Beth’s using Jing too, thinks it may be part of an emerging micromedia trend, and points to Jeremiah Owyang’s definition: micromedia “provides bite-sized voice and video to micro audiences.”
Meanwhile Mary Branscombe asks:
Is so much content online in bite sized chunks because it’s easier to put up (not necessarily if you’re taking the effort to bite off the right chunk) or easier to consume?
Both, although point taken about mastery of the short form. Ironic, isn’t it? We fast forward through the 15- and 30-second chunks on TV, then create our own and watch each other’s.
Beth sees micromedia through a teaching/training lens, as do I. For me there’s also the bug-report aspect — it seems mundane, but it’d be huge for the software business if users could give developers narrated demos of the problems they’re having, rather than verbal descriptions.
Jeremiah Owyang emphasizes the social aspect:
Quick audio or video messages published to a trusted social community. May be created and consumed using mobile technology, and often distributed using other social media tools.
I hope we’ll also see broader, Wikipedia-like uses that pool collective knowledge. An awful lot of what we know is best conveyed by showing and telling directly, rather than by abstractly describing. Lawnmower maintenance, social bookmarking, or any other knowledge-based skill — in the physical or the virtual world — can be demonstrated and cataloged. As micromedia tools lower the activation threshold, that encyclopedia can be written — or rather, performed and recorded and uploaded.
1 I always like to point out, as Wikipedia currently says, that I only invited readers of my blog to propose names, and selected the term screencast. It was Joseph McDonald and Deeje Cooley who both (separately) proposed the term.
I also like to point out that nothing was invented, and that the medium has a long history going back to (as far as I can remember) Lotus Screencam. My contributions were to realize that the medium was radically underappreciated, to explore it, and to evangelize it.