New Feature: Embed YouTube In Comments

Sometimes you can’t think of anything to say, but you can think of a video on YouTube that will make your point perfectly. That’s when you might want to bust out a new feature we added to the comments. Just drop a link to a youtube video and then our computer gnomes will go make that video magically appear in the comments in a thumbnail size. When you see one of these, click “watch video” to watch it. Click “stop video” to make it go back to thumbnail. Nifty.

Comments

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  1. deleterious says:

    I sure hope this doesn’t force me to look at ads for things I don’t really want, submitted by unruly youtube posters for their own products!

  2. mycroft2000 says:

    I suppose I can only hope that commenters will use this feature for good. Barring that, lifetime bans for abuse, I say!

  3. Sherryness says:

    Should we use the “link” or the “embed” code? Thanks!

  4. Sherryness says:

    Also, can we use this thread to try out this nifty new feature?

  5. 44 in a Row says:

    Great idea! What could possibly go wrong?

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    ugh, I’m not crazy about this idea. I read this page at work, and I can’t really watch a video here (no sound, no java). So now I won’t get half of what’s going on when people are posting videos as replies.

  7. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    @44 in a Row: This is going to be the worst idea ever…

  8. QuantumRiff says:

    The internet is really, really great:


    + Watch video

  9. QuantumRiff says:

    Sorry, had that song stuck in my head all day, and it seemed to really fit here, even though I’m probably going to get flagged “innapropriate”.

  10. Girtych says:

    Allow me to be the first to rickroll y’all.


    + Watch video

  11. mac-phisto says:

    @QuantumRiff: i think you used it quite appropriately. unless, of course, you take the song to heart, in which case there wasn’t enough nudity.

  12. loquaciousmusic says:

    Look, it’s Elvis Costello singing “Veronica”!


    + Watch video

    Wheeee!

  13. lostsynapse says:

    At least they are hyperlinked and not embedded. I just had to install flashblock but I got fed up with my elderly computer getting bogged down my youtube heavy pages.

  14. 8abhive says:

    Can we put this feature in a box with the “See what your friends are doing” chaffe, and send them to Sears’ Idea department? Pretty please?

  15. loquaciousmusic says:

    @Girtych: I see your Rickroll and raise you “NE Heartbreak”:


    + Watch video

  16. MercuryPDX says:

    @Girtych: It only counts if it comes as a surprise, and blindsides you completely.

  17. chrisfromnl says:

    Nintendo Sixty Fourrrrrrr!!


    + Watch video

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    @Sherryness: Just go to you tube, find a video, copy the URL, and paste it into the comment box. The site takes care of the rest.

  19. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Haha, doesn’t look like I’m missing much so far not being able to view the videos.

  20. Skeptic says:

    Great, still no formatting buttons or automatic

    quoting of text when replying to a post,

    but now there is embedded YouTube? WTF?????

    Who the F’ needs to include a YouTube clip as part of a relevant response in a thread? Oh, sure, on rare occasions it might be useful, but not nearly so much as basic formatting tools.

    This is a stupid new trick in light of the missing basic functionality that is far more needed and useful.

  21. QuantumRiff says:

    @Skeptic: I gotta agree, and the lack of “nested” comments makes the discussions awfully hard to follow. It would be nice if the reply’s were indented and minimized underneath the parent. (look at slashdot and digg for examples). Really makes the conversation “flow” much easier.

  22. tk427 says:

    The “stop video” under the thumbnail stopped the video, but not the audio. I ended up listening to QuantumRiffs video while watching Girtychs. Try it and have a giggle.

  23. Sherryness says:

    John Cusack needs a drink….


    + Watch video

  24. Matt Sussman says:

    [the video where Julius Caesar gives the thumbs down]

  25. Skeptic says:

    @QuantumRiff:
    I’m not sure what the reluctance to provide formatting tools is. Even BoingBoing has the same problem. There seems to be a favoring of clean looking design over function, since practical and functional tools and nested threads would mess with the “white space.”

    Why is it that cheesy intellectual blogs like “The Volokh Conspiracy” have simple and easy to use formating tools but Gawker websites do not? Seems silly to me.

