[Off Topic – 4th of July Bonus] Freedom Resistance Cooperation – What I Valued From SERE School

July 4, 2012

This is an off-topic post. I wanted to take just a couple of minutes to wish you a happy fourth of July / Independence Day celebration and to also share a few of my thoughts about the values I reflect upon on a day like today: freedom, resistance, and cooperation.

SEREIn the video, you’ll hear me mention having spent some time inside a mock prisoner of war camp. This reference is to the military’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) program. A few friends and I had the pleasure of “vacationing” there for a week a number of years ago as part of our naval aviation training program.

But, the gist of the story is that, it is at SERE is where some of my strongest memories about the themes of freedom, resistance and cooperation were formed. And, while the idea of freedom is a value we each share with each other in the U.S., as is the notion that our payment of it is rooted in resistance, it is the point of cooperation — a value that I think is just as important in the ideals of independence — that I regret seems sorely missing in the state of our nation today.

My hope for today is simple: I’m glad that freedom is valued in all corners of our society. I’m encouraged that we celebrate the active resistance that sparked the embers of our independence. And, though others governing our nation today seem to have lost the spirit of cooperation, my hope is that it isn’t lost at the grassroots level — where the rubber meets the road — where you and I — my friends — live.

Freedom, resistance, cooperation: I wish you a happy day of celebrating our nation’s independence.

Beyond YouTube 101 – Eight Factors To Juice Your Viewer-Influence

Gawd!  Fifteen minutes isn’t a lot time.  (Especially when you put me at the front of a room with about 100 attendees and then put a microphone in my hand.)  🙂  But, fifteen tiny little minutes is what each of us speakers had at last Friday’s Social Media Day event here in Orange County (#SMDAYOC).

Check out the video above; I was speaking a tad faster than I really wanted.  (Though my wife would suggest, “Eh, that’s about par…”)  But, while I had to abbreviate the topics quite a bit, I did manage to get the high level descriptions out, as well as giving the attendees a few actionable takeaways for YouTube videos that relate to each of the six psychological factors of persuasion:  Social Proof, Reciprocity, Like-ability, Commitment & Consistency, Authority and Scarcity.

In fact, I even managed to squeak-in a couple of important additions to include the role of  Truth and Transparency.

Related posts:

Download the Mindmap Presentation and MP3 Audio File

If you’re reading this post before 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012, then there should be a “sticky post” at the top of the main page that includes a link to an “attendees only ‘secret’ page” that will let you download the interactive mindmap presentation.

But, I’ll be taking the sticky post down after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.  So, if you’re hitting this post after that cut-off, then just head over to the downloads page (after the free subscribe page) and you’ll not only be able to download the mindmap I use in the presentation, but you’ll also be able to download the MP3 audio file, as well as the transcript of the presentation.

Are the Six Factors Exploitative?

Otherwise, what do you think about me championing those six factors of psychological persuasion?  Am I being naive?  Do they have potential to open us up for exploitation?

Social Media Day Orange County – #SMDAYOC

June 29, 2012

Hey!  This is an open letter to all my friends — as well as new friends whom I will meet (have met?) today at Social Media Day OC 2012.  As of this writing, I’m looking forward to personally meeting a lot of you today.  I am presenting a session topic; I am typically asked if my presentation will be available for download.  Short answer: yes.  Scroll further for a little info about the materials for my session topic today.

And, feel free to find out more about me and connect.

What’s Social Media Day About?


If this is your first time here and your first time hearing about Social Media Day, it is, in a nutshell an annual global event (as declared and ground swelled by Mashable) to recognize “the digital revolution that’s happening right before our eyes.”

Now, whether or not you think social media is still the revolution a lot of folks say it is (I mean, how long does a revolution last anyway? ‘Seems like we’ve been revolutionizing for at least half a decade now, right?), there will in any case be a lot of folks gathering to discuss, learn and share stories about social media and their experiences with it in business and local communities.  I, for one, am looking forward to hearing from friends about novel ways in which they’re seeing social media being used for social good and humanitarian efforts around the world.  (Please share some of your experiences about that in the comments below.)

Presentation Icon Session Topic: Beyond YouTube 101 – Eight Factors To Juice Your Viewer-Influence

My contribution today will be to host a session topic:   I’ve agreed to speak on the topic of web video and YouTube.  But, rather than hit points about YouTube 101 basics, the topic I’ll be addressing in my 4:15 p.m. (PST) session today will be: Beyond YouTube 101: 8 Factors to Juice Your Viewer-Influence.

