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Screencasting 101: Screenr, a free, web-hosted, twitter-enabled screencast service

I haven’t done a formal study of this, but probably most screencasts are pretty short: Here, let me show you how to do this one thing.  And for that, you probably don’t want to spend lots of money for applications or fancy equipment.  You probably don’t want to fuss with hosting or uploading files, either: You just want to record it and be done.

If you use a PC or a Mac, and you have a Twitter account, then there is a new service that exists to meet just this need: Screenr (hat tip to Jozianne).  Screenr launches a bare-bones–but also dead-simple–screencasting applet. Basically your options are: resize the capture window, record, pause. You can either delete the video, or post it to Screenr. The service also gives you an opportunity to post a link immediately to Twitter directly from the website. . . . and, that’s it. There is no additional step.

The quality is pretty good (you might need to turn the sound up, mostly because I was recording in a hurry, and, let’s face it, my voice is softer than a goose down pillow. Good thing I never have to talk in public . . . ):

This is an excellent way to push quick little demonstrations out to students or colleagues. The easy hooks into social media are nice, but you can also post it more conventionally to YouTube, or, as you see above, embed it in another website.

There are some limitations: You only get 5 minutes. (I assume because it’s free.) You can’t edit the screencast, except for pausing while you go. And, because it’s an applet, there is that hairraising moment when you need to grant it permission to access your machine. It’s kind of like the Flip camera of screencasting: It just could not be any easier, and so you don’t care so much about what it can’t do (yet).

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