  26. Sherryness says:

    @Skeptic:
    I like it.

  27. darkclawsofchaos says:

    we still need an edit button!

  28. Ben Popken says:

    @QuantumRiff: You can nest comments by installing this Greasemonkey script in Firefox.

  29. Amelie says:

    Considering the numerous assinine comments and pathetic attempts at humor, already on this site, one shudders to think what adding video clips will do. Praise Jesus, I don’t have to click on them.

    Of course, an edit feature would have been far more useful, but it appears that catering to dickheads, seems to be where it’s at.

  30. MercuryPDX says:

    @Skeptic: I’d vote for a timed edit button giving you like 5 minutes to tweak your post and then it’s permanent. This of course necessitates your comments being visible right after you post them.

    You also seem to have enough HTML down to make the formatting work for you. :)

  31. hypnotik_jello says:

    @zouxou: maybe not an edit feature per-say, but the ability to add notes to your original comment (with timestamps of course) to offer clarification or corrections. That way people can see the original comment and then any comments you have about your original comment. I think that if they had the option to edit comments directly, people could go back and change what they said and it could disrupt the cohesiveness of the thread.

  32. MercuryPDX says:

    @MercuryPDX: and just to clarify…

    The timer aspect would prevent you from typing something like: “The OP is a jerk.”, someone replying: “Way to blame the victim!”, and then you editing your post to say “Way to go OP! Stick it to the man!”.

    Any replies to comments you edit would be confusing.

  33. MercuryPDX says:

    @hypnotik_jello: :) Exactly.

  34. Skeptic says:

    BY MERCURYPDX AT 07:18 PM
    You also seem to have enough HTML down to make the formatting work for you. :)

    Now I do. But it is an inconvenience. And why shouldn’t everyone get to use basic formatting instead of just people who have the time an knowledge to use HTML? And, you never know which tags different forums will accept, so hand coding is a crapshoot.

    Over at BoingBoing, which has a similar cool-looking, function free comments engine, the nee mod bitched out someone who used ALL CAPS on a few words of a citation for emphasis. Well, the poster didn’t know you could use formatting tags, let alone the HTML so he was using what tools he had at his disposal–reasonable in the context I think–and got yelled at. If there had been formatting buttons, the issue wouldn’t have come up.

  35. Skeptic says:

    –man, I wish I had an edit button to fix that typo…sigh…

  36. Infe says:

    Am I the only one who can’t view Youtube videos sometimes? It seems like my ISP blocks Youtube sometimes.

  37. savvy9999 says:

    I don’t like it. Editors by all means should be able to post video, but random commentors (like me)? Nope.

    The dumbing-down of the art of the written form continues.

  38. Skeptic says:

    BY BEN POPKEN AT 07:18 PM
    @QuantumRiff: You can nest comments by installing this Greasemonkey script in Firefox.

    You mean all I have to do is install the occasionally insecure and hackable Greasemonkey add on, then install the special Consumerist script and then only use Firefox. Wow, that is much more convenient than just having the functionality built into the site the way Slashdot does… :-/

  39. MercuryPDX says:

    Bold text here = <b>Bold text here</b>

    Italic text here = <i>Italic text here</i>

    Quote text here

    = <blockquote>Quote text here</blockquote>

    Easy “how to make links” tutorial

    Did I miss any?

  40. MercuryPDX says:

    P.S. “Clip” this article (using the heart) above to keep this as a reference.

  41. Skeptic says:

    BY SAVVY9999 AT 07:34 PM
    I don’t like it. Editors by all means should be able to post video, but random commentors (like me)? Nope.
    The dumbing-down of the art of the written form continues.

    I have to say I agree. While video may on rare occasions be useful in a comment thread, you can’t really have a discussion by posting dueling YouTube Videos. Additionally, video is a linear format. You can’t scan down the comments and glean the import or relevance of the content, which is why the written word remains so relevant on the web: random access and quick parsing.

    It’s not like commenters are, generally speaking, going to run out, make a video to argue their point, then post it, then someone will watch it, create their own video and post that.

    Content and functionality, please, not useless eye candy.

