I’ve been committing to get back to occasional blogging, in addition to following Twitter, so I wanted to see if I really could get out a 10 minute idea-to-blog post.

Here it goes.

I found this really handy utility on the “Office Labs” site called “Community Clips”.  On the surface it is “just another screen capture utility” but I found it really handy.

Once installed it will capture the screen (or specified window) and record the input on the microphone.  So you can start recording, do a task you want to help someone with, and save the screen capture and audio down to disk.  The nice thing then is you can just upload that video and you are basically done.  The software will even automatically upload your video to the Community Clips site if you are demonstrating some Microsoft software.  Then your tips will join many others for the same product.  Since I didn’t have a real worthy example, I just uploaded mine to Silverlight Streaming and YouTube.

This seems like a great way to do basic tech support or short instructional videos.  There are certainly much higher-end software for longer sessions, special features, editing, etc. – but for the quick one-off videos of this type I think a simple tool like this is ideal.

Below should be the samples – you’ll need Silverlight for the top one and Flash for the bottom one.

And yes, this post, plus the video and uploads, fit in the 10 minute post goal!

p.s. The video is really boring – don’t have a microphone set up right now.  Just me loading the Community Clips web page.  Just a technical test – but it works.

p.s.s. It is an interesting comparison of Silverlight Streaming vs. YouTube.  If you double-click the Silverlight version it will go full screen – at which point it is quite usable.

Community Clips