I would never, in a million years, think that my name would be part of a title of one of Jon Udell's blog posts. "A long-delayed response to Beth Kanter's Screencasting Question" let alone get a detailed and informative answer to a screencasting question ...!
About a month ago, I started to experiment with how to do the "conversational" screencast that is Jon's signature. It's where you sit down and look at the screen with an expert on the topic. I was inspired by Jon Udell's screencasts in this genre, and did some background research, but hit a wall. So, I blogged it. I got some answers, but not from Jon. So, I searched him out on some social networking sites to see if I might contact him directly. Yesterday, to my surprise I got a message from Udell saying he had answered the question. However, because of some glitch it didn't get posted.
The blog post is great because he has added and shared what he has learned not only about the technical tools, but the process. He also pointed this out as an example of the powerful personal learning that blogs can offer.
Unfortunately, I can’t apply to the screencast on Google Analytics for NTEN I’ve been struggling with and should be editing right now because the deadline looms …. Deadlines and learning your craft in an experimental medium are definitely NOT compatible ..!
So, what I did was to fall back on the approach I’ve used in the past — what I loosely call the documentary/instructional movie approach. (See my tagging and widget screencasts also sponsored by NTEN)
For the Google Analytics screencast for NTEN, I did not bring any domain expertise to the topic! Perhaps that was my first mistake. Do you stick to your comfort zone and only make screencasts on the topics that you know like the back of your hand or do you stretch and venture into a topic or software that is not only new territory but may be difficult to learn?
So, my screencast making was also a method for learning, although it very very slow — especially when you are vertical monopoly on your screencast -- director, producer, script writer, researcher, narrator, set designer, etc. I had to do a lot of background reading and interviewing. But, I blogged all my research notes. http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/google/index.html
That of course, led to readers posting comments and more insights and even connected me with Avinash Kaushik who I interviewed in Ready/Talk and recorded it - using the recording for note taking as the wmv file is not standard and could not be successfully edited in Camtasia. And, of course, at the time, my account did not have access to the stats due server maintenance and had to look at the stats via desktop sharing which precluded my local camtasia capture. Argh ...
This post has given me some great insights about my approach to this genre vis a vis technical and creative possibilities and a clearer idea of how to experiment (successfully) in the future. Thank you Jon Udell!