Brian Mathews, The Ubiquitous Librarian, is at it again, this time exploring the idea of creating a collection of screencasts housed on YouTube, instead of on the library site. What I really like about the work that Brian does is that he really spends some time figuring out how a given site can be used to the library's advantage. Me? I'm a grazer. I've got some videos of my kids on YouTube, but I only spent enough time on the site to figure out how to post them and then I was off to something else. Brian built a page on YouTube to house his Mechanical Engineering screencasts, and it allows comments and subscriptions and some additional social networking opportunities.
Will it be more heavily used than if he'd housed the screencasts on the library site? Time will tell. Is the video quality substandard to what he would've gotten had he housed them on the library site? Yes, but as Brian notes, "The screens look fuzzy on YouTube; I had to rely on the Zoom feature to make these readable. I know a lot of folks (library people) might complain that the screens don't look perfect, but I'm ok with that. I'd rather sacrifice a little quality in order to build the concept." He also predicts, "The technology is only going to improve. Eventually we will have crystal clear online videos, but don't wait until then." And I like that attitude too, of course :-)
One issue that I have with YouTube, besides the current low resolution, is that my campus throttles access to the site. Or something. I can't just click to watch Brian's screencast; I have to wait for almost the entire thing to buffer before it's watchable by me on campus. From home it streams right away, so maybe this is a rare instance in which the distance students will have a technological advantage over the on-campus folks.
Technorati Tags: Screencasting, YouTube