[SATLUG] July 12th, Thursday Meeting

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Thu Jul 5 15:34:14 CDT 2012

On Jul 5, 2012, at 12:50 PM, Brad Knowles wrote:

>> http://www.youtube.com/user/GeekyLiving
>> <view-source:http://www.youtube.com/user/GeekyLiving>
> I'll take a look.

Okay, having taken a first look, I do have some quick comments.

First off, you've clearly selected a particular screen recording/casting program that highlights the mouse pointer, and this is good.  You can even zoom in on the mouse pointer to show more detail, which is great.  However, I would recommend that you record and upload the highest resolution video that you can, and let YouTube handle the creation of the smaller sizes.  I would target 1080p as the minimum resolution, if at all possible.  On the other hand, excessive mouse/highlight lag can make a video hard to watch, so you may have to balance the size and quality of the uploaded video with the power and speed of your machine.

You're also working from a script, which is vital to making these sorts of things successful.  I would recommend having the talent rehearse the script multiple times, and do a few "dry runs", before you plan on starting the recording process "for real".  You want this to sound as natural and free-flowing as possible, and that usually only comes with practice.

"Garbage-in=Garbage-out" applies as much or more to audio and video production as it does to any other process.  If you don't have a good quality audio recording to start with, there's nothing you can do to save that process.  You want a good quality microphone with good audio recording software.

Since this is a screencast, you want to identify your target audience quickly and help them to identify whether or not your content will be of use to them.  You do this through creating the title for the screencast, which is much like writing a headline for a newspaper -- you've got once chance to grab them if you should happen to show up in their search query.  I would suggest identifying the platform and the key software you're using as part of your title.  So, instead of "How to Permanently and Securely Wipe Data from your Hard Drive", you could use something like "How to Permanently and Securely Wipe your Windows Hard Drive Using DBAN".  Anyone who knows what DBAN and how it works could skip the video, while anyone who knows that they want to achieve the goal but doesn't know this particular software might be enticed to watch.

You also help your audience by having a good static thumbnail image for your video, which is usually the first frame.  This helps enhance your "Headline" subject, but optimizing one part of this process is no replacement for optimizing the other.  You need to do both.

You've done a lot of things pretty well on this first video, but of course there's always room for improvement.  On the subject of video blogging, Mashable has a pretty good starter page at <http://mashable.com/2009/10/09/video-blogging/>, but the creation of screencasts is a somewhat different beast -- you're not using a video camera, and you're not going out in the field to record your video.  Their comments on a lot of the rest of the process should be more useful for you, however.

Their guide at <http://mashable.com/2008/10/22/how-to-master-screencasts/> is much more on-target for you, even though it's a little older.  They've got lots of content on related subjects that I think you would find interesting.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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