The latest installment in the “Silly E-mails from My Mom” series.
A couple weeks ago, I posted an e-mail my mom had sent me about her latest discovery: Skitch. It included an amazing screenshot of herself and my cat. Then, last week I wrote about tutorials for Screenr- a website where you can create screencasts- and screenshots. My mom decided to try making screencasts for herself and is sending them to family members. They must be shared with the world.
What she wrote in the e-mail (addressed to my uncle and myself):
Caroline just taught me how to do a screencast. I went to Pages (iWork) and looked for some templates. They had a sailing template, so I tried a screencast using it. It’s only five seconds, but I thought you might have some fun with this. I’m sure Caroline would love to help. Might start a new career!
Here’s the link: http://screenr.com/Daq
To learn how to do this, and a few other things, go to www.carolinedickie.com.
You could have the girls do a Christmas greeting for their grandmothers.
Mom- some tips:
1) A screencast should actually do something because they’re meant to be used for tutorials. In your Skitch screencast, try moving your cursor over the text you’d like to point out rather than mentioning that there’s text on the screen.
2) You have a full five minutes to record your screencast so don’t rush!
Check out the other installments in this series here.
This is the third installment in my “Silly e-mails from My Mom” series. Please be sure to check out the other two!
Let me start things off right away by saying that this is going to be one epic blog post.
My mom’s e-mail for today’s post isn’t really all that silly, but it’s still silly. On a scale from 1-10, it’s ridiculous.
This is what my mom wrote (for prior context we’d been discussing an idea I have for a site that will help folks like my Grandma understand the internet):
How about a tutorial for how to do a screencast?
Or, how do you do an email that looks like a web page? Do you make a web page and attach it to your email?
Ot, let’s say I want to send grandma an email or pdf on how to do something on the Mac. I’d like to get good screenshots to include. Do you just use command ^ shift 4? How do you capture the menu?
A sensible person would probably write multiple blog posts to tackle these questions, but I’m gonna try to slam them into one!
1) Well, you can’t really do a screencast of a screencast because the browser and computer get confused (as do I). Maybe you can, but it’s a bit too meta for my taste. Screenshots would be a bit of a mess too. So here’s a quick rundown:
Go to a screencasting site: I like Screenr because it’s pretty straightforward. Please note for Screenr that you will need a Twitter account in order to use it. I also find that it works better with Firefox than with Chrome.
Watch the screenr tutorial video: It’s located on the right side of their homepage. It’s better than anything I’ll be able to come up with right now (That was a pretty lazy answer wasn’t it? Well, I should be sleeping).
2) Screenshots are pretty easy to do. Mom, if your experience with Skitch is anything to go by, it seems like you already know how to do this pretty well. You are correct, all you need to do is type “Command, shift, 4″ for a little target style cursor to appear. I did a quick screencast on how to do it, which you’ll find below. Please note that the cursor shows up as the regular arrow in the screencast but will look different on your actual screen. The title should also read “screenshots,” not “screencasts.” I’m tired, so there.
Other Tips:You may wish to resize your screenshot or edit it a bit. You could use Skitch or upload it to Picnik. To learn more about using Picnik, check out a screencast I did a while ago.
3)The easiest way to deal with PDFs, other than adding them as attachments to your e-mails, is by using the nifty new site Scribd. Guess what? I also did a screencast a while back on how to upload a PDF to Scribd and embed it into a WordPress blog post The only difference in this instance, is instead of embedding the PDF into a blog post, you can select the “share” option and e-mail a link to it to anyone. Then the PDF will pop up on its own page and your recipient won’t have to download it unless he or she wants to save it. If you haven’t already taken the time to explore Scribd a bit, I’d recommend you do so. It’s pretty sweet.
That’s all for now folks!
And, of course, you can view some other screencasts I’ve done over at the BlinkTag Inc blog!
First things first, congrats to the SF Giants for winning the World Series! I’m pretty sure someone set off a fire cracker a couple feet away from me last night on Mission Street…but I’d had a few beers at that point so my perception was a bit off.
When not running through the streets celebrating a major sports victory, I tend to keep myself fairly busy considering that I don’t have a job. It can be challenging explaining to people what exactly it is that I do. Do people who ask really want to know that I spend a fair amount of time writing cover letters, personal statements, and trying to improve my LSAT score? No, that doesn’t make for good cocktail conversation. And, to be honest, it’s depressing for me to discuss. So let’s not chat about that here. Instead, let’s talk about the other little things that I do to occupy my time.
A while back I mentioned that from time to time I do a bit of social media stuff for my friend Brendan’s company, BlinkTag. Although I’m not doing too much for him at the moment, it’s neat learning about some of the projects he and his employee/our friend Trucy work on every week.
It’s also nice being around other productive people who have a fairly flexible schedule, which gives us the opportunity to sometimes go on little adventures. A couple weeks ago, for instance, we got a car and drove out to Cupertino to visit a friend who works at Apple. During our stay at One Infinite Loop, we stopped for lunch and I actually saw Steve Jobs in the cafeteria line! I did a double take and he smiled at my confusion. Pretty sweet. After that we drove over to the Yahoo! Great America campus, not to be confused with the main Sunnyvale campus, to visit Conner (aka the bf) who works there. Yahoo! was a lot more purple than Apple, but I’d say both were a lot more officy feeling than I would have expected. At some point Brendan, Trucy, and I hope to make it to some of the other big name offices around the Bay Area.
Last week B and T let me tag along with them to Oakland, where we met up with the people responsible for BART‘s social media. Almost all social media work I’ve done, whether for BlinkTag or Londonist, has been based on knowledge I’ve gained by personal use and a little bit of shared info, so it was interesting to hear what people who do it more officially had to say on the subject.
One of the coolest things I think Brendan and his crew have done is create Bikesy, a bike mapping service for the Bay Area, which incorporates safety and elevation into its routes. He altered the service a bit for one of his clients, which you can read about here (guess who wrote the blog post and did the screencast, nudge nudge wink wink). And! Just to show how ridiculous I can be and what other types of things Brendan’s had me do, check out his blog for a whole bunch of WordPress tutorial screencasts I made.