Tech alert: Reelsurfer

Video can be a really useful way to help tell your stories in real-time—but not when you bog your readers down with too much of it, wasting precious minutes of their time with content that doesn’t tell them what they need to know.

Enter Reelsurfer.


Reelsurfer is a free online tool that allows you to create shortened clips of videos that already exist online (i.e. they have a URL). Vimeo, YouTube, you name it – if the video is on a page, you can grab an excerpt (with some exceptions – see below). Reelsurfer then allows you to share this shortened version of the video on your social media channels. It also provides an iframe for the clip.

You know what that means: we can embed these shortened video highlights right into a ScribbleLive event.

(Now, this tool raises obvious concerns about copyright. Make sure you know the rules and read Reelsurfer’s terms of service!)


With Reelsurfer, you can embed each individual clip you’ve excerpted, or you can string a number of them together to make one longer “reel” – either creating a highlight reel from a single video source, or creating a mash-up from multiple videos. The best part? These reels are also embeddable.

Reelsurfer is great for gathering context for your readers. If you’ve found a five-minute video that gives some background to what you’re covering, but only 30 seconds of it is really pertinent to the story, no problem. Slice and dice with Reelsurfer and embed the excerpt. Reelsurfer also provides a link back to the original video so your readers can watch the full version if they so choose.

Quick and easy highlights

So, you’ve hosted an event, and you covered it in real-time. You livestreamed video from this event and embedded it to a stickied post at the top of your ScribbleLive event so that it was the first thing your visitors saw and interacted with.

Now, you want to show your visitors highlights from your event.

Unfortunately, Reelsurfer doesn’t seem to currently work with livestreaming services such as Ustream or Livestream, but it does work for YouTube videos. Meaning, if you’ve used Google Hangouts On Air to broadcast your event, you can easily create a highlight reel of your event. And paired with our LiveArticle, you can quickly and easily create a beautiful summary of your event, with text, social media and video highlights.

Want to see Reelsurfer in action? In the LiveArticle below, I’ve used Reelsurfer to help demonstrate how to use some of ScribbleLive’s features.

Basically, when it comes to creating highlights of your events: Reelsurfer + LiveArticle = <3

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