Reel Talk

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges,…

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges, once a month, we’ll highlight a feature in the Dashboard and challenge you to incorporate it into your blog. We want to help you take full advantage of all the tools available on to make your blog the best it can be — and to make your friends jealous of your web wizardry.

To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge or leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday, and in our monthly newsletter.

Last week, we at introduced a new video feature: Vine video embeds. If you’re not familiar with it, Vine is a mobile app that allows users to record six second snippets of looping video to share with their followers.

Ever since the original moving picture came about, we’ve been enamored with film and the way in which it captures our experiences as people. The fun with video services on blogs is that they give us ways to share small snippets of our lives with our readers, whether it’s by creating a virtual home movie, a snippet of the touching scene in that obscure film you’ve always loved, or as a question and answer session that you can use to directly interact with your followers.

For bloggers who use Vine, you can now add your videos to your blog posts by grabbing the Vine URL through the “Share this post” button on your mobile app, as described by the instructions in the Vine support page. We automagically convert the Vine address into a beautiful embed on your post or page for your blog readers to enjoy.

Vine isn’t the only video service that you can embed on In fact, there 10+ other video services that you can seamlessly insert into your site.

For this week’s writing challenge, incorporate a bit of cinema into your post. Any video will work, but if you’re a Vine user, go ahead and take our new feature for a spin. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Film buff?

  • Become a documentarian. Find a subject — be it yourself, your family, a local event — and document it using snippets from Vine, or a longer-form video through another service, like YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Show us your pop culture critique by embedding a clip from a popular TV show or news event into a post.
  • Talk to us. Use a video service to say hello to your readers, answer a common question you get via email, or espouse your philosophy on blogging. If you do choose to use video for a welcome message, save it and use it for your About page as well.

Can’t stand videos and don’t want to incorporate one into your post?

That’s okay, too. Try taking a cue from Vine’s shortened format — each clip can only be six seconds long — and write a shortened blog post. That’s right, tell us about your day, a recent article you read, or your favorite movie in six seconds. Better yet, take a cue from these six word memoirs and limit your word usage, as well.

As always, if you have any questions, we’ll be here to help in the comments.

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  1. Not my thing. I like a good text, photos, but very rarely video which is more or less copy/paste of music that is not always my taste. Sorry, but I will not take part this week.


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