Hi. Im Noah Echols.

...an Atlanta-native, kayaker, researcher, strategist, and gadget junky. I was born and raised in Atlanta, where I'm currently working for IQ, a digital agency that effectively marries intelligence and creativity to build award winning experiences.
[How To] Embed Facebook Videos

[How To] Embed Facebook Videos

I’m sure any person with a blog has often wondered why Facebook doesn’t provide an embed option on its videos. We’ve learned to use YouTube or Vimeo by default, but guess what? You CAN embed Facebook videos – its just not as obvious as it is on YouTube. Unfortunately, however, not all Facebook videos are in the public domain, so depending on a user’s privacy settings you may not have the option to “go to video” (as shown below). Keep in mind that the Facebook TOS are different than other sites, so embedding the content of others without their consent could get you in some trouble. My advice is just to stick to embedding your own content.


Alright, here’s how to do it:

1. Go to Facebook Video Page

When you reach the end of a Facebook video, this is the screen you’ll see:

Click on the “Go to Video” link and you are directed to a Facebook video page.


2. Find Facebook Video Url

Now look at the long url address in the browser location bar. It will look something like this


This is the url of the Facebook video page and cannot be embedded. You’ll have to edit this url to get the actual Facebook video url to embed. So this is the shorter url we need (note the changes, number stays same):


2. Get Facebook Video Embed Code

If you look at the old style embed code for any Youtube video, you find it looks like this

<object width="500" height="314">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kdjuyfQijs0?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param>
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param>
<param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param>
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kdjuyfQijs0?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="500" height="314" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed>

This is a standard embed code for shockwave flash video. I have bolded the embedded youtube urls. Now replace those youtube urls with the Facebook urls.

<object width="500" height="314">
<param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/123456789012345"></param>
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param>
<param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param>
<embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/123456789012345" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="500" height="314" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed>

Paste in html mode in your post, and your Facebook video is embedded! Enjoy!

May 30, 2011 0 comments Read More
Latino Entrepreneurship Workshop

Latino Entrepreneurship Workshop

I gave a presentation on May 26, 2011 at the Latino Entrepreneurship Workshop in Atlanta on how to approach social media from a business perspective. The first presentation below contains all of my slides from that presentation. The second presentation includes slides with detailed steps on setting up accounts on various social media platforms.

May 26, 2011 0 comments Read More
What Billboards and Social Media Have in Common

What Billboards and Social Media Have in Common

Don’t hate me. This is a reblog from a post I wrote over at the Center for Sustainable Journalism’s blog. Below is an excerpt, but you’ll have to head over there to read the rest.



I was driving into Atlanta from just north of the city earlier this week when I realized just how many billboards line the interstate. When I realized that their placement just outside of where my attention is supposed to be is similar to traditional website ad placement, I began thinking about why we tolerate billboards but complain about website ads.

Isn’t this spam…real world spam?

I look at this way: for the most part, I am willing to tolerate ads that serve as a revenue stream for something from which I gain utility. Website ads are usually fine because it provides revenue for the site I want to visit. Video ads are usually alright because I want to watch the video, and I couldn’t if there was no way to monetize it. It’s the same for magazines and even the ads on the walls of the MARTA trains and buses. But billboards? The profit from those typically hideous displays of poorly conceived advertising campaigns does not subsidize the interstates or the cost of my driving – yet, I am forced to see them.

That is life in a hyper-capitalist society, you might say. But I think there is a lesson here for how organizations should approach social media.



May 25, 2011 0 comments Read More
Why You Should Hire Young People for Social Media Positions

Why You Should Hire Young People for Social Media Positions

I wrote this post for the Center for Sustainable Journalism’s blog, so you’ll have to head over there to read the full post. Just to be transparent, I am the digital media manager at the Center for Sustainable Journalism.


At least once a week I open up TweetDeck to find some random person’s blog post being circulated about how horrible it is for organizations to trust young people with social media accounts. And each time I’m left with the feeling that someone late in his/her career just really hates seeing young people land great jobs in an exciting emerging field.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think organizations should leave their digital strategy to interns. But if we take an honest look at what social media is at its core, I think we can only conclude that digital natives are a great fit for online community manager positions… more>>

May 23, 2011 0 comments Read More
U.S. Military Software to Sway Online Arguments

U.S. Military Software to Sway Online Arguments

Are you one who believes the United States can do no wrong? If so, this post won’t matter much to you. But if you’ve studied history even on an elementary school level, you realize that this country has done or supported some pretty nasty stuff. The Internet gave us hope that governments could be held accountable, that those who possess the most power could be checked by the power of information dissemination on a mass scale. Those hopes are dashed today as we learn that the U.S. Military is developing software that will not only scour the web to look for negative press, but also manage complex dummy accounts that can spread pro-American sentiments in order to sway public opinion.

If what I write about constantly is true, that the potential for social media to allow for viral discourse allows multiple perspectives to weigh in on a given topic in an attempt to get to the truth, then this new campaign by our government is viral propaganda, an attempt at distorting the truth and disrupting sincere efforts to make this world more bearable.

