Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Podcasting + Whiteboarding = Sketchcasting

Richard Ziade had a really clever idea - what if he combined sketching on an electronic whiteboard with a podcast? The result, sketchcasting, is yet another approach to getting your ideas out into the world. Richard was originally out for a more informal approach to publishing than blogging - and I think he's succeeded.

You can watch his first sketchcast below to get an idea of how it works. He's also published a how to sketchcast video as well.

I've actually been using a technique that's similar to this in meetings that involve off-site participants. Because I'm such a whiteboard fanatic, I find it really frustrating that I can't show people on the phone what the heck I'm talking about.

My work around for this has been to start a netspoke session (which is like GotoMeeting.com), share my screen and bring up a blank PowerPoint presentation (yes, PowerPoint). Whenever I need to get visual, I start drawing / adding text to the slide that I'm on. When we go onto a new topic, I simply create a new slide, and I'm good to go.

As crazy as it sounds, PowerPoint has actually turned out to be a good tool for this purpose. I can easily add text to various parts of the screen, and make crude drawings using just my laptop's touch pad. As a big bonus, at the end of the meeting, I can send out the whiteboard to everyone who's participated, and because it's in a standard format, they can read it.

The tricky part of sketchcasting is that it requires a Table PC or at the very least an input tablet. This is on the pricey side, no matter how you slice it. Perhaps I'll try sketchcasting with PowerPoint. What I really want is a blogger's sketch pad that supports audio too.

Thanks to Alex for the link. He's sat through more than his fair share of my PowerPoint whiteboard sessions, which I pity him for.

On to the show...

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