I've ranted on about a new phenomenon named "Blogcasts" for several months now. Blogcasts are all about accepting that most of us have very little time to find answers to problems, need practical advice, find webcasts can often be long and little relavence(there are exceptions of course) and we'd benefit from actually seeing how to do something. Blogcasts are essentially mini-webcasts which are linked to from blogs and therefore are available for RSS(Real Simple Syndication) via search engines and aggregators(such as SharpReader).
Brian Tucker kindly hosts the Blogcastrepository which is a great place to find blogcasts and thanks to Brian's software you can post your own up there too. Incidentally Brian's not a Microsoft employee - the whole point to blogcasting is that the community is able to share experience, tips and techniques with everyone who's interested.
My colleagues who work with TechNet in Microsoft in the UK(our job title is IT Pro Evangelist) post their own blogcasts - I've included links to the blogcasts on their sites as follows: Eileen Brown, Mat Stephen, Michael Platt and John Howard
In my opinion the beauty of Blogcasts include the following:
- Anyone can post them
- No special software/hardware is required to either view or produce them
- Microsoft have no control over them - in other words the IT Pro community(you!) decide which are good based on the number of hits you make on them
- They are concise, to the point, pieces of advice/demonstrations that enable you to take action and get more value from the software you already have - they are definately NOT about getting you to buy stuff
- Many people are creating new blogcasts every day
- They are short hence require little of YOUR time, little of the author's time & can be accessed from low bandwidth connections
- The are practical
- They don't contain any padding hence they get to the point straight away unlike many webcasts!
- They are free to view and free to produce
Incidentally Blogcasts are not the same thing as "podcasts" - the difference being they're short, visual, practical demonstrations(in most cases) of HOW TO DO something. IMHO podcasts are typically more like web-based radio shows focussed on specific topics of interest and as such are complimentary
Please feel free to hit the "feedback" button and let me know what you think.