The Guardian writes:

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

And how does our obviously paranoid government get away with such an unconstitutional measure? The Patriot Act, of course, and by riding the wave of fear. Commander Bill Speaks, Centcom spokesman, said that “the technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.” So, we’re to believe that they are just fighting fire with fire, that it won’t be used to control domestic conversations around the web. Got it.

The Guardian piece points out that “Last year a New York lawyer who impersonated a scholar was sentenced to jail after being convicted of “criminal impersonation” and identity theft.” But like murder, I suppose it’s legal when the government sanctions it. I’m not trying to be overly political or alarmist, but if you ask me, this level of propaganda is the biggest threat to our liberty that we face in the 21st century.

*By the way, I’m linking to Centcom so that they know I’m being critical of them.

March 18, 2011 0 comments Read More
Is Email Passé?

Is Email Passé?

[UPDATE] 02/07/11  TechCrunch posted new ComScore numbers today showing a 59% decrease in email use among teens.

At SoCon11 this weekend there was an interesting conversation started by one of the keynote panelists, CNN Reporter Victor Hernandez. He claims that email is passé and that it, along with the phone, is an inferior means of communication to other more social means. None of the panelists disagreed, and at least one other person agreed with him completely.

I was Google Jockeying the event, so I could not participate in the conversation. But if I could, I would have disagreed with Mr. Hernandez. I, as most of you know, am a social media junky, and I too prefer Facebook messages and Tweets to email and phone calls. But I think there is still a significant place for email in our communication arsenal. The problem with current social means of communication is that it is all public – even DM’s and Facebook Messages reside on very public platforms despite their attempts to seem private. Also, in order to use these social tools for more private exchanges, the two parties must be connected. This adds an extra step to the process of communicating. How do businesses communicate with potential clients without first waiting for a connection request to be approved or for a mutual follow-back?

For me, email serves a distinctly different purpose from social media. I use Twitter and LinkedIn to make professional contacts, to share information, and to find resources for my own development. I use Facebook to share my personal interests with friends and family and to find interesting content from those I trust. Email serves as a professional channel for off-air exchanges at work. I use it for storage of receipts, account information, and other important documents/info that I need to access from multiple devices. And lastly, email bridges all of my social networks by providing a central location for private contact that is universal (a hotmail user can email a gmail user, but a twitter user can’t message a facebook user).

Of course, my opinion is anecdotal. There are studies that show that email is dying, and some universities have even quit assigning email accounts to incoming students. I think, however, that we aren’t to that point yet. Email must evolve, not die.

Facebook is working on rolling out what it thinks will be a game-changer in email. It is said to combine Facebook messages with more email-like functionality. I think this could be a bridge that might evolve email in a way so that it becomes more social, more real-time, but I’m not convinced that, at least professionally, email is passé…yet.

What do you think?

February 7, 2011 0 comments Read More
Why I Chose the New MacBook Air Over the iPad

Why I Chose the New MacBook Air Over the iPad

I made a decision. For months I’ve been researching and testing different devices to fit my need (or want) for a functional mobile device. Because I’m lucky enough to work for a university, I was able to get my hands on an iPad for a couple months just to see if it worked for me. In the end I decided that the iPad didn’t do enough for me, so I went with the 11″ MacBook Air.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the iPad. It’s a revolutionary device that I think will change how we understand computers going forward. However, I think the technology and the form have not yet been mastered. Transferring files on the iPad is burdensome. The size is a bit awkward given what it’s used for. And creating content (taking notes, writing a blog post, etc.) is difficult on the virtual keyboard. Consuming content is a magnificent experience on the iPad, and for that there isn’t a better device. I just think the price has to drop considerably for people to buy into a device solely used for consumption of media. I also think it could stand to be a couple inches smaller to make it more portable. The Galaxy Tab, I think, is closer to the right size for a portable content consumption device.

So, why did I go with the MacBook Air? A couple reasons: First, its just a beautiful device. It’s small and light, but still gives me all of the functionality of any other Mac. Second, the Mac App store gives me access to a lot of the great applications being developed right now so that I can enjoy all of the awesome innovation going on. And lastly, I was able to upgrade the processor and RAM on my device to make it surprisingly powerful. TechCrunch even claims that the new MBA is just as powerful as the MacBook Pro. So far, I don’t disagree.

I used the new MacBook Air at a conference this weekend, and I am very pleased. It was portable, powerful, and with the combination of Mac and Chrome Apps I had access to awesome tools to make the event a great experience. Final thought: don’t listen to the haters and don’t read the reviews of the first MacBook Air. The new MBA is seriously and surprisingly powerful given its specs, and the portability of it makes it easy to take on the go.

If you’re interested in some more reasons to go with the MBA, check out this blog.

