The news that seemed to get overlooked by the amazingness that became Hack Day was the release of a login API, BBAuth, or Browser-based Authentication. This new service allows any web site or web application to identify a user who has a Yahoo! ID with the user’s consent. Dan Theurer explains it on his blog: #
…instead of creating your own sign-up flow, which requires users to pick yet another username and password, you can let them sign in with their existing Yahoo! account. #
My mind keeps spinning thinking of the implications of this…more on that in a later post. #
It was immediately obvious to me when I heard about it that this concept was going to be hard to fully grok without some visuals to explain it. So I sat with Dan yesterday to create a video walk-through that might help people digest it (myself included). Here is a 5 minute screencast talking about what it is and an example of it in action (also available on the YDN blog and on Yahoo! Video): #
The screencast itself took only a few minutes in total to produce. Here’s how it went down: #
- I closed all my applications on my laptop other than my browser (or so I thought) and launched Camtasia
- We spent 5 minutes discussing what we were going to say.
- I clicked ‘record’.
- We talked for 5 minutes.
- I clicked ‘stop’.
- I selected the output settings and it then produced a video file for me.
- DONE. That part took about 20 minutes.
The next part, posting to a video sharing site, got a little sticky, but here’s what I learned: #
- I tried Yahoo! Video, JumpCut and YouTube.
- Outputting my screencast in 320×240 resolution saves a lot of time for the video sharing sites
- Yahoo! Video liked the MPEG4 format most. YouTube claims the same, though it wasn’t obvious after trying a few formats which one it liked most.
- JumpCut was a snap to use, but the output quality was a little fuzzier
- Titles…I forgot the damn titles, and it just looked too weak without some kind of intro and outro. Camtasia gives you a couple of very simple options. I added an intro title in less than 5 minutes.
- Logo! Ugh. After encoding it about 8 times to get the right format I realized the logo really needed to be in there:
- I took a quick Snag-It screenshot of the YDN web site, played with it a bit and made a simple title screen.
- Saved it as a jpeg
- Imported into my Camtasia screencast
- Inserted the title image in the beginning and a variation of the same at the end
- Dropped a transition between the title frames and the video
- Titles DONE. That took less than 30 minutes…could have taken 2 seconds if I was prepared.
- Wait…the screen wasn’t big enough. You couldn’t see the graphic that Dan points to in his explanation because it’s too small. Not a problem. Camtasia includes a simple zoom tool:
- I played the screencast again and found where I needed to zoom.
- Inserted opening zoom marker
- Selected zoom size. Clicked done.
- Found the end of the segment where I wanted to zoom out.
- Inserted another zoom marker.
- Opened zoom window back up to full size.
- DONE. Maybe 15 minutes to do that.
- Output one last time
Then all I had to do was write a blog post and embed the video in that post. That took about 10 minutes. #
All in all, I probably spent close to 2 hours beginning to end producing this screencast, but most of that was learning a few tricks. Next time I do this, I bet I can complete the whole thing from launching Camtasia to posting on a blog in 45 minutes, possibly less. #