Introducing Sketchcasting

A new concept called “sketchcasting” is like writing on a whiteboard during a boardroom presentation, but the entire Internet world can see it at any time, says Richard Ziade, introducing the technology on his blog Basement.org.

“It’s sort of a new way of blogging, and it kind of combines the concepts behind podcasting with blogging,” says Ziade. “Sometimes I want to get across a concept or idea that’s kind of tricky with writing.”

The process of creating a sketchcast involves the presenter drawing on a white canvas, through illustration software, with the ability to narrate through the computer microphone as he draws. It records everything live, and that video can then be uploaded to YouTube.

This gives the viewer the illusion of watching a live presentation, which is nice. But that same blessing can be a curse.

“What this allows for is the ability to convey some more complex ideas to others in a very rapid manner — that’s a bad arrow,” Ziade says, as he draws visual cues in his demonstration video. He then erases his “bad arrow” and redraws another, illustrating a major flaw of the medium.

The upstart to sketchcast is fairly unaccessible at this point. There’s no all-in-one software to record and publish the videos, and it would be nearly impossible to author one without having a USB tablet.

For most cases, this seems like a lazy boy’s way of setting up a PowerPoint presentation. Instead of putting together a comprehensive slideshow, narrating it and uploading it to YouTube, an ability that already exists, bloggers may resort to crude drawings and poorly organized presentations.

But hey, maybe, like podcasting, it’s the kind of really simple technology that will get the average joe actually putting a presentation together instead of groaning at the prospect of firing up Microsoft PowerPoint.

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