Missives from the Bat Tower

Doing 23 Things all in the name of Web 2.0

Archive for the tag “YouTube”

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 16: YouTube vs Vimeo

Like most people out there I’ve seen lots of YouTube videos, shared by friends or searched for myself, they are part of modern day life. In fact one of my friends is known to get a bit YouTube happy after he’s had a drink or two and will insist on people sitting down to watch his latest favourites (this is actually quite fun and nowhere near as dull as I’ve made it sound – unfortunately most are not really work suitable so I’ll refrain from sharing them with you). However, I’ve never visited Vimeo before. I had a bit of a search on both and found this cartoon about digital preservation on YouTube:

The basic message is: bit rot = bad, metadata and trusted digital repositories = good and bad digital preservation could lead to nuclear holocaust, sort of. It’s a fun way to get across some basic principles of digital preservation and could potentially be used in advocacy presentations for a bit of light relief. It really is quite hard to make digital preservation fun!

I didn’t find that Vimeo had the same range of results when I did a bit of searching but I did find this video from Australasia which looks at what people can do with their own digital files at home:

My initial impressions are that whilst YouTube has much more content, the Vimeo videos are better produced and look a lot more professional. I’d be concerned if I was contributing a video that people wouldn’t really search for it on Vimeo whereas YouTube would be the first port of call for most people. This might be just my preconceptions as I haven’t used Vimeo before and I wonder if once you’ve joined the Vimeo community there might be no turning back!

See my Twitter feed for another YouTube video – not strictly work related but I was shocked to read that a librarian had lost her job over it.

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