U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Posting Videos on EERE and YouTube (Text Version)

Below is the text version for the eighth podcast in the Introduction to Standards Podcast series, Posting Videos on EERE and YouTube.

Welcome to the Introduction to Standards Podcast. I'm Elizabeth Spencer, and today I'll be talking about our video standards. You can find this under Websites > Multimedia > Videos.

Just as an aside, you've probably noticed that the site has been redesigned! I hope it's much easier to find what you're looking for. Unfortunately, this does mean that my previous podcasts are a little out of date—when they say "Go in this section to find more information on this topic" it won't be accurate.

If you can't find something, please email the Communication Standards webmaster. There's a "Contact" link at the bottom of every page!

Anyway! Back to video standards.

Let's say that you've made a video. We're not going to go into how you made that video, because that's a whole other process. So. You made a video. It's done. What do you do with it?

Well, you have two choices: You can post it on YouTube or you can host it on EERE. Let's start with YouTube.

As I mentioned in my Social Media podcast, EERE doesn't have its own YouTube channel. And your program probably doesn't, either. That means you have only one option: The DOE YouTube Channel.

DOE is very particular about what goes on their channel. It has to be consumer friendly. That means that they probably won't accept a 20-minute long video of a program manager talking at a podium. They want general-interest, consumer-friendly content.

If your video meets those standards, then great! Email Erin Pierce. She'll help you get your video to the people at DOE who handle these things. You'll need to send them your video and a file with your script.

The script doesn't have to be fancy. Just send them the text for the subtitles.

And that's it! If your video makes it on YouTube, then you're done. You wait until DOE uploads it—which could take up to 5 business days—and then you can embed that video on your site using the embed code from YouTube.

But as you can imagine, not every video can go on YouTube. Most of our videos are hosted on EERE. In this situation, you're going to upload your video to the EERE servers. Then you'll put it into the EERE video skin. The skin determines the appearance of the video—the play button, the volume, all the things that "frame" the video.

Why do we have a standard skin? Well, a lot of reasons:

  • It lets you easily embed your video on a page.
  • It lets you easily subtitle your video. That's required by Section 508. Without a skin, it's much harder and more expensive to caption a video.
  • And it also ensures every video hosted on EERE looks the same, so our visitors don't have to figure out how to use a bunch of different video formats.

So it helps everyone.

To get back to the process, here's what you need to do if your video is hosted on EERE:

  • First, your video has to be in one of these four formats: FLV, F4V, MOV, or MP4. Ask your video designer to convert your video for you.
  • Upload your video to your website's /media/ folder.
  • Decide if you want a poster image. It's optional, so you don't have to have one. This is the image that shows up when your video first loads, before the user hits play. It's like a preview screen. If you want one, get a designer to make one.
  • Upload that poster image to /media/includes/.
  • Create your caption file. It'll need to be written in XML. This file includes the text that will be used for your video's captions.
  • Upload that captions file to /media/includes/.
  • Write a text version. This is a text-only version of your video. It'll probably be based on the script. This is what people will read if they can't watch the video at all—so if they use a screen reader, this is what they'll see. That's why this is required by Section 508. This is also useful for people who can't watch videos at work, or who might have videos blocked.
  • Post that text version as an HTML page online.

Now you have all the pieces in place.

Now you'll need an HTML developer. That developer will need to look at the code that we have on the video website. (Remember, that's Websites>Multimedia>Video.) On that page, you'll find a piece of code.

In that code, there are several bolded lines. Your developer will have to change those lines so that they point to the correct location of your video, your captions file, your poster image, and your text version.

And that's it! That code is your embed code. Wherever you paste it on your website, it'll call up your video. So as long as your files are in the right place and you updated the code right, your video should work perfectly.

And remember, send an email to Drew Bittner or to the EERE Multimedia webmaster and we'll add your video to the EERE Multimedia website, too. (If you've never seen it, that website is linked from the EERE home page from the "Videos and Animations" link.)

And that's it! In my next podcast, I'll be talking about how to write a text version. So see you then!