First Foray Making Screencasts

First Foray Making Screencasts March 4th, 2014, by Matthew Setter

Recently, I was invited by Thomas Snow at Learnable, to start making video training content, i.e., screencasts.

Recently, I was invited by Thomas Snow at Learnable, to start making video training content, i.e., screencasts.

To say the least I was very excited and jumped at the chance to do so. Catch is, I’ve only ever made a few videos before, and I never thought they were too good.

The Blue Yeti Pro

Getting Started Simply

What’s the solution? Well, as people often say, starting at the very beginning, is a very good place to start. So, that’s what I’ve done.

Another tip I was given, was to keep it as simple as possible. This way, you don’t overwhelm yourself, whether through overly-high expectations or the amount of work required to get the first job done.

Follow this advice, I created a new channel on Vimeo, called the 60 Second App Snapshot. The name says it all. Each video lasts 60 second, and shows users how to use 1 feature of an application. No more, no less.

I figure that if it’s no longer than a minute, I’m forced to strip out anything which isn’t necessary, and focus on just one, simple, feature.

By doing so, I don’t need to spend a lot of time on preparation, planning, recording, and post-production. Given this, I can then make a number of them quite quickly, and learning rapidly.

Compare this with attempting to start with 5 – 10 minute screencasts. There’s a lot more content and work involved. As a result, I see disillusionment creeping in quite quickly, potentially, leading to me throwing in the towel when I’ve barely begun.

I’m not expecting to become a master overnight however. When I first started blogging, it was a slow process, and I wondered how anyone could feasibly make a living from doing so.

Now, I can belt out 1 – 2,000 words in about an hour, without even raising a sweat.

What Will Be Covered

The first couple of screencasts will be looking at different features of SourceTree (on the Mac). Reason being is that it’s a great app and really simple to use. I’m starting there focusing on an app which I know really well.

Assuming all goes well, and I get a good process in place, and can make the screencasts quite quickly, I’ll be including other apps which I’m proficient with, such as PhpStorm and Cornerstone, and Sublime Text 2.

For the time being, I’m sticking to software development apps. But this may change in the future.

Do You Screencast?

If you’re also making screencasts, what’s your tips? What was it like for you when you first started? I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments.


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