Testing Scheduling

Today is Thursday the 20th. You are reading this “tomorrow” on Friday the 21st of June, a.k.a. “today”. So basically from your point of view, I “was” writing this “yesterday”. How’s that to kick off your Solstice?

You guessed it! This is yet another Steem Blockchain test. In this one, I am testing the scheduling function on WordPress. Every WordPress site has the function that allows posting at a future time/date. In essence, I could write a week’s worth of posts and schedule one to post each day of the week.

As you read this, if indeed you’re reading this on the 21st, I am most probably attending the London Steemians Meetup in Kensington, organised by the awesome @redrica. This would normally mean I’d not be able to post anything through the day, so what a perfect time to test this function!

I have also gotten a suggestion from the SteemPress team about how to fix my banner that fails to propagate to Steem. It has been suggested that I change the Markdown format to HTML and see what happens.

Scheduling already exists in some of the dapps on the blockchain, I must mention. eSteem definitely has it, so even if you don’t have a WordPress site like me, you could use eSteem to achieve the same thing.

I am fairly confident that this will work as intended. I am slightly less confident about the banner, however, but I guess we shall find out tomorrow. Or “today”.

Embedding DTube Videos

This experimental post will be testing two things essentially; the ability to embed DTube videos on a WordPress blog, and how Steem applications respond to it.

The above is one of my recent DTube videos. By default, interfaces like Busy auto embed the video within the post. Steemit on the other had just displays the video thumbnail as a linked graphic to the video on DTube.

It is actually possible to embed a DTube video within a Steemit post but it has to be done after the fact as a edit. The edit also breaks Busy’s (and other dapps’) embed of the video unfortunately.

My expectation is that this post will display correctly on WordPress and Steemit – since the embed method is the same for the two platforms. On Busy and other platforms, however, I expect the video to not be displayed in an embedded form. Rather I expect there to be some kind of error code, or the iframe code displayed as text.

Another thing that I noticed is that the default width of the embedded video is 512 pixels. This doesn’t look nice to me on WordPress, as the text paragraph width is much wider than that. I edited the iframe code and changed the width to 1200 pixels. I’m not sure what the effect of that would be on Steemit or Busy.

Anyhow it doesn’t matter much right now. This video will not be playable at some point when it gets deleted from the IPFS server, so DTube isn’t really the best place to embed videos from right now. There are other IPFS solutions that will keep the video for much longer (as long as the correct payment is kept up I believe).

Nevertheless, I find the exercise interesting just to see what’s possible and how various platforms respond to inputs from WordPress.

Testing Video Posts

In terms of content creation, I’m about 50-50 between articles and videos. Most people are mostly one or the other.

This is why it is crucial in this early stage of building my website that the template I’ve selected works well with video posts.

There are two ways I could post a video. I could upload it natively to the website, or much better, embed it from a 3rd party video host such as YouTube or Vimeo. In future I will probably be looking at IPFS options and self-hosting, but that’s cost prohibitive at the moment.

Besides, I hardly create what could be termed ‘controversial’ content, so I haven’t ever experienced content censorship that I’m aware of. As such, I’m not as concerned about decentralised file hosting as others are, even though I do support it as the way forward.

Uploaded Video

This short video was uploaded directly to the website so every time it is watched, it takes from the bandwidth allowance. The onus is also on the web servers to serve the video. Since it’s a short sequence that probably won’t be watched that much, It’s perfectly fine for now. If it goes viral for whatever reason and it starts to weigh down my website, then I may take it down. 🙂

I’m more interested in seeing how the video is presented on the Steem Blockchain – so when viewing on Steemit, will it show as if embedded?

Embedded Video

The following video is embedded from YouTube. It’s a vlog I made back in 2016 during one of our Instagram meet ups in London.

Embedding videos from YouTube work very well on Steem – perhaps even better than on WordPress. I’m expecting the YouTube embedded videos to work as expected without issue.

These posts from WordPress in the early days of my new website, apart from serving as a way of testing that everything is working, also help me see what the issues are with posting to Steem directly from my website via SteemPress.

In my last post, I noticed the footer didn’t make it across to Steem. It did in the first post, so I don’t know if something has changed since then.

In coming posts I’ll be testing tables and some text formatting. I already know text colour will not make it through. I have, however, seen certain font formats on Steem that I’ve been unable to achieve using Markdown so I assume that’s an HTML thing.

Hello SteemPress

You may be aware that I have been looking for a home for my website in the last few weeks. I tried Engrave – which is a Steem Blockchain based platform that will one day complete with WordPress. I also tried directing my URL straight to Busy.

I just wasn’t happy with the performance of Busy. When I first joined the blockchain, it was such a cool looking and very fast frontend. Lately, however, it just wasn’t performing well enough for me.

I actually love Engrave, and the potential it’s got to rival WordPress and other such platforms, but it just isn’t ready yet.

As such, I’ve registered for one year’s hosting service with a UK based provider and have installed the very ubiquitous and familiar WordPress platform.

Apart from the security and privacy related tweaks, the first thing I searched for was SteemPress! The entire point of this exercise is to be able to publish my posts on the Steem Blockchain to take advantage of the monetary and community incentives.

I’ve been blogging for a while and I can say that I’ve never been on a platform with the level of engagement I get on Steem, genuine or otherwise. I have formed relationships on the platform that I would love to take with me everywhere I go, so I am particularly excited about SteemPress.

So for this first post, I shall keep things simple – just a photo, some text and my footer. I know I can embed YouTube videos on here too, but that’s for later down the line.

Talking of video, I’m not sure how this is going to work with DTube. Being a regular DTuber, I will still have to post directly to Steem without going through this website I guess. I also use Appics which, of course, has it’s own tools.

Let me end it here. I’m excited to see how this looks on the various Steem frontends. No doubts I would have to learn how to tweak a few things going forward.