paid Research area and various events etc.

GigaOm Logo

It’s sad news for those of us who have followed the site closely for 8+ years, and for the team of around 70 employees, although it may be wound down, acquired or who knows what else. It is known that the latest $8 million round of funding took place 12 months ago, but it has ceased operations due to being unable to pay creditors.

Whilst it’s unfortunate for all involved, including the millions of readers, it’s important to remember that the closure of GigaOm is more a reflection of the economics of an individual business. FriendFeed, meanwhile, reflects the trend for social network acquisition by the big players in the space – Facebook obviously went on to pick up Instagram and WhatsApp with far, far larger userbases and bigger brands.

Google Authorship and rel=author is no more

One of the main benefits of signing up for a Google+ profile as a writer, blogger and author has been the Google Authorship program, which began back in 2011 with the launch of Google’s own social network. And in a Google+ post, Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that not only will the search results no longer show any Authorship results, but data will no longer be tracked from the rel=author markup.

Since the start of 2014, Authorship has carried slightly less benefits for those who implemented it correctly with first a reduction in the amount of author photos shown per query, and then a complete removal of author photos, leaving only bylines. Now that’s gone as well.


Should you remove Authorship markup?

Although the markup is no longer being utilised for authorship, Mueller has confirmed that it will be treated just like any other markup (e.g. Schema), and won’t cause any problems.

Part of the reason given for Google Authorship ending has been the low take-up and correct implementation of the process. Given that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has stated the importance of real identity and information tied to online profiles, it’s unlikely that Google won’t continue to try and complete the link between people and their work in a less public way in the future.


What about Publisher markup?

Although the links between an individual and their articles won’t be correlated and highlighted any more, there’s been no explicit mention of Publisher markup between a brand and their Google+ page. It’s always been slightly easier to implement, and obviously only has to be done once for potentially hundreds of authors working for a brand, so the future is potentially brighter for Publishers than Authors.


Why was it ended?

The reasons given for Authorship ending at Google are:

  • Low numbers implementing it, and even fewer implementing it correctly.
  • Low value to searchers. Mueller stated ‘Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results’ – partly this may be down to the need to display properly on mobile devices, and there have been conspiracy theories about the impact on paid search advertising, as well as the possibility Authorship didn’t offer an increase in click through rates after the initial novelty had worn off.


What now?

So for the time being, we’d recommend that if you have Authorship in place, you don’t rush to remove it. And you continue to link your Google+ page with your website.

Mueller also mentioned an expansion of support for structured markup such as, which we recommend all clients look at to see how it can be implemented.

And Google+ posts and pages will still appear in searches where relevant, so there is still some reason to post on the network, even if it’s lost one compelling reason for a lot of journalists, authors and bloggers.


Blogging for Business and Profit Notes: DPiP August 2014

There’s nothing here yet until after I give my presentation this evening – Thursday, August 7th.

The full notes will magically appear on Saturday, August 9th. In the meantime, you can always follow me on Twitter (@badgergravling), or follow TheWayofTheWeb (@twotwmarketing) to be alerted when I’ve compiled and sorted everything…

How to merge an existing Google+ page and Youtube Channel

The continued integration of various Google services with Google+ has generally been a positive move for both Google and businesses who can now access pages, page insights, analytics etc all in one place. But it does create an issue if you have existing Google+ pages and Youtube channels assigned to different registration emails, or if you accidentally create duplicates.

Fortunately, the process to merge an existing Google+ page and Youtube channel isn’t as difficult as it once was.



We’ve merged G+ and Youtube profiles for our own sites and clients

Disconnecting a Google+ page and merging an existing page with Youtube:

The first step is to make a note of the email address and Google account which your Youtube channel is setup up with.

1. Make sure that the existing Youtube account is added as a Manager to your Google+ page (Which is done under the Managers section of your Page Settings)

2. If a duplicate or alternate page has been created by mistake via Youtube, you’ll need to disconnect that Google+ presence by clicking on Disconnect in Youtube Settings, in the Name section.

3. Google will take around 20 minutes to proceed through the disconnection process. It’s a good time to get a drink and relax!

4. Now go back into Youtube Settings, and click on Advanced. You should then have the option to link the Youtube account to a Google+ Page. Click on that link and you should be able to select the correct page.

5. Once that’s done, you should be able to click on Edit to be sent to the Page where you can click on Posts etc to check it’s the correct one.

6. Once that’s all done, you can then go into Google+ with your original Youtube account and remove the Page created in error.

You’ll now have the benefits of a linked account, including access to a Youtube tab on your page, Hangouts etc. If you get stuck, there is a Google+ community dedicated to Youtube integration.

Proud Sponsors of DPiP May 2014 event

I’m pleased to say that in addition to personally being one of the organisers of local digital gathering ‘Digital People in Peterborough’, TheWayoftheWeb Ltd is also sponsoring the May 2014 event.


