On the web, you have about two seconds to engage any given visitor, so getting right to the point is crucial. One way to accomplish this is to skip the excess footage at the beginning of an embedded YouTube video to start with the most relevant "scene." Here's how it's done:
- Pull up the video in YouTube and pause it at the point where you want it to begin playing on your site.
- Below the video, note the minutes and seconds the video has played so far.
- Multiply the number of minutes by 60 seconds and add the number of seconds: (#minutes x 60) + #seconds = total number of seconds. For example: (1 minute x 60 seconds) + 40 seconds = 100 seconds
- Copy the clip's Embed code and paste it into your HTML or content management system as you normally do.
&start=[#seconds]to the end of each of the URLs in the Embed code, replacing [#seconds] with the number of seconds from Step 3. Here's an example that starts playing a video 1 minute and 40 seconds (a total of 100 seconds) into the clip:
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=" http://www.youtube.com/v/022tMCnizgQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&start=100"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=" http://www.youtube.com/v/022tMCnizgQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&start=100" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
Once it's on your site, the video starts playing at 1 minute and 40 seconds in (not from the beginning).
If you're linking out to the video clip instead of embedding it, copy and paste the clip's URL into your HTML, content management system, or email message and add
#t=[number minutes]m[number seconds]sto the end of the URL; for example:
<a href=" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=022tMCnizgQ#t=5m20s">Link Text<a>
Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. For more information, visit MikalBelicove.com.