For my session attendees, I’ll post a link to my presentation as a sticky post at the top of this page.  There won’t be a need to signup or subscribe; just go up there and get it.  But, make sure you get it before midnight Sunday morning 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 3rd, if you don’t want any strings attached because I’ll be taking the banner down after Social Media Day (global) ends.  After that, it — along with some additional related downloads — will be available for  ScreencastingWizard subscribers in the download area.  It’ll still be free, it’s just that you’ll have to subscribe to get it after Saturday night.  Fair enough?

Okay.  That’s it for now.  If you’re in the vicinity of Orange County, California today and are planning on attending Social Media Day OC, please make sure and find me and say hi!  I love taking relationships from the URL sphere to the IRL venues.

Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio 8 – Now Truly The Rockstar In Video Screen Capture for Windows

June 19, 2012

Mel Rank - Camtasia Studio 8In Episode 3 of the Best Video Screen Capture Software Series, I had given Camtasia Studio an overall “Mel Rank” of 3.5 out of 5.  The Mel Rank is my subjective assessment of 4 advanced features that I used as a baseline to compare the professional-level capabilities of several video screen capture software packages.  (i.e., Camtasia Studio, Camtasia Macintosh, Screenflow, Jing/Snagit, Screenr, CamStudio.)

Curiously, even with  a middling score of 3.5, Camtasia Studio (v7) was still the 400 200 pound gorilla for Windows-based video screen capture software packages.  At that time, if you wanted video screen capture software that ranked all 5s, you had to shift to a Macintosh environment — opting instead for Techsmith’s Camtasia for Macintosh (Mel Rank: 5.0) or Telestream’s Screenflow (Mel Rank: 5.0).

That’s no longer the case.  The proverbial gorilla is now about 400 pounds. 🙂

Camtasia Studio 8 Delivers The Sought-After Pro Features

With today’s release of Camtasia Studio 8, Techsmith has finally stepped up the ability of Camtasia Studio to deliver the pro-level features in their Windows flagship that many of us in the industry have been clamoring for for years.  Don’t get me wrong, the old Camtasia Studio (v7) was fine for the basics — and indeed was awesome when it was first released.  But, over time, I think the expectations in the industry for similar features on the Windows platform was raised after seeing what else was possible in Mac-based software environments.  Not the least of which were features like:

  • The ability to dress up the cursor with different effects (Mel Rank: 5.0)
  • The ability to have multiple video tracks (Mel Rank: 5.0)
  • The ability to have multiple audio tracks (Mel Rank: 5.0)
  • The ability to animate callouts/annotations — including the ability to animate pixelation (blurring) effects (Mel Rank: 5.0)

(See why the effects above are important in video screen capture software.)

camtasia studio 8 sneak peek

Above is a link to a video of the sneak peek meeting Techsmith hosted last week with past interviewees of Techsmith’s weekly online program, The Forge.  Some of the key highlights include:

  • 00: 55 – Overview by Shane Lovellette, Product Manager
  • 2:39 – Demo reel
  • 4:55 – Dave O’rourke, Camtasia Studio Lead Developer’s key highlights overview — especially with discussions about the new Techsmith codec
  • 9:15 – Multiple video and audio tracks
  • 10:00 – The ease with which layering and animating other videos is now managed
  • 11:00 – Changes made to the library
  • 12:15 – Upgrades made to the ability to now animate callouts across all three axes (x-, y- and z-axes)
  • 17:10 – Grouping! This is huge, it gives the ability for you to bundle multiple clips and animate them in unison, for example
  • 19:00 – Produce and share options – including HTML5 support (so you can play your productions on iDevices)

With Camtasia Studio 8, Techsmith has definitely solidified their lead in Windows-based video screen capture software.  (And that’s without saying anything yet about today’s simultaneous release of v2.2 of their Macintosh-based Camtasia product.  [Expect a review of those features this week, as well.])  In fact, there are no other video screen capture/editor software packages in the market for Windows that I’m aware of that are even trying to seriously compete.  Check me on that: Are you aware of any?

For my part, I’m just totally tickled that everything I’ve oggled about in the Camtasia for Macintosh environment, you can now do in the Windows environment.  I recommend giving it a shot – try the 30-day free trial.  Then, let me know what you think.

6 Things That Helps You To Influence Me

How Do You Filter For Relevant Content Online?

During my panel session at the Orange County Social Media Summit, I shared some thoughts with the audience about social influence.  I was responding to a question about what tools those of us on the panel might recommend for filtering relevant content in the stream of information — and noise — that scrolls by in our various online networks.

I was confident that the other guys on the panel had some very useful suggestions for apps and software.  (In fact, they did… a few of which I want to try myself.)  But, for my part, rather than chime in with yet another software recommendation, I wanted to suggest a more human-centric filter.  Specifically, you and me.

We Are Part Of the Solution to Information Overload

We — you and I — could just as well be part of the solution for filtering and managing information overload.

