Book Review: The YouTube Marketing Book

A number of podcasts I listen to featured James Wedmore talk about better marketing through YouTube. Because of these discussions, I was interested in learning more so I was happy to find his book, The YouTube Marketing Book*. Wedmore has managed to develop a rather lucrative business creating, distributing, and marketing YouTube videos. Because I want to better help small business owners use social media to include video, I had to find out more.  While this was not the best book I had read on producing videos, this book did provide a lot good information about marketing YouTube videos and I recommend it to others. Read more

Book Review: Smart Social Media – Your Guide to Becoming a Highly Paid Social Media Manager

Just getting my new business off the ground, I thought I could benefit from all the advice I could get.  Lasse Rouhiainen’s book, Smart Social Media: Your Guide To Becoming A Highly Paid Social Media Manager*, proved to have some gems hidden in it. I will capitalize on his advice as I develop a business to help others figure out how to leverage social media. Read more

Evolution – Accessibility Update

One of the more important presentations given at the 2013 University of Wyoming Evolution Conference was by members of the University Disability Support Services (UDSS)staff. Chris Primus, Casey Wood, and Brynn Elliott talked about the importance of making digital resources accessible. They stressed the importance of planning for accessible resources before they were needed. They focused on four areas: video captioning, Universal Design for Learning, disabilities support statement for syllabi, and PDF documents. Read more

Tool Review: Sizer

This will be my first tool review as part of Jane Hart’s 10 Tool Challenge. This tool is called Sizer.

Very simply, Sizer resizes a computer window to the dimensions that you previously specify. This is important if you are doing screencasts or screen captures, and you want all windows to be the same size.

Yesterday, I wrote a little bit about the importance of setting your screen for 16:9 dimensions. 16:9 is the video size that YouTube prefers.

Sizer is a Windows program and can be downloaded from http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/. Once you install the program and run it, it will sit in your toolbar.

Sizer in toolbar
Sizer in toolbar

Configure Sizer

If you have specific screen sizes that you wish to use, you will want to configure those dimensions into Sizer before using it. Adding dimensions is pretty straight forward, here are the steps.

1. Right click on the Sizer icon in the tool bar.

2. Select Configure Sizer…

Configure Sizer
Configure Sizer

3. Click on the Add button, select the new configuration and edit its parameters.

Sizer Configuration Window
Sizer Configuration Window

In this example, I will set the window to 200X300.

Sizer Configuration Window
Sizer Configuration Window

You have a number of options to set, and the Sizer User Guide can better explain the settings.

4. Once new configuration has been added, close the window by selecting the OK button.

You are now ready to use Sizer. If you want to set a screen size for screencasting, you will want to create a dimension for 960X540.

Using Sizer

Sizer is tremendously easy to use. First, it must be running, and this can be verified by an icon in the tool bar. Here are the steps:

1. Open a program, and right click on the lower right corner of the program when the cursor changes to a double arrow. Basically, you are in a condition to resize your window manually.

Resizing a window
Resizing a window

2. Select your desired dimensions.

Select Sizer Dimensions
Select Sizer Dimensions

The window will now resize to the dimensions that you have chosen, and you can begin your screencast or image capture. Important note: the program itself must allow for the specific dimensions. In the example above, the program Skitch will not allow for resizing to 200X300.

If you are looking for consistency, this is a nice program to add to your arsenal. Does anyone know about a good resizing tool for Macs?

This tool will do wonders for my screencasting in the future. I hope it is useful for you.

 

Optimizing your videos and screencasts for YouTube

Over the past couple of days, I finished reading a a series of booklets from Partha Bhattacharya, founder of HubSkills. This series included:

  1. Step-by-Step Guide To Start E-Learning Website In WordPress With Free Tools
  2. How To Boost YouTube Video Views Dramatically With Free Tools
  3. Create Amazing Clip Art Animation Video In PowerPoint
  4. How to Create Crisp-n-Clear Training Video In Simple Steps

Bhattacharya provides a lot of great tips through this series. Here are some of the takeaways I had regarding creating better training videos for YouTube:

1. Create all elements with a 16:9 setting. For example, when creating a screencast, set the window size to 960X540 pixels. Bhattacharya recommends a great little tool called Sizer to do this.You can pick up Sizer at http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/. This tip was certainly worth picking up his book.

2. The next great piece of advice was to record PowerPoint presentations at 16:9. Here is a short video for doing that:

When all elements are set to 16:9, they can be packaged together in a more professional manner. I will certainly be following his advice for my upcoming productions.

Learning how to capture your screen

Jeff Miller talks about screen capturing
Jeff Miller talks about screen capturing

Jeff Miller starts day four of the University of Wyoming Technology Bootcamp with a presentation on Video Production and screen capture.

Video production and screen capture have much in common in terms of their ability to engage students. What advantages do they present? Ho might they be used? What options are there for faculty who are interested?

Jeff started out his presentation talking about the history of video production for Outreach. Video production is about recorded of moving images; it can be called screen capture, web cam, streaming video, animation, etc. He showed off a quick video of a screencast showing how to embed a YouTube video into an eCompanion course shell.

Video resources can be found everywhere, and can be used in your courses.

Jeff shared a couple of great quotes talking about the importance of video in instruction. One of the the quotes was from 1941. Video is visual, it has narrative, portable, flexible, and conserve classroom time.

Jeff recommend keeping video short and modular so that you add and delete videos based on your needs. By flipping instruction, your presentations will be shorter and gives you more time in the classroom for interaction. Some things can be explained better with video. Videos can be enhanced with panning, zooming, and mark up. Great tool for showing a process, and emailing to a student.

With a Web cam, you can connect with your students, record the session, and share it back out. Lecture capture is another great idea for using video capture. Lesson feedback, students projects, and other possibilities are great use of video.

At one time, you needed others to help create a video. It is now easy enough to do yourself.

For the University of Wyoming, we have some WyoCast rooms to capture lectures. Students use lecture captures as a review, it is very useful for athletes who may miss class. You can also use a video recorder to capture your course.

It is possible to screen films through Swank at a cost.

Final word, video is easy and useful.