About CloudCasts

CloudCasts is a community website for hosting webcasts relating to Microsoft technologies. The idea for the Cloud TV project is to create a great resource for developers and provide the opportunity for people to share their ideas in the form of webcasts.

Submitting Content

If you have any Webcasts or Screencasts that you would like me to add to the site, I’d be keen to hear from you. Anything relating to Microsoft technology is suitable, they can be simple intro topics, or advanced techniques.

You can contact me using the CloudCasts blog or via Twitter.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CloudCasts

Blog: http://geekswithblogs.net/asmith

Creating Webcasts

I like to think that the ideal length for a webcast is about 15 minutes, which is about the same time as a coffee break. As you know, most developers don’t have the attention span or free time to watch an hour long presentation, so it’s good to keep thinks short and fast paced. If you have a longer topic, you can easily break it down into smaller sections. If people like the first one, they will be back for more.

As for tools, I use Camtasia. It has good options to capture the screen and then edit the webcasts. If you just want to record a few webcasts, there is a 30 day trial version that will get you started, and some tutorials (webcasts of course!).

You can get Camtasia here.

You can also use Windows Media Encoder, which can capture the screen, but has limited editing capabilities.

Windows Media Encoder is here.

Webcasting Tips

• Plan before you record it helps to take a quick run through before you record.

• Aim to keep the time down to 10 - 20 minutes (it’s not easy), create two shorter webcasts rather than one long one.

• The on screen player is 640x480, recording in 800x600 then producing in 640x480 seems to work well.

• It can help to record several shorter chunks, then edit them together, if you get something wrong, you can start again easily.

• Recording the intro and summary is easier to do after you have recorded the content.

• Try to keep the microphone in the same position throughout the recordings; sometimes you can get a very different sound levels.

Happy Webcasting!

Alan