Over the last few months, we have had the pleasure of working with Paul Allison, Susan Ettenheim, and the rest of the team behind YouthVoices. The site supports youth working in a variety of creative endeavors, from blogging to video production and discussions of video to digital photography.
In the process of building the site, Paul and Susan expressed an interest in embedding video from VoiceThread in the site. They have been using VoiceThread extensively, and wanted their students to be able to share their work in the site. We were already using the Most Excellent Embedded Media Field module to embed video. However, Voicethread was not among the supported providers. While the process of coding support is not particularly complex, it does require some time, and given the other priorities of the site we decided to postpone that development.
Fortunately, Paul and Susan know everyone, including Steve Muth and Ben Papell at Voicethread. Paul and Susan introduced Steve and me via email; I pointed Steve toward the documentation that explained how to code support for new providers (for the geeky among you, the best documentation is found in the code; take a look in the youtube.inc file in the contrib/video_cck/providers/ directory) and went on my way.
Fast forward a few weeks. I'm hard at work on something, when, lo and behold, like magic, an email from Steve appears in my inbox. Attached to this email: fresh, shiny new code with support for embedding Voicethreads! We installed it on a test site, ran it through the paces, and all worked perfectly. Then, we installed it on the YouthVoices site, where it seems to be working pretty darn well.
And this is one of the many things I love about Open Source. Paul and Susan had a need: embed VoiceThreads in their web site. Like many of us, they did not have the programming skills to code it themselves, but they know people who did. Through the power of an email introduction (and to this day, I have never met Steve in person, or even talked with him on the phone), the folks at VoiceThread and the folks at FunnyMonkey began helping each other out. Our collaboration met Paul's and Susan's need. And, now that the folks from VoiceThread have produced the code, anybody using Drupal and VoiceThread can benefit. For now, the extension can be downloaded here; pending a broader code review by the maintainers of the Embedded Media Field module, it will likely be bundled with the Embedded Media Field module.
I take my virtual hat off to Steve and the folks at Voicethread. They provide a great service, and a great model for working with people who use and love their service. It was a pleasure to be able to collaborate with them on bringing this functionality live. And now comes the fun part: seeing the work that the students produce.
NOTE: Oct. 8, 2012. For whatever reason, spammers love this post; as a preventive measure (and because this post is about an older piece of code) I am disabling comments on this post.END NOTE