After many weeks of dawdling and delaying, hemmimg and hawing, lingering and loitering, I am going to fulfill the hopes and expectations of many of my visitors, old and new, by showing how to embed a Picasa slide show into a WordPress blog. Why so long? I don’t know. Have I mentioned that I have a tendency to procrastinate and prevaricate?
Anyhow, at long last, I have galvanized myself into action. Galvanize is a word that has split into a couple of different directions. It is also a word, like mesmerize that was coined for the person who is responsible for its creation. Back in the late 1700s an Italian physician, Luigi Galvani surprised himself and everyone else when he was dissecting a frog and turned to another task when a colleague came over, picked up the scalpel and touched a nerve in the severed legs of the frog. Lo and behold the legs started kicking. Wondering why this might have happened he made note of the fact that on the same table he had some electrical equipment and perhaps a charge had gotten onto the scalpel. Luigi then undertook various experiments such as pinning frogs’ legs to an iron latticework in his garden to see if they would kick during thunderstorms. They did, but they seemed to kick even when he did this and the weather was clear. He came up with a theory that the brain generates electricity that flows down and shocks the muscles. So, originally, galvanization was the administration of electric shocks.
In its current usage, the term galvanization typically means hot-dip galvanizing, a metallurgical process that is used to coat steel or iron with zinc. This is done to prevent galvanic corrosion (specifically rusting) of the ferrous items. I actually learned about this firsthand a couple of months ago when I was photographing the derelict Arkinstall Galvanizing Factory in Digbeth. An engineer from the head office across the road came over to see what I was up to and said that they have relocated the main factory to Tividale. He gave me a crash course in galvanizing and sort of escorted me around, probably to make sure I didn’t fall into any of the old hydrochloric acid pits or anything. It was nice having him there to answer some questions, but it sort of cramped my style. I felt rushed when I was taking photos and didn’t feel like I could explore as much as I would have liked.
So when I was back there in early September, I snuck back in and had a good look around. I walked around all three floors, including the catwalk, the spooky boys’ locker room and a lovely skylit room at the very top. This was one of my favourite spaces on the ground floor – a high ceilinged, cathedral-like room with the sun shining through a skylight. So empty and peaceful.
I also found some beautiful, very heavy (try 1021 kg), silver chunks of slag which were waiting to be transported to Tividale. This metal is the by product of the galvanizing process and valuable enough to be used for something else. Slag has many commercial uses, and is rarely thrown away. It is often reprocessed to separate any other metals that it may contain. The remnants of this recovery can be used in railroad track ballast, and as fertilizer.
So when we say that a person is galvanized (into action) it isn’t that they have some sort of protective coating, it’s that they are moved into action.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Now then, here is how to embed a Picasa slideshow into WordPress. . . .
First, set up a web album in Picasa. The software is a free download from Google and quite user friendly.
Once you have created your web album, you will need to upload it to Vodpod. You can set up a Vodpod account here.
To upload you web album to Vodpod:
1) Go to your album in Picasa and click on ‘Link to this album’
2) Click on ‘Embed Slideshow’
3) Here you have some options for slideshow size, captions, etc. After you have chosen these, copy the embed code and click ‘Done’.
4) Then go to Vodpod ‘add videos’ and paste the embed code. Then click ‘Preview’.
5) The following screen will appear:
You will be asked for your WordPress Username and Password at some point. From here you can write the post title and some verbage, then publish it as a draft (Send to editor) or for real (Publish).
Or, if you click the blue ‘options’ button, you’ll get these choices:
- ‘include source link’ lets the viewer click back to your album in Vodpod.
- ‘vodpod’ link goes to a page about posting videos into WordPress via Vodpod.
Both will appear below your slide show. I personally don’t include these.
- ‘draft’ publishes it as a draft.
Finally, if you click ‘Get the Code’, you can copy and paste the slideshow straight into your WordPress post. I prefer this option so that I have complete control over the creation of a new post.
Hope this has been clear. Drop me a comment if you need help!