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Gil, Bill and I are working to develop screencasts to help teach members how to make the most of Wikia. Your ideas and suggestions are welcome here.

Suggestions on Table of Contents for Video TourEdit

[see article for final TOC and links]

  1. Overview/Introduction which states who you are and your objective for this help series
  2. How to register (and why)
  3. How to get help
  4. How to create a page, how to use create a format (boldface, itals), how to insert an image
  5. How to create an internal link
  6. How to create an interwiki link
  7. How to create an external link
  8. How to create headings and subheadings
  9. How to make bullet points, numbered lists, indents
  10. How to create and use discussion pages

Suggestions on specific screencastsEdit

1. Introduction

2. How to register
3. How to get help



4. How to create and edit a page

  • I'm going to redo this whole thing to tighten it up. Any other suggestions?

5. How to create an internal link



6. How to create interwiki links



7. How to create external links



8. How to create headings and subheadings
9. How to make bullet points, numbered lists, indents
10. How to create and use discussion pages
11. How to create audio indices and notes on recordings from the Craigslist Foundation Non-profit Boot Camp



General suggestionsEdit

  • Find a way to go full screen
Try Google video?
I just did, and the video was scrunched, as it was on youtube, but not on bliptv. I reported the problems to BB Flashback tech support. Leo|Talk 13:52, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
FYI - I uploaded a large video file (25MB) to YouTube and had no playback issues. -- BillK (talk) 19:24, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I think it might have to do with compatibility among BBFlashback, youtube, and google, but have yet to hear back from their tech support people. Here's another Flashback screencast on Google that seems to have the same problem. Leo
  • Can the videos stream full screen from Wikia servers?
The cost of hosting and streaming makes this unlikely. In the short term, post a link to the video. In the long term, we may be able to embed videos. This has been added to the product roadmap but is not high priority right now. -- BillK (talk) 07:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • At the beginning of each video spend 10 seconds connecting this video to the last one ("in our last video we looked at how to a,b and c), introduce the current video ("this video will accomplish d, e and f"), and mention that it is part of a series of videos aimed at explaining Wikia. That way, if someone gets forwarded a link to the video, you've managed their expectations and let them know more help is available. -- BillK (talk) 18:21, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Not sure if you have access to a Mac. A suggestion was made to try Apple's Snapz Pro as it is a high quality video capture resident on Macs. -- BillK (talk) 16:59, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry to say that I am Macless. Leo 04:12, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Do others have suggestions for quality video capture programs?
  • Smile while you do the videos. People can hear a smile.
  • This is great stuff! BillK (talk) 07:54, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
  • These videos are fantastic! just what's needed. I would probably make changes to the third to give more routes of getting help (IRC, mail community support, talk pages), but other than that, they are perfect. -- sannse (talk) 19:30, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Lisa, I revised the Help video - did I get what you wanted? Thanks; Leo 05:41, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
That's great, yes I think it helps to have those things included. Thanks -- sannse (talk) 17:30, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Technical notesEdit

  • Special thanks to Tara Hunt for suggesting that I purchase BB Flashback Express from Donation Coder. It's among the highest-rated screencast programs, and cost me only $20 after a small donation. Leo|Talk 12:50, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Been having trouble uploading to youtube. It looks like the whole file is uploading (it takes long enough) but when the upload is complete, it gets scrunched. A three-minute video played in 3 seconds. I saw the whole screencast, but it ran like it was on fast forward. The audio played at normal speed, but cut off at 3 seconds. Happened to me thrice. Here's the latest attempt, which should have run for 1:28, but was cut to 0:03.
Although this clip is only a few seconds long, I did get it to go to full screen mode. It is fairly pixelated and choppy but recognizeable. Perhaps the compression being used is decreasing quality. -- BillK (talk) 16:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Had better luck with blip.tv, but can't view the screencast in full screen. Also, "Editing 01" played back fine the first time, then for some reason lost audio. I tried to replace it, but the replacement had no audio as well. So I deleted the video and created a new upload. Worked fine this time. I emailed blip.tv about screen size, and also asked another user for tips.
  • Google test (scrunched, as with youtube). Left a message for tech support.
As with YouTube, I looked at it briefly in full screen mode. Not great but recognizeable. -- BillK (talk) 16:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Google suggested that I convert the file to MPEG2 or MPEG4 (preferred). I downloaded evaluation copies of four converters. Hero crashed, Xilisoft produced a corrupt file, 4U and Alive worked, but full screen in Google is about as bad as in AOL.
  • AOL revised test.
On AOL, it appears that "fuller screen" is a pop up window of a larger size (not necessarily full screen). While certainly bigger, the quality of the picture is quite low and pixelated on my screen. I've checked this on two other computers (1 Mac and 1 high res PC) and the results are similar. The page is recognizeable and could work, but it would be nice to get a higher quality image.-- BillK (talk) 16:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Got a response to my first question, and posted a follow-up on how improve full screen quality here.

Examples of video toursEdit

  • Wikispaces - 5 videos to guide new users.
  • People Aggregator - there used to be a detailed tour of the site hosted on BlipTv with the founder featured in the lower left corner. Now all I can find is the CEO on his deck doing a sort of ad. Maybe you can find the original one. -- BillK (talk) 18:40, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Sought but couldn't find them, so I left a comment on the blip.tv peopleaggregator video. Leo|Talk 11:59, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
When I saw the tour, I downloaded the 15MB Quicktime file, so I have it but not a link. At full screen, the QT file is also pixelated. -- BillK (talk) 17:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
marcs replied that they'll be posting revised screencasts next week - Leo

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