How to Use YouTube Editor to Make Narrated Slideshows

youtube_logoThis CyberKen post explains how to use YouTube Editor to make narrated slideshows. YouTube Editor, found at, serves as an excellent free, cross-platform video editing resource. No matter what kind of computer students own they will be able to learn  basics of video editing with YouTube Editor.

To make a narrated slideshow you will need an image track, consisting of your selection of still images to tell a story, and a narration track which is synchronized to the flow of images.  Here’s how to produce each:

Preparing a slideshow video track with YouTube

To convert image files into a slideshow using YouTube:

  • Visit the upload page on YouTube
  • Click “Create” under “Photo Slideshow
  • Upload photos from your computer, or select photos from an existing Google+ photo album, and click “Select”
  • Drag and drop the photos to rearrange them. When you’re done, click “Next” and proceed to render this as a video without a soundtrack.  (You will add the sound track later by following the steps below.

Recording a narration for an online slideshow

This CyberKen blog post explains how to record a narration synchronized for an online slideshow using Movie Maker:

How to Synchronize a Narration Track with Slides, Using Windows Movie Maker

(A similar process can be followed using other video editors besides Movie Maker.)

Please Note: In order to place a narration sound file into your YouTube Editor’s audio library you have to make a video with it (consisting of an image file and a sound file, because YouTube won’t recognize just a sound file alone. You can use Movie Maker, iMovie, or another video editor to make your narration video. Just use a still photo for the visual track and your recorded narration for the sound track. Render this as a .WMV or .MOV or .MP4 video and upload it to YouTube. It willl then become accessible in the YouTube Editor library.  Make sure to remember what you called it, because you will have to search by the title to find it in your YouTube Editor’s audio library. From there you can drag it onto the audio track in the YouTube Editor.

Three Free Internet Time Saving Tools

If you visit a lot of websites in your daily work you might like to try these three free internet time saving tools:

  • Instapaper
  • Last Pass
  • Now Do This


clockInstapeper is a free service that instantly copies the content of a webpage you are viewing and pastes that content into a running list of saves at your Instapepr account.  After you have opened your Instapaper account, install the Instapaper extension for your internet browser.

For Firefox use these instructions:

For the Safari browser, use these:

For the Chrome browser go here:

For Kindle:  A service similar to Instapaper can be set up using these instructions:

Last Pass

Logging into websites can take a lot of time, especially if you can’t remember where you recorded your password or user name.  Last Pass is a free online password vault which keeps a secure record of your user name and password for whatever websites you want it to remember.  Not only that, when you decide to change a password or user name at any site already in your vault, Last Pass asks whether you want to record the change.  Last Pass provides an option of logging you in automatically as soon as you visit a site.  This saves lots of time!  Skeptics may wonder whether keeping passwords in the cloud is safe. To be as safe as I can be I change my Last Pass password every two weeks and sporadically change other passwords and record the changes in LastPass. With Last Pass you need remember only one password:  your Last Pass one which gives you access to all the others.  MAKE SURE TO WRITE THAT MASTER PASSWORD DOWN and keep the paper in a safe place, because Last Pass does not provide master password retrieval.

Some pointers in crafting your LastPass password:

Don’t use any dictionary words.  These can be easily hacked by powerful computers which run through options exceedingly fast.

Don’t use a password or part of a password from another website. 

Don’t use a password containing your name or your user name. 

Use a short phrase or sentence as a memory aid.  I find that an excellent way to craft a secure password that’s easy for me to remember is to make up a sentence or phrase of about eight to ten words which relates to something very personal, something which no one else is likely to know.  I use the first letter of each word in this sentence or phrase for my password.  Then, I throw in a number, a punctuation mark, and capitalize at least one of the letters.  Then, of course, I write down the password on paper, and also write down the sentence or phrase.  Very soon, by remembering that sentence or phrase I commit my master password to memory.  I repeat this procedure every two weeks to insure that I have done as much as I can to make Last Pass very secure.  I might also mention that I do not use Last Pass to log into any site involving money transactions.  If I get hacked, I don’t want my pocket picked!

Now Do This is a website where you enter to-do items in a window.  As you accomplish an item you click “done” and it comes off the list, showing you the next thing to do in the stack.  Very quick, very easy.  Now Do This works well for me when I pin its tab in my browser (accomplished in Firefox by right clicking on its tab and selecting “pin tab”).  This reduces the width of the tab, and prevents my accidentally closing the tab.  I slide my pinned tabs to the left where I can click on them to see their content.  If I want to close a pinned tab, I right click on it and select “unpin tab.” Then I can close that tab in the usual fashion.

SEO Tips for Formatting Blog Posts

Google and SEO

This post gives some SEO tips for formatting your blog posts.

What’s SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” the quasi-science recommending how your website can achieve a high ranking in Google search reports.  You want your website to appear in the first page of links when a search term is fed to Google.  Why Google?  Because that’s the search engine that most folks use.  If your site doesn’t make the first Google screen it’s unlikely that searchers will scroll down further to find it.

Nobody knows for sure how the Google search algorithms work.  That’s a proprietary secret. However, there is a consensus among experts that the following measures will help make your site more noticeable:

Establish External Links to Your Website

Establish as many external links to your site as possible in an honest way.  (Google sniffs out cheats and demotes them.)  The previous CyberKen blog post talked about some honest ways to get external links:  Comment on other folks’ blogs, send links to your posts in large social networks, ask friends and colleagues to review your posts, noting the urls.  External links to your site is the single most important factor in raising its Google ranking.  At least, so say the experts.

Choose a Keyword or Phrase for Your Post

Devise a key word or short phrase and put that in:
a.  the title of your post (no more than 67 characters)
b.  the first sentence of the first paragraph of your post’s content.
c.  the url of your post (more about this in my video below about the Yoast SEO plugin.)
d.  the meta description of your post (no more than 120 characters).  The meta description provides approximately three short lines immediately following a live link in a search report.  These lines help a viewer decide whether the content is of sufficient interest to click on the link.  The meta description doesn’t appear on a web page, but is contained in the source code of that page.  Using the Yoast plugin you can edit the meta description.  Again, more about this in the video below.

Use <h2> Tags for Subsections of Your Post

It is rumored that Google indexing computers pay most attention to the title of a post and also to the first 90 characters or so of its content.  Also, they pay attention to sub section headings coded with the <h2> tag.  A post title always gets the <h1> tag. The first level of subdivision below the title gets an <h2> tag.  If your post content could use some first-level subdivisions, make sure to mark them with the <h2> tag.  This will not only make your post more readable, but also more attractive to Google indexing computers.  At least, so say the experts.  The video below demonstrates how to apply an <h2> tag to a subsection of your post.

Assign Tags to Your Post

The final SEO tip is to attach internet search terms, called tags, to your posts.  When you have finished writing a post, think what single words or very short phrases people might use to find it.  The WordPress editing window provides a tag section where you can assign tags.  Try to make your tags specific enough that they will  help searchers find your content.  For instance, if you have written about Robins, it is better to use “Robin” as a tag instead of “bird” or “nature”.  These latter terms also apply of course, but they are so general that they will be of little use in guiding searchers to your material.

Click on the right facing arrow below to see the how-to video.