  42. Skeptic says:

    @MercuryPDX:

    That’s the heart of it and a great resource for people. But since it isn’t a sticky, most people will never see it.

    How frickin’ hard is it to had a couple of formatting buttons down next to the “submit comment” button? If cheap arse blogs like Volokh can do it, Gawker (much better funded) can do it.

  43. Skeptic says:

    (Help me, oh missing Edit Button…I have mistyped and which to make recompense…)

  44. Skeptic says:

    (er, twice in a row…)

  45. BlondeGrlz says:

    @MercuryPDX: Oooo thanks for the nifty block text code. I figured the rest out, plus links, on my own. The YouTube function is nifty, but not really necessary. Hey, that makes it just like most things on the internet!

  46. MercuryPDX says:

    @blondegrlz: Oooo thanks for the nifty block text code.

    Personally, I think italics works better than blockquotes for quoting people. :)

  47. Sherryness says:

    @Skeptic:
    The larger-than-life quotes are kind of annoying, since we’re all being so critical and “honest.”

  48. BlondeGrlz says:

    @MercuryPDX:

    Personally, I think italics works better than blockquotes for quoting people. :)

    Really? I like the nifty blue box. We could do this all day! (ha, see what I did there?)

  49. Skeptic says:

    The larger-than-life quotes are kind of annoying, since we’re all being so critical and “honest.”

    I’m not sure what you mean, actually. Are you talking about blockquote formatting?

  50. loquaciousmusic says:

    Could we have a button that deletes our own comments, if we can’t have an edit button?

  51. Skeptic says:

    @Sherryness:
    …and if you are, the style of the blockquote formatting is entirely programed by Consumerist. Blockquote is just a tag, how that tag is treated depends on how Consumerist sets it up. The giant leading quote graphic would not necessarily have been my first choice, but I do like the indent and contrasting background color.

  52. Skeptic says:

    @loquaciousmusic:
    Only, I should think, if nobody has commented since you posted them. Deleting comments that are part of a discussion thread can make the the thread nonsensical.

  53. Sherryness says:

    @Skeptic:
    What’s your point?

  54. Skeptic says:

    @Sherryness:
    That if you don’t like the “larger than life” quote graphics that they are not my doing :-)

  55. BlondeGrlz says:

    @loquaciousmusic: No, we can’t have that! Once you say something on the interwebz it should haunt you forever. It’s the blog equivalent of “think before you speak.” Which is why we don’t use our real names.

  56. Sherryness says:

    Everyone knows what a blockquote is, and most people find them annoying. You’re the only one I see using them. As long as we’re requesting features in this thread, instead of enjoying the original subject, may I request a feature that will block the comments of kill-joys and those who wander severely off subject?

  57. Ass_Cobra says:

    “Which is why we don’t use our real names.”

    Speak for yourself…

  58. urban_ninjya says:

    I don’t get how this works.. so I just put a link in there like this:

    [tinyurl.com]

  59. Sherryness says:

    Don’t take it personally:


    + Watch video

  60. jkaufman101 says:

    @QuantumRiff:

    You are exactly the reason why this site shouldn’t support video. What I like about consumerist.com is that it’s clean and straightforward. Now we need to filter out the b.s. videos like the one you posted.

  61. Skeptic says:

    Everyone knows what a blockquote is,

    Actually, your Sherryness, not everyone knows what a blockquote is. It is rather elitist of you to assume that everyone knows HTML tags. This is “Consumerist,” where consumers, who may or may not know HTML, can read about and discuss consumer issues.

    As to why people don’t use blockquotes? Well, some people may not like the aesthetics of the graphic distinction they make for quotes vs responses, but you certainly can’t deny the fact they make the quote clear. As to why people don’t use them, well, you may hate them, but I suspect most people don’t use them because of the inconvenience of writing out the tags, that and there are all those people who’s existence you affirmatively deny, people who’ve never heard of a blockquote.

    As to “relevance,” thread discussions are based on the inspiration of the OP and aren’t necessarily going to be a credulous litany of Hosannas and “dittos,” for such would be a useless and uninteresting drivel rather than a vibrant discussion that gets everybody involved and increasing the page views. So, I for one would not like to see comments be modded by your standards.