It’s a great way to informally meet up with a diverse range of people who share an interest in digital technology, whether it’s a personal interest, a career or their business.

There’s more details on the DPiP website. And although we’re still a small company, it’s great to be able to start supporting initiatives and getting more involved in our local community.

If you’re in Cambridgeshire, we’d definitely recommend checking it out

Security Update for Jetpack WordPress Plugin

Joining the news of the Heartbleed vulnerability that affects much of the internet, and a security update for WordPress itself, now comes the news that there is a critical security update for the Jetpack WordPress plugin.

Jetpack 2.9.3 contains a fix for a bug which allows an attacker to bypass access controls and publish posts, which could be combined with other attacks to escalate access. It’s existed since the release of Jetpack 1.9 in October 2012, and as yet there is no evidence of it being used in the wild.


However, now it has been made public, you need to make sure your site is updated asap – the team behind Jetpack have been working with hosting and network providers to reduce the problem, and have made updated releases for all 11 vulnerable versions of Jetpack from 1.94 through to 2.9.3.

So if you’re running Jetpack on one or more of your sites, make sure you’re either updating it now through your WordPress dashboard, or visit the Jetpack site to manually grab the updated releases and install the appropriate one for your website.

WordPress 3.8.2 now available to download and install

The latest version of WordPress is now available to download and install. It’s an important security release which solves some important security issues, along with fixing a number of bugs.


The security list is:

  • Potential authentication cookie forgery. CVE-2014-0166.
  • Privilege escalation: prevent contributors from publishing posts. CVE-2014-0165.
  • (Hardening) Pass along additional information when processing pingbacks to help hosts identify potentially abusive requests.
  • (Hardening) Fix a low-impact SQL injection by trusted users.
  • (Hardening) Prevent possible cross-domain scripting through Plupload, the third-party library WordPress uses for uploading files.

There’s more information available in the WordPress Codex. If you’re already allowing automatic updates, the release will apparently install throughout the next 12 hours, or you can update manually now. As always, before any significant WordPress or plugin update, it’s always best to back up your site.



Digital People in Peterborough Event: April 10, 2014

After a bit of a break, Digital People in Peterborough is back with a very cool event on Thursday April 10, 2014.


Digital People in Peterborough – April 10, 2014

We’ve been invited to the Eco Innovation Centre in Peterborough to offer our thoughts on proposed plans for a new Digital Hub in the city!

If that wasn’t enough, we’re also being generously bribed with some food and drink for attendees, in case you need an extra reason to come along.

So it should be a good event, and an important one for the future of digital industries and creatives in Peterborough. And we’re generally a nice and friendly bunch, so you’ll feel welcome whether you’re a blogger, website owner, eCommerce expert, creative, marketer, developer, database admin, designer or inventing your own job title.

Best Business Social Media and Blogging Guidelines

Social Media policies and guidelines are vital for every business and employee. Not only are they helpful in ensuring that everyone in a company understands what is expected of them, they can also be a way to empower your employees to feel comfortable and confident in engaging with customers or clients via social media.

Rather than relying on the efforts of a small group of individuals to monitor, engage, interact and report on all activity across the plethora of social networks, blogs, wikis, forums and other locations, a good social media policy or set of guidelines means that the workload can be shared, and the responses can be crafted by those in the best position to respond with the right knowledge on a subject. That also cuts down on response times, as it avoids having to spend time internally contacting the right people within your business and obtain an answer.

Even with a small business, it’s good practice to instill the right guidelines and policies early on. That way you are already building a strong brand image and reputation, and new employees as you grow will pick up the right methodology by example as well as by instruction.


List of Social Media Guidelines and Policies:

Company NameDocument NameLink 
AFPGuidelines for using social media
American Medical AssociationProfessionalism in the Use of Social Media
BBCSocial Networking, Microblogs and other Third Party Websites
Boy Scouts of AmericaSocial Media Guidelines
Cabinet OfficeSocial Media Guidance for Civil Servants
Civil ServiceLets Get Social
Coca ColaSocial Media Principles
Exeter UniversitySocial Media Guidelines
FordFord Social Media Guidelines
HPBlogging Code of Conduct
IBMSocial Computing Guidelines
Imperial College LondonSocial Media Guidelines
IntelSocial Media Guidelines
International Olympic CommitteeSocial Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines
Inter-Paliamentary UnionSocial Media Guidelines for Parliaments
Nursing & Midwifery CouncilSocial Networking Sites
OracleThe Oracle Social Media Participation Policy
RocheRoche Social Media Principles
TescoSocial Media Colleague Guidelines
University of Texas at AustinSocial Media Guidelines
Thomson ReutersSocial Media Guidelines
University College LondonSocial Media
University of MichiganGuidelines for the use of social media
University of YorkSocial Media Guidelines
WalmartWalmart's Social Media Guidelines