Chuck's Q Blog

Icon

Just another ICM blog

Comparison shopping

[podcast format="video"]http://www.welsfordroad.com/501videob.flv[/podcast]

Read on for more detail on these sites.

I know that there are a lot of multimedia tutorials posted in various place on the Web, but they generally take on some specific aspect of a project and aren’t part of a larger collection of tutorials.

Here are four sites that I think would be the closest thing to competitors for my final project site:

knight

Knight Digital Media Center/Tutorials

This might be the closest example I’ve come across that demonstrates what I’d like to do with my site. There about 40 tutorials included here, tagged by category (audio, video, flash, reporting, etc.).

This is just part of a larger site for UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. This section of the site is designed to offer instruction for journalists and journalism students, though it could be useful for anyone interested in multimedia.

Looking at a few of the tutorials here, they appear to be pretty up to date. The ones I’ve looked at seem to be on multiple pages, which I suppose is intended to break up the lessons, but is sometimes just annoying. But there is also a nice feature that lets you save the entire lesson as a pdf, giving you the option to see the whole thing at once and providing a bit of mobility to the user.

It’s probably a small point, but I think the overall design is a little drab. The browns don’t do much for me and I’d like to see some images, even thumbnails, included in the listings to break up the page a little.

I have no idea on popularity or usage figures for this site.



mcadams

Teaching Online Journalism

This is a blog written by journalist, journalism educator and Web developer Mindy McAdams. While McAdams mostly uses the site to write about new developments in online journalism, she also has included a number of how-to’s. She recently completed a series of 15 posts that she calls the Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency, which are part of the inspiration for my site. I plan to approach her for permission to use some of this material on my site.

Since Mindy is using a blog platform, many of the tutorials she’s written become tougher to find over time. I’ve bookmarked some in the past or used the blog’s search engine to find specific posts of interest at a later date. I suspect she might have used a different platform for this if she’d had any idea how popular the site would become.

The site is currently subscribed to by more than 4,000 people, according to the Feedburner, and sitemeter shows about 334,000 visits since July 1, 2007. While I suspect much of the traffic to her blog may come from her students at the University of Florida, I’m sure that a lot of digital media types (like myself) are interested in what Mindy has to say on various topics.

From a design standpoint, also a little drab in terms of the colors, though there are a lot of visuals included in the blog posts.



webb

Knowledgewebb

This is a site that is part of Amy Webb’s consultancy, the Webbmedia Group in Baltimore. Amy is “an author, speaker and future thinker.” I’ve seen her speak to packed rooms at Online News Association and Society of Professional Journalists events — definitely a Type-A personality.

This is a for-profit site that has more than 150 lessons in multimedia, social networking and many other topics. It also hosts webinars and live chats for subscribers to its service. The site is designed for use by teachers, journalists and what Webb calls “C-level” people (CEOs, CFOs, etc.) who are expected to use the latest technology and don’t know anything about it.

At $129 for full year of access ($89 if you’re a member of one of their partner organization), the site looks like a pretty good deal. I’ll likely sign up for it at some point (though I seem to be kind of busy lately).

I like the layout here, though it’s mostly a business/storefront design with a lot of information to convince you to sign up for the service.



lynda

Lynda.com

The only other site I can think of as being remotely like what I’m planning to build is Lyda.com, the well-known online training site with more than 600 courses on various software-related topics.

Pick a topic or a piece of software and this site probably has some kind of course related to it. The training is done primarily through screencasts — QuickTime videos of lessons as you would see someone demonstrate them on a computer.

This is also a paid site. Memberships begin at $25 a month or $250 a year. There is also a premium subscription plan for $375 a year that includes access to exercise files used in the tutorials. And there are multi-user options for corporations and schools. The site also offers the courses on DVDs.

I’ve used this service in the past and the tutorials are generally well done, if a little overly detailed and long sometimes. Courses are split into multiple videos, allowing users to easily jump to topics that they’re most interested in.

The site has a clean, no nonsense design and is easy to navigate. A series of dropdown menus help users search by topic, software, vendor or author. It has a professional, uncluttered look. The screencasts typically pop up to fill a new window.

Category: Project

Tagged: , , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. e-mickann says:

    This really helped me more fully understand what you want to do for your project. I think you have a really good idea. It is definitely something I would use. I also really like the way you used screen flow to make your video. I totally forgot about even doing anything like that. I have used Adobe Captivate 3 and I think it really helped show what you were trying to convey doing it in this format.

  2. Pat Daddona says:

    Liked this overview, Chuck. My project (The Resting Place) is now quite different than yours but I may find a way to use Screenflow. Thanks.