6 Of the Best Screen Capture Software – Compared (Ep. 1)

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In 5 (plus 5 more!) Tools For Creating a Screencast I listed 10 screen capture software programs you can use for video screen captures and online presentations.  But one thing we didn’t do in that article was compare them against each other.  Let’s fix that, shall we?

With this article, I’m kicking off a series that I’ve wanted to do for a while.  It answers a question I get a lot:  what’s the best screen capture software to use?  (The other one I get is, what’s the best free screen capture software?  I don’t know that we’ll necessarily set out to answer this latter one, but I will be reviewing a couple of freebies–or near freebies.)

So, over a 7-part series (beginning with this one), I’ll go on to compare 6 popular screen capture software programs.  In the video above, I list the criteria we’ll be using as benchmarks for the comparison.

Let me know if there are other criteria or features you think are worth comparing.

YouTube – More Than Just a Place to Host Videos

Is YouTube appropriate for screencasts? Absolutely.

ScreencastingWizard - YouTube ChannelIn fact, since YouTube changed the design of their network in December 2011, I’ve been paying more and more attention to it as a community worthy of more than simply being “a place to host videos.” In fact, “how to” videos are very well received on YouTube.  And that’s precisely the kind of topic that screencasts and presentation-type web videos are ideally suited for.

Unfortunately, YouTube as “…the second largest search engine in the world….” has become a phrase that may now have been uttered so much that the implications of that phrase almost doesn’t even resonate with most folks anymore.

A couple of years back, I did a presentation that showed the results of a short-duration experiment I did to test the meaning of that phrase.  [Reference: YouTube – The Second Largest Search Engine In the World – So What?].  (I saved you the preamble.  The embedded video fast-forwards to the key part, which is at about the 3:15 point in the video.  From there it’s less than 2 minutes long.)

YouTube Is More Than Just “A Place to Host Videos”

So, if you’ve let YouTube slide for a while, I’d like to encourage you to revisit it. Consider integrating it as a regular part of your online presentations and course delivery.

Even if you create proprietary content and deliver many of your courses behind a members’ only area, it might be worth revisiting YouTube as a community that can help give more visibility to your proprietary content and digital know-how.

SMMOC Highlights and Mindmap – February 11, 2012

smmoc whiteboard notes

On the heels of last week’s SMMOC meetup, today’s discussion topics were no less charged.  I have to hand it to the always awesome Bob Watson for keeping our herd of cats well-facilitated.

There was lots of interest in “fringe” topics like machine learning (thanks Eric Stegemann!), voice recognition and implications for privacy, as well as some grounded gadget and business/marketing discussions related to: Pinterest, iPad3, FourSquare (thanks John Chow!) and Siri.

But!  Today’s SMMOC discussion was also filled with a bit of controversy.  (What do you think about Pinterest?)

Pinterest controversy and more discussions at the SMMOC meetup on February 11, 2012[Stay current. Subscribe to the updates.]

Click the interactive mindmap above.  Then, expand the mindmap branches under Shiny Gadgets and then Pinterest.  There you’ll see some of the notes I took about a bit of controversy in discussions that ensued around the growing social pinning site, Pinterest.  Specifically, there seemed to be some differences in thought about the approach Pinterest has taken in monetizing their social network.

Should Pinterest Disclose Their Skimlinks Relationship?

Most–if not all of us–I think, didn’t seem to be opposed to the idea of Pinterest choosing to monetize user activity and user content (we all have to put food on the table, after all).  Rather, the controversy seemed to revolve around the degree to which they have been transparent (or not) about using skimlinking (I know, that’s a new term for me, too – thanks Daniela Bolzmann!) to attach affiliate marketing links to certain content that can be affiliated.

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Some in our group thought it was perfectly fine.  “It’s their site, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to use them.”

Others of us seemed to believe that disclosure was necessary if only to maintain transparency and user trust.

I went a little further.

When someone suggested that Pinterest may be modifying affiliate links posted by some users who have affiliate marketing relationships to offsite vendors (note: it’s not clear to me that this is, in fact, happening), I suggested that I would consider that practice to be unethical.  This raised a vocal objection from my friend Steve Zengy.  Which brought on a lively debate in the meeting.

My love of debates notwithstanding.  Let me ask ya, what do you think about the whole Pinterest approach to monetization?

You should join our meeting sometime

I’m tellin’ ya.  If you’re anywhere near the Orange County, CA area on any given Saturday morning, you should drop by and join us.  Except for bringing a measure of enthusiasm and interest, attendance is otherwise free.

If you do decide to join us, please let me know.  I’d love to say hi in person.  In the meantime, here’s the link:  www.SMMOC.com