  62. loquaciousmusic says:

    @Sherryness: I was a freshman in high school when that song came out. Aaah, 1993. Good times.

    I think I’m going to go smoke a cigarette now — even though I don’t smoke.

  63. Sherryness says:

    @Skeptic:
    I’m all for for lively and vibrant debate, but whining about the features you’d rather have, instead of the feature up for discussion, just makes you look like you don’t “get it.” (Notice my use of the end quote – and I didn’t even go to college.) There is a huge difference between legitimate debate and opportunistic whinging. Not every post is an opportunity to turn the subject to what you’d rather be discussing. I’ve seen a lot of that on Consumerist lately and, frankly, it kind of kills it for me. Additionally, I’d like it, if you’re going to quote me, if you’d put an end quote at the end of my comment when you start talking. It’s common courtesy.

  64. Sherryness says:

    @loquaciousmusic:
    Denis Leary encapsulated a lot in that video and song. I guess that is why I like the multi-media of the internet, even though I was against it at first. Sometimes a picture really is worth 1,000 words or more.

  65. dondiego87 says:

    This is going to be awful.

  66. Skeptic says:

    BY SHERRYNESS AT 08:38 PM
    @Skeptic:
    I’m all for for lively and vibrant debate, but whining about the features you’d rather have, instead of the feature up for discussion, just makes you look like you don’t “get it.” (Notice my use of the end quote – and I didn’t even go to college.)

    IIRC, they taught us punctuation in elementary and high school rather than college, but that is neither here nor there since anyone can be smart and well informed regardless of their formal schooling.

    As to your accusations of irrelevant discussion, we are going to have to disagree. A topic where comment forum features, even a new one, are discussed is the relevant forum thread to discuss how the new feature fits in with the current feature set, or lack thereof. There is no more appropriate thread to bring up such issues, especially since there is no “Features We Haven’t Added” thread that is more specifically tailored to the topic I raise in conjunction with the YouTube embed.

    Now, as to why I use blockquotes. There is one and only one reason I use them: clarity. I like clear communication. I think that paragraphs should be short and cohesive. Sentences should be short. And quotes should be clear and in context. I think blockquotes help with the latter.

    So, when I respond to a post I like it to be clear what I’m responding to and I like to make clear quotes so that I correctly characterize the poster’s message. For short citations I may use in-line quotes, but for larger blocks of text or for “reply to” responses, I’ll use blockquotes.

    Not everyone shares my obsession with clarity and for visually organized writing so not everyone will be as interested in the use of blockquotes as I am. But for those who are interested in clarity, I think basic formatting buttons would be a useful and much needed addition to the functionality of the comments engine.

  67. BlondeGrlz says:

    @Sherryness: God I love that song. Even if I do like block quotes, I still like you.

  68. Skeptic says:

    makes you look like you don’t “get it.” (Notice my use of the end quote – and I didn’t even go to college.) … Additionally, I’d like it, if you’re going to quote me, if you’d put an end quote at the end of my comment when you start talking. It’s common courtesy.

    BTW, I don’t think you do get “blockquote.” A blockquote is an indented quote rather than one that necessarily uses quotation marks. The large quotation mark graphic is not a literal quotation mark but a graphic indicator for the blockquote. There is no “end quote” to close your quotation, rather the change in indentation indicates the transition.

  69. Manok says:

    div#main{overflow:visible;}

  70. realwx says:

    Then let’s try this:


    + Watch video

  71. mac-phisto says:

    i wish they’d start supporting strike. i think that would’ve been more useful than video links. maybe next update :*(

  72. Anonymous says:

    Wow. What could be better? I don’t know…Robert Loggia?

  73. Anonymous says:
  74. humphrmi says:

    The interesting thing I see coming out of this is, a lot of people who are talking about needing an edit button seem to be saying “DOH! That was stupid, I wish I could take that back”. Given the sometimes acrimonious tone of the comments, it’s interesting to see that some people wish they could modify those comments later.

