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Sometimes I feel the need for embedding video content in questions or answers. But it is not allowed, I have to link to the video instead of embedding it. If I try embedding video - nothing will be displayed, as this code snipped below (made visible as code):

    <iframe 
        width="420" 
        height="315" 
        src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WytNkw1xOIc" 
        frameborder="0" 
        allowfullscreen>
    </iframe>

Is there a reason why it is not allowed, or is it just coincidence?

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    BTW, when embedded video is allowed, just a link will auto-convert to an embedded video, you won't need to use the code :) – Ben Brocka May 15 '12 at 19:12
  • @BenBrocka LOL, I'm trying to hard... – Benny Skogberg May 15 '12 at 19:45
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YouTube video embedding is available in Music and Gaming StackExchange sites, so the option could be extended to ux.se. However I would imagine that a valid and common use-case would need to be made to allow this to be considered here.

What situations have occurred where this would be useful?

Bear in mind that videos are not searchable so the answers / question would still require sufficient explanatory text. Otherwise we could end up with answers like: "see 04:35 of this video for your solution"

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    Otherwise we could end up with answers like... which I would delete on sight for being Not an Answer :P – Ben Brocka May 15 '12 at 19:02
  • I agree. All answers here should be real explanatory answers, since link targets (as well as video link targets) may be broken. We don't want that. But sometimes I feel that a video (like the one supplied above, could improve an answer. The video in mind explains what information is - which would be hard to put in writing. – Benny Skogberg May 15 '12 at 20:14
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It's just the default state of Stack Exchange sites. As Jon W says, it is possible for sites to get embedding enabled.

We'd have to make a case for enabling video content on the site. If you think it's needed, you can make a meta question and make your case for it, be sure to include a list of questions/answers you feel would benefit from embedding.

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  • Thanx Ben, I'll do that properly (and remove the feature-request tag from this question). – Benny Skogberg May 15 '12 at 20:16
  • @BennySkogberg cool, make sure to include examples, sounds like that's the most persuasive part. As a sidenote, Screenr is a great tool we could use to record and post videos (via youtube) to show screen recordings + voice if necessary. – Ben Brocka May 15 '12 at 20:18
  • Screenr is my favorite tool for video making. I've used it several times on lessons on C# and show what the apps behavior should be. It's easier for students to see what should happen rather than read about it. – Benny Skogberg May 15 '12 at 20:20
  • @BennySkogberg I wish I could use Screenr instead of Camtasia Studio...Quality's just not there on Screenr for what I do though. – Ben Brocka May 15 '12 at 20:26
  • Funny that you mention Camtasia, It's what my PhD lecurer uses (and he isn't very excited about it either). – Benny Skogberg May 15 '12 at 20:31
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    @BennySkogberg if you're going to ask, go ahead and ask, I just posted an answer which could have used a video – Ben Brocka May 16 '12 at 14:22
  • I will, but It'll take a while to formulate a good feature request, and find appropriate questions and answers here for examples. – Benny Skogberg May 16 '12 at 15:06
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I don't see any obvious reason for this. In fact, I think video could work well. There are certain sorts of interaction that just can't be easily articulated through text and static images (animations being one).

That being said, there are a couple of caveats to raise. Firstly, videos probably won't get watched that often. I don't have any stats from the SE sites which use vids, but watching a video means making a much longer commitment of time than simply reading a post. If the video's content could easily be transcribed, that does mean the content gets effectively 'lost'. It also creates a minor SEO disadvantage.

One way around video-only answers ('see 0:45 for the solution') might be to push users to only include videos with substantial textual content. That could mean disabling videos until a character count has been reached (sucky), or providing helpful tooltips when a user tries to submit a video-only answer ('If you can provide further textual details, more people will be able to discover your answer through search!').

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  • I don't see video-only answers as a significantly different problem from link-only answers, as such we can just convert them to comments unless they're made into full answers. Also, youtube's link-to-time feature makes "see X time" unnecessary :) – Ben Brocka May 16 '12 at 14:23
  • @BenBrocka - True, there are link-only answers already. In that case, I think we can just apply the same policy. – Jimmy Breck-McKye May 16 '12 at 15:21

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