February 6, 2011 0 comments Read More
New (anti) Social Tool to Save You Time (at the expense of organic relationships)

New (anti) Social Tool to Save You Time (at the expense of organic relationships)

On Twitter today I ran across a press release that was shared by the creator of BundlePost.com about the upcoming release of a tool that claims it will make you 80% more efficient in the social space. For those of you who don’t know what that is (and I am confident that is most of you) here’s a description from their blog:

The Bundle Post system significantly reduces the time required for finding, reviewing, editing, scheduling and posting relevant content by automatically pulling Google Alert search terms and RSS feed content directly into a database with headings, links and descriptions, ready for posting to social media accounts.

My first reaction was that this is useful because managing nearly a dozen social media accounts for my job can be a bit whelming at times. But as I thought about it, I began to realize that tools like this, while great for time-efficiency, actually make social media less social. The founder of this particular tool quotes himself as saying, “One of the reasons for engaging in social media is to build a base of followers and foster relationships; however, it is a task that can consume an incredible amount of time.” Yes, social media is about building real relationships with people online for various reasons, be it romantic, professional, or otherwise, but can tools that do the “finding, reviewing, editing, scheduling and posting” for you really be considered “social?”

Imagine, if you will, going out to the bar with a group of friends. Prior to arriving you compile a list of sentences, one-liners, and stories that you’ll use throughout the night. As your friends are laughing and chatting it up, you start to pull from your list. Not only will it be awkward, but your friends are probably going to be a bit offended eventually, right? How is aggregating stories via google alerts just to have content to push out any different?

The purpose of sharing content, at least from my perspective, is not to gain followers – in fact, no part of social networking (even for marketers) is about gaining followers. It is about finding something interesting, and passing it along. Those who find that the things you find interesting are the same as what they find interesting will eventually connect with you. If all you’re doing is aggregating Google alerts, why would I just not also read the Google alerts in my inbox every morning? Twitter and Facebook are great platforms in part because people I respect tell me what I should read, see, and hear, and I enjoy the personality I see in their recommendations. Replace that with a computer, and i’ll move on to someone else.

Here’s another good self-quote from Caruso:

“Additionally, businesses have the potential to realize increased profitability as a result of the efficiencies the technology delivers, allowing more time for engaging with fans and followers.”

I’d like to know how “engaging” is being defined here because it seems to me that a person or company that uses this software is not actually interested in engaging with anyone. Instead, relationships are traded for time in the name of profitability. That is going to be incredibly appealing to many companies, and I wish Mr. Caruso all the best, but this shouldn’t be marketed as a “social media tool.” A company interested in follower count (as Caruso demonstrates is a leading indicator of success for him) misses the point of social media.

I’ll end with a few words from @BundlePost so that you can make a decision as to whether or not this product needs more research before launch. I expressed my opinion (perhaps a bit too bluntly, and for that I apologize) with Mr. Caruso. Here is our conversation:

NVEchols: Ok, I’m just going to say it. @BundlePost is a horrible idea. It takes the “social” out of #SM in the name of efficiency http://ht.ly/3OpVF

BundlePost: @nvechols so spending 80% of your time engaging and being social, rather than 80% searching, finding, vetting and posting content is worse?

NVEchols: @BundlePost yes, absolutely. the content being shared is being aggregated by software rather than sharing organically. That isnt social.

NVEchols: @BundlePost if the events of my day were given to my wife in an email in replace of having a real conversation with her, i’d be divorced.

BundlePost: @nvechols lol I guess there is one in every bunch. We agree to disagree. Unless of course ur married to your 242 followers?

NVEchols: @BundlePost well #SM is about relationships. I dont have many friends would appreciate me finding ways to outsource my interactions w/ them

BundlePost: @nvechols You’re right, you don’t have many and your Klout score shows you don’t interact with them either.

NVEchols: @BundlePost I manage several accounts professionally & my following purposefully manageable. This isn’t an 8th grade election.

BundlePost: @nvechols The tech doesn’t outsource interaction. It allows 80% more time FOR having interactions, rather than sourcing valuable content

BundlePost: @nvechols lol agreed!!!!!!!

February 2, 2011 0 comments Read More
STUDY: 85% Say Internet is Positive

STUDY: 85% Say Internet is Positive

Whether or not social media is beneficial to one’s social life is often contested. Marketers and techy types have heralded it as a revolution in communication, but others point to Internet addiction, sleep disorders, and privacy concerns as dangerous side effects of this new medium. It looks, however, as if folks are now mostly viewing social media in a positive light.

According a Pew Internet and American Life Project study, 85% of people polled agree with the statement “In 2020, when I look at the big picture and consider my personal friendships, marriage and other relationships, I see that the internet has mostly been a positive force on my social world. And this will only grow more true in the future.”  It seems that while there are certainly issues that have to be addressed as new technology changes the way we understand ourselves and how we relate, the benefits outweigh potential problems.

The study’s overview concludes by observing “that while our tools are changing quickly, basic human nature seems to adjust at a slower pace.” If that is true, it suggests a reason why fear of new media still exist.

I’m interested in what you think. What are your concerns with the Internet today and the direction it’s headed. Is it a positive force in your life or does it disadvantage you?

January 16, 2011 0 comments Read More