Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blog? Or Notes in a Wiki

I've been experimenting this past year with a Wiki for capturing blog entries and information capture (with retrieval of course!).  Which works best?

The wiki is an excellent tool for organizing and building.  The internal cross referencing and indexing are becoming critical as the amount of information grows.  But the wiki does not handle the little blog entries nearly as well as Blogger.com.  However, I like the ability to keep a logbook for the month with random notes in the wiki - these can be linked or moved later.

The reverse chronological sequence of the blog is good for capturing the running dialogue in a consistent fashion.  The software is polished, professional, and looks beautiful on the web.  Pages, links, tags, and chronological hierarchy simply works - in a powerful but simple fashion.  What is not to love!  And that is where it leaves me - the ability to create static pages within this structured environment.

Seems like a good decision point for evaluating the strong points of both a wiki and a blog.  My first use of this blog was July 8, 2003.  I began using PmWiki on September 1, 2005.


Video Editing

Editing video clips for classroom and presentation use is an ongoing interest of mine.  I've documented several tools in my wiki pages.   Video tags in the wiki is a good place to get an overview of all the topics listed below.

  • Video clips from a DVD page includes the step by step process I used in March 2008 to create a short clip from a DVD
  • Many clips are already available on YouTube and other web sites.  The issue in a class or presentation is timing.  I'm not willing to wait on network issues, web site down, video taken down, etc.  So the only option is to have the video file available to serve.  Flash video conversion for small file size and flash video capture is the answer.
  • Video codec for your player is the next issue in a presentation.  The standard issue for Win XP doesn't include the capability to play many video types (and I'm not talking new either!).  The solution is XviD, a fast open source, customizable, and easy to use codec that can be installed in under a minute.
Production updates to investigate:
Beyond the mechanics of production is use of videos in classes.
  • Examples of videos for Accounting Information Systems and Accounting classes.  This is the beginning of a an ongoing project list.  See: http://www.devriesonline.net/pmwiki.php/Main/Video-AIS
  • Screen capture to video, particularly with Jing, is an important tool for me.  I'm making a short presentation in early January 2009 on use of this tool for responding to student questions.  The advantage of the tool is the ability to integrate a screencast video/audio response in the same amount of time that it takes to do a step by step walk through.  The benefit to the recipient is an answer that tells and shows.