Missives from the Bat Tower

Doing 23 Things all in the name of Web 2.0

Archive for the tag “RHUL Library”

Thing 17: Screencast-o-Matic

With a name that sounds like something from a Wallace and Gromit story and a promise to help users actually use the archives catalogue, I was keen to have a go with Screencast-o-Matic. Our archive catalogue does actually work quite well but it isn’t very intuitive, especially for first time archive users. A screencast seems like the perfect solution to show people how to use some of its features – mainly how to browse collections from your search results.

I found the whole process of recording a video with Screencast-o-Matic very easy. The controls are simple and there are a few things you can customise (like whether to highlight the mouse in the video). I even found the caption writing a breeze which I thought might be a bit more tricky. You have to write a text file with the captions and the timings you want for them and then they appear at the bottom of the screen. It took a little bit of fiddling to get the timings right but after I’d sorted that out I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

But… when you finish your video you have a couple of options, you can either upload it to YouTube or Screencast-o-Matic or download it as a video file. I wanted to put it on the RHUL Library YouTube channel but I didn’t have the log in to hand so I thought I’d save it to Screencast-o-Matic in the mean time. All was well, I could share the link – great. However, when I came back to try and upload it to YouTube it wasn’t anywhere near as easy as I had hoped. There was no longer the option to do it straight from Screencast-o-Matic but I could still download the video as a file. So I saved it and then uploaded it to the RHUL Library YouTube channel which was all quite easy. When I played it back my lovely captions weren’t there! Disaster! I didn’t record a voiceover because a) I don’t like the sound of my recorded voice and b) a voice over isn’t very helpful if the user is in the library so the captions are quite vital.

I haven’t yet worked out how to rectify this so to see the video please follow this link (I can’t embed it because WordPress is mean and strips out the code and I’m not tech savvy enough to work out how to embed it another way). I suspect I may have to record it again to upload it with captions to YouTube but if anyone has any tips please leave me a comment below!

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Thing 22: Library Wiki

In an effort to do some more of the 23 Things before the deadline I thought I’d pick Thing 22 as my next thing as it seemed like quite a quick one to do. The Thing is to add myself to the Who’s Who page on the Libray Wiki. Expecting to find a whole page of the smiling faces of my colleagues, I was a bit disappointed to see that only two people had added theirs (and only one of the 23 Things team – shame on you!). I was a little bit put off but thought I would preserver and add myself anyway.

Moon face (c)penguinbush via Flickr

(c) penguinbush via Flickr

Following the instructions on the RHUL 23 Things blog was pretty easy and as I’ve contributed to Wikipedia before it was all quite familiar. The only thing I did have a problem with was adding the photograph of myself. I decided to use the one that had been taken for the library’s main Who’s Who page as it’s already on my computer so I duly followed the instructions and uploaded it. I put in the code to embed it and then when I checked the edit I was greeted with my GINORMOUS FACE. Turns out that you need to have already sized your photo before you upload it to the wiki or, if you have a high res image as this turned out to be, it will be huge. After a quick bit of resizing with Photoshop I’d got myself down to a more suitable size and I re-uploaded it (I think removing the original as well – or at least I hope so, you could see every freckle on my face it was so big!) and because it was the same file name the version in the page automatically updated to the more manageable sized me.

Voila – Thing 22 ticked off the (Evernote) list.

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