In a previous post (ref: 6 factors of social influence – why you should fight for them) I wrote about why trust and transparency are such important qualities in nurturing our ability to have positive influence upon others — while also allowing others in our network to have positive influence upon us.

That’s a tall order; it implies you and I relinquishing a bit of control to others.  Hence the trust factor.

My point in my response on the panel was to suggest that we (i.e., the audience, you, me) can very well be a filter of information for each other–but we have to also evaluate each other’s trustworthiness in living up to 6 important factors contributing to influence or persuasion.

When you consider the volume of information that you and I wade through every day, it’s hard to fathom how it would be possible to verify the reliability of much of that information on our own.

My suggestion?  We can’t.  And that’s why I have to rely on your ability to influence me with information you filter for me.  (And, me – you.)

Let Me Influence You and I’ll Let You Influence Me

We do this for each other via the things we “Like,” “Retweet,” or otherwise share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other networks.  Then, if trust is present — and if I, for example, allow you to influence me (because I trust you), then I’d be inclined to take at face value that the thing you shared with me is reasonably valid.  In other words, I can take a social short cut and forego having to take the time to research the truth in that thing you shared because I’ve decided to trust you to influence me in this way.

But, in the process of us trusting each other enough to allow us to influence each other, it behooves us to first evaluate the other’s trustworthiness according to 6 characteristics:  reciprocity, consistency, social proof, like-ability, authority and scarcity.  I explain each of those characteristics in the video above.

After hearing what I have to say in the video, take a quick scan, too, of the highlights in my previous post about influence and the need to retaliate — yeah, I said retaliate — when I break your trust — and when you break mine.

Then let me know what you think.  Do these manifestos make sense in the context of our focus on creating relevant and trustworthy content for those who consume our content?

(Ep. 6) Best Screen Capture Software Comparison Series – CamStudio vs. Screenr

This is the last episode in the Best Video Screen Capture Software Series.

If you’re just jumping into this series, then you’ll want to start with Episode 1: Six of the Best Screen Capture Software – Compared.  You’ll also want to subscribe to my updates on this blog so you get notified when new updates come online.

In this episode:  My recommendations about CamStudio and Screenr for video screen capture

Here’s the high level:

Two questions I get asked a lot is “…which video screen capture software do you recommend…?”  The other one is, “…are there any free software you’d recommend for recording my computer screen…?”  I answer both questions in this video.

Here’s the summary:

  • Screenr – for free video screen capture software to record Q&D-type (“quick-and-dirty”) screencasts
  • Camtasia Studio – for professional grade video screen capture software if you’re using a PC platform
  • Camtasia Mac or Screenflow – for professional grade video screen capture software if you’re using a Macintosh platform
  • Snagit – for capturing the occasional (and highly frequently used) stills on your computer screen

Related episodes:

Update: Best Screen Capture Software Series – Camtasia Mac v2.1 Now Sports a Chroma Key Effect

Camtasia Mac v2.1 - see what's newIn Episode 2 (Camtasia Mac) of the Best Screen Capture Software Series, I showed you some of the nifty features that earned Camtasia for Macintosh a Mel Rank of 5 out of 5 for professional grade video screen capture software tools.  With this week’s version 2.1 update, they (the cool kids at Techsmith) have kicked it up a notch.  Among other tweaks and updates, they’ve added the following features:

  • Remove a color (similar to chroma-key / green screen effect in video editors).  This effect lets you superimpose a live action video subject onto your screencasts.  This feature is huge.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t seen this feature in any other video screen capture software — including Camtasia’s PC cousine, Camtasia Studio, nor Techsmith’s closest rival, Telestream’s Screenflow.  Traditionally, this effect has been limited to the realm of video editors (i.e., iMovie, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, etc.) … then again, I’ve maintained that Camtasia for Macintosh is, in my opinion, pretty well a different animal entirely from its PC-based cousin.  Cam-Mac straddles a nice little sweet spot between video screen capture and video editor that few other video screen capture software programs have matched.  (One exception I’d say is Telestream’s Screenflow.  But, this update, plus my assessment in Episode 4: Screenflow, highlight the lead that Techsmith continues to gap ahead of Telestream.)

  • Clip speed effect.  Finally!  The addition of this effect in v2.1 I think adds one of the features that has lagged behind Camtasia’s PC-based cousin and Telestream’s Screenflow.  In fact, when I produced the Mindmap Evolution: “Group Think” video, I had to revert back to Camtasia Studio (the PC version) because it had the clip speed effect, whereas Camtasia Mac was still working on incorporating it.  But, now there’s no need.  I can take care of all that inside Camtasia Mac without having to splice-in video rendered via other programs.

The Bottom Line

If you work off of a Macintosh, and are hunting for a robust and very capable video screen capture software program, you’ll do very well to check out Camtasia for Macintosh.