Posts Tagged ‘Common Craft’

Social Bookmarking Explained (CommonCraft)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

CommonCraft has just launched a new ‘Plain English’ video, this time tackling the concept of social bookmarking.

(via Mashable!)

Sketchcasting – a Whiteboard on your Blog

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

I think Richard Ziade may be on to something with Sketchcasting (via Search Engine Guide). He’s absolutely right about traditional blogging being a lot of work both for the writer and reader. Podcasting, as an alternative, still relies on your ability to express in words what might best be shown on a whiteboard. Video blogging is inherently visual, but is still focused on dialogue.

How many time have you begun to explain some web concept or idea to a room full of people and finally had to stand up and draw it on the wall to make it stick?

Sketchcasting may prove to be a mighty tool in the web strategist toolbox – but won’t replace blogging any more than podcasting has. I can see myself embedding Sketchcasts within blog posts to illustrate a concept or process, etc. but not using them exclusively.

I am immediately reminded of the InPlainEnglish video series from Common Craft that I’ve mentioned here before. The accessibility, conceptually, of drawings far outweighs that of lengthy text explanations. Sketchcasts are also portable (like the Common Craft videos) so that you can distribute them anywhere you need to – and they just might drive some traffic!

Outside of web strategists trying to explain social media or RSS, there are applications for bloggers of any kind.

I’m curious what technology Richard is using and what the gear investment might be, but I suspect it’s cheaper than Scoble’s camera.

What is Web 2.0?

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Gee, have we seen that question before? As tired as many of us are of talking about it, one cannot talk about web strategy in 2007 without making some attempt at defining the concept of Web 2.0. Andi Gutmans (via Frank Gruber) make a good attempt in a video recently, but still relies too heavily on industry acronyms and buzzwords like RIA, SOA, AJAX, etc. A product manager or marketing exec should not need to understand these terms in order to be comfortable talking about Web2.0. But Andi’s video is still worth watching because the stuff in between the buzzwords is great.

When I need to explain three of the key Web2.0 concepts to folks, I often turn to the ‘In Plain English’ videos produced by Common Craft. Their videos on RSS, wikis, and social networking are extremely accessible for people with very little web technical knowledge. The folks at Common Craft have a real talent for explaining these concepts quickly and in, well, plain English. Unfortunately, they don’t help us define Web2.0 itself.

Of course, there are thousands of definitions of Web 2.0 littered throughout the web – including Wikipedia’s lengthy article. Many of them however are not accessible to people who don’t already ‘get’ the web. So let me take a swing at it.

Web2.0 is an evolution of web technology that allows the web to become a conversation. If Web1.0 represented the information revolution, Web2.0 represents collaboration revolution. It allows, and encourages, the audience to become the content.

So… that’s my definition. Over-simplified? Perhaps, but it passes my test of accessibility to folks who may be having trouble just catching up to Web1.0.

What is your definition of Web2.0?