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Green Building Blog

Better Video Delivery Mechanism

Our Encyclopedia now delivers videos too

When we developed GBA a few years ago, we knew that we would need, want, and eventually have a deep video program, but because the pile of work to do in order to meet our deadline was pretty darned big, and because we were a bunch of print guys and gals building this thing, we decided to let the video program sit on the back burner. We produced some, but didn’t spend the resources to go hog-wild.

A couple of years later, when GBA moved back under the wing of Taunton Press, and when the GBA team took over the reins of FineHomebuilding.com, we began trying to phase in more videos. With a bigger FHB budget, it was easier to push things through (Ssshhhh! Please don’t tell my boss what we were doing).

I asked Kelly, the guy who built GBA, to add a video delivery page type which would allow us to deliver videos to paying members. He gave us a quick and dirty members-only video page, but because it was quick and dirty, it was not integrated into the site architecture. This means that GBA PRO members could not share membership videos with folks on their team through the My GBA tool.

This fact became painfully obvious to me when an architect in Gloucester, Mass asked why he couldn’t share exterior insulation retrofit videos
with vinyl siding contractors in his city. Turns out, he is in charge of Gloucester’s energy retrofit program. To make it easy for him to help his city, we comp’ed the vinyl siding contractors to free membership so that they could watch the video series.

I am embarrassed to announce that a better solution was sitting under our noses all along — the GBA Encyclopedia. If it were a snake, it would have bitten me. We changed the name from Green Building Encyclopedia to Encyclopedia of Articles and Videos, inserted some videos into the architecture of the encyclopedia, and voila! Member-only videos that can be shared by GBA PROs through My GBA with non-members (such as your siding contractor). There are also some free videos in there.

One of the first new video series in the encyclopedia is a flanged window replacement in a house with wood siding
, shot at _Fine Homebuilding’s_ new Project House.

We will roll our existing videos into the Encyclopedia as quickly as possible over the next couple of months, but please remember, we are short-staffed, tight on budget, and a little bit forgetful.

Better still, we will be adding some great multi-part video series to GBA in the coming year. A couple that I am particularly excited about are _Full Window Replacement in a Brick House_ and _How To Install Airtight Drywall_. We also have a pretty good pile of Dr. Joe videos which will roll out over the next year too.

Thanks for your time; if you have any questions, comments, or complaints, please let me know.

2 Comments

  1. Hobbit _ | | #1

    When you said "delivery" ...
    I had a glimmer of hope that you were intending to get rid
    of the Brightcove backend along with. Their video delivery
    structure is *awful*, and doesn't work in a lot of browsing
    environments. How about posting straightforward download
    links to standard file formats like .mov or .mp4, so
    viewers can pull them down in the background and watch
    them at their leisure later? I'd love to go through more
    of your videos especially if you're going to be posting
    more of them, but the hoops I have to jump through to get
    Brightcove's site barely limping is a huge impediment.

    Even youtube would be a better hosting means, but I'm sure
    you want to be slightly above that level. Less obfuscation
    means greater accessibility, and here's an opportunity where
    you could be real thought leaders.

    _H*

  2. User avater
    Daniel Morrison | | #2

    Can you give me some
    Can you give me some specifics about why you do not like Brightcove? We have not had any complaints at all.

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