  75. Amelie says:

    @humphrmi: “a lot of people who are talking about needing an edit button seem to be saying “DOH! That was stupid, I wish I could take that back”.

    And who made you Miss Cleo? I want the edit button for the numerous typos I invariably make, or to add additional information, or to phrase something more clearly. I’ve never felt the need to “take something back.”

  76. nevergod says:

    an edit button that shows what gives a reason for what was edited is needed way more than this shit.

    how friggin long will these comments get with videos every other comment too? if people want to post a video just link to it and maybe someone will care enough about what your saying to look at it.

  77. magnus150 says:

    hay guys I’m doin it!


    + Watch video

  78. Skeptic says:

    BY NEVERGOD AT 10:43 PM
    an edit button that shows what gives a reason for what was edited is needed way more than this shit.

    What I’m wondering is whether anyone asked for this? Did anyone say, “I love Consumerist and the forums, but isn’t there anyway I can embed a YouTube clip in my comment? I just totally can’t reasonably discuss bad customer service unless I can post a YouTube machina of “The Internet is for Porn” as an embed.”

  79. cooler_dood says:

    cool feature!


    + Watch video

  80. Antediluvian says:

    @mac-phisto: I’ve been asking for strikethrough for a long time now.

  81. RumorsDaily says:
  82. Mr.Purple says:

    Useless but cool.


    + Watch video

  83. synergy says:

    @Ben Popken: Some of us don’t use that browser. It would be nice to have functionality for all users of the website, not just certain browser users. *shrug*

  84. synergy says:

    @Sherryness: “…get it.” Isn’t that like air quotes and not necessary? Just sayin’.

  85. Sherryness says:

    @synergy:
    Nobody “air quotes” with just their right hand!

  86. Sherryness says:

    @Skeptic:
    “Now, as to why I use blockquotes. There is one and only one reason I use them: clarity. I like clear communication. I think that paragraphs should be short and cohesive. “

    Except for when YOU are the one doing the writing. Who has the longest post in this thread? Give it up.

  87. Skeptic says:

    BY SHERRYNESS AT 12:23 AM
    @Skeptic:
    “Now, as to why I use blockquotes. There is one and only one reason I use them: clarity. I like clear communication. I think that paragraphs should be short and cohesive. “
    Except for when YOU are the one doing the writing. Who has the longest post in this thread? Give it up.

    Ahem, you mean the one divided up into 5 short paragraphs?

    Snark works better when you are actually right. So, not so much in your case.

    I also notice that you don’t try and defend your earlier, and incorrect, snarky point about the use of “end quotes” which blockquotes don’t, in fact use or require. Funny that you didn’t know that since, as you said, “Everyone knows what a blockquote is…” Hmm…then I guess you don’t exist. :-)

    Also, look at how much clearer my quote of you is than yours is of me thanks to the use of the blockquote tag.

  88. Skeptic says:

    Snark. QED.

  89. elisa says:

    I think the general consensus in this thread, whatever your opinion of blockquote, is that the youtube embedding is not necessary.

    But Ben probably has no control over what his Gawker overlords have decided to impose upon us…

    Hey, those of you who’ve been around longer than I (and I’ve been around for a while, lurking for many months before I started posting) – umm, was Consumerist always run by Gawker? Or did it start out independent?

  90. Sherryness says:

    @Skeptic:
    I also notice that you don’t try and defend your earlier, and incorrect, snarky point about the use of “end quotes” which blockquotes don’t, in fact use or require. Funny that you didn’t know that since, as you said, “Everyone knows what a blockquote is…”

    Seemed self-explanatory, but since you dont’t seem to get it, I’ll elaborate. That is yet another reason block “quotes” are lame! They don’t end-quote. duh…. Is English your first language?

  91. Skeptic says:

    That is yet another reason block “quotes” are lame! They don’t end-quote. duh…. Is English your first language?

    Ah the Ad Hominem attack. Truly the sign of someone with a sound argument.

    It doesn’t seem as though you get the idea of the stylized quotation graphic used in the Consumerist blockquote style: it is symbolic, not literal. Perhaps the darker colored background and intended text are insufficient of an indicator for you? Unless you are using Lynx or a screen reader (which should read the blockquote tag) you have no reason to complain, especially since “Everyone knows what a blockquote is,” according to you.

