Screencast as storytelling tool, #followwomenjournas video

Events that take place completely online can be captured using programs that record what you see on your screen. Those recordings are called screencasts. You might have run across them as video tutorials or promotional videos, but they can also be used to tell a story.

I used screenr to create this “screencast story” that explains the role my blog post played in the #followwomenjournas “hashtag movement” sparked by a @Mediabistro tweet.

Once the video is playing, make sure to click on the “View in HD” link to watch it in the same size it was recorded.

I would love to see something like this done by someone with experience creating quality screencasts. I must have violated every best practice out there. Pleas feel free to share any tips in the comments below.

Here are a few other takes on the birth of the #followwomenjournas hashtag:

Video URLs, Dipity make it easy to create CNN tech timeline

If you bookmark videos from sites like YouTube or Vimeo, you can turn those links into a timeline by simply pasting them into Dipity.

Mark S. Luckie compiled 9 landmark moments in CNN technology. In true 10,000 Words fashion, almost every moment included a video. With my last blog post still fresh in my mind, I immediately wondered how the CNN moments might work as a timeline.

Dipity Edit Event screenDipity made the process easy. I created a new timeline and added a new event for each of the CNN landmarks.

As I created each item, I pasted the address of the corresponding video into the clearly-marked “Video URL” field. I completed each entry by copying and pasting the summaries from Luckie’s original post.

For the few items that didn’t have videos, I simply added the URL of the corresponding images in the post.

Here, with permission from Luckie, is the final product. A visual timeline created by pasting in 9 almighty links:

How to turn on TweetDeck’s URL preview feature

In a recent post, visitor yael asked how to get TweetDeck to show previews of shortened URLs. Sounds like a great opportunity to try out some screencasting software, so here are 16 seconds of video to answer yael’s question:

Oh, and a quick answer to yael’s other question: TweetDeck’s most recent version is “v0.26.2” and can be downloaded at http://tweetdeck.com/beta/.

Why should you care about previewing shortened URLs? Take a look at these links:

More tools to lengthen tiny URLs

To accompany Sunday’s look at Twitter tools that unmask shortened URLs, here are some utilities that reveal the true destination of shortened URLs outside of Twitter.

I’ve shortened five URLs, including one YouTube link, with the five URL shorteners that were used the most in tweets within last 24 hours.

And here are screenshots of how six tools expanded the links

LongURL Mobile Exander

This Firefox plugin displays a long URL after holding your mouse over a shortened address for a few seconds.

LongURL Mobile Exander

TheRealURL

The other tools I tried all require you to visit their site and paste a short URL into a form. Each tool returned exactly what I expected: the lengthened URL.

TheRealURL expansion preview

PrevURL

PrevURL preview

Untiny

Untiny preview

ExpandMyURL.com

ExpandMyURL preview

url snoop

url snoop preview

LongURL

This service provided the title of the destination page, a screenshot, and meta information — much more detail than the other tools:

LongURL.org preview

Here are some tools that I did not try out:

  • Long URL Please unfortunately did not work with my post, although I’ve used it successfully for other pages.
  • TinyURL Decoder is a Greasemonkey script, which is a bit more techie than I want to get here.
  • Previewlink.org is an experimental Firefox plugin.

If you want to have fun, try out the aptly named hugeURL and SoCuteUrl.com.

To explore more URL lengtheners, bookmark my growing Delicious collection.