    You don’t seem to acknowledge the bit about how blockquotes are an intended quotation style that don’t necessarily use quotation marks.

  92. cuiusquemodi says:


    + Watch video

    That being out of my system, this strikes me as a feature of marginal utility but marginal annoyance, since you do have to click on something in order to view the videos, instead of them loading automatically. Still, stuff like this is why I have Flashblock.

  93. 8abhive says:

    I’m reminded of a past life where we would get our programming asses kicked for working on new, pretty, or useless things instead of working to fix old broken things.

    “Very cool, but I don’t believe a better Asteroids score is in the spec.”

  94. Skeptic says:

    Whoops,
    “intended quotation” —> “indented quotation”

    Boy, strike through and an edit button sure would come in handy….

    (See how when I make a mistake, SHERRYNESS, I try to correct it rather than blindly insisting I’m correct and making Ad Hominem attacks? Perhaps you should give it a try?)

  95. QuantumRiff says:

    @Ben Popken: Thanks for the tip, that grease monkey script is much better!

  96. crankymediaguy says:

    OK, THIS is what YouTube was invented for:


    + Watch video

  97. homerjay says:

    yeah thats nice. Let me know when you enable embedded xtube. :)

  98. unleashed says:

    You’ve been McRoll’d


    + Watch video

  99. jamar0303 says:


    + Watch video

    This is a commercial for So-net, a Japanese ISP run by (you guessed it) Sony. It’s for their fiber service running at 100M symmetric.

  100. jamar0303 says:


    + Watch video
    Odd that the first one didn’t work- how about this one?

  101. HeartBurnKid says:

    Man, you guys are bitter. I think you need to learn a valuable lesson…


    + Watch video

  102. QuantumRiff says:

    @synergy: Firefox runs on almost every platform. If you run safari on your mac, it looks like greasemonkey will still work. Look at [www.simplehelp.net]
    I don’t have safari (wont run on ubuntu) so I can’t test it, but might be worth a shot. The greasemonkey script works much better!

  103. Rectilinear Propagation says:


    + Watch video

    Just testing this feature. The above? A Fair(y) Use Tale (Clips of Disney movies put together to make the characters talk about copyright law).

    The videos seem to act like blockquotes: If you don’t have an empty line between the url and the text following it, the text won’t wrap.

    And to see if multiple vids are possible:


    + Watch video

    Pinball Song Remix: 1 2 3 4 5, 6 7 8 9 10, 11 12!

  104. ObtuseGoose says:

    @unleashed: That video is McInsaneâ„¢ I can’t believe I watched all five minutes of it.

  105. Trai_Dep says:

    Hey, Gawker Gods: rather than implement embedded videos, wouldn’t it be better to have comments we could go back and edit?
    Unless they’re cute kittens frolicking videos.


    + Watch video

    Oh, and you know that page that appears when we click our own (and others’ name)? How about placing somewhere in there all the formatting commands (italic, bold, blockquote…) as a reference/resource for the newbies?

  106. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m rather stunned that I’m the first to post a kitten video.

    This either makes me a brave trail-blazer, or someone harboring an inner child who is a nine-year-old girl.

  107. n/a says:

    I hope this youtube embed doenst turn into a malicious exploit script kiddie trick

  108. Skeptic says:

    Oh, and you know that page that appears when we click our own (and others’ name)? How about placing somewhere in there all the formatting commands (italic, bold, blockquote…) as a reference/resource for the newbies

    Or, better yet, just put some fricking formatting buttons on like good forums have…no special web page or explanations needed.

  109. B1663R says:

    ok lets try out the italics and teh bold thing

  110. B1663R says:

    ok something got messes there italics and bold

  111. B1663R says:

    oh i get it i forgot the stupid slash! see i got it now

  112. B1663R says:

    and for a stupid video of my own!!

    mayby…

  113. B1663R says:

    oh maybe now…

  114. B1663R says:

    cool, thanks Ben for letting me try stuff on this dead thread