Category Archives: Multimedia

Week 7: Multimedia

We looked at images in week 3, but this week we’re going further and looking at a range of multimedia.

The early days of the web were much more text based, and images could take a long while to load. We’ve come a long way from the days of the Cambridge Coffee Pot when people logged in from across the globe to see a scratchy black and white live image of … yes you’ve guessed it, a coffee pot!

Today you can view videos from round the world, create videos and listen to Podcasts from all sorts of media outlets.


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Thing 16: YouTube/Vimeo

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

YouTube is a video sharing site, hosting thousands of videos, created by both amateurs and professionals. Anyone can view videos on YouTube. However, in order to upload videos or to benefit from the site’s “social” features users need to register for a free account. For the purpose of 23 Things you do not need to register, as we’ll only be viewing and sharing videos. There is a huge amount of content on this site, all available to search and share with others, and libraries have started to use this service by uploading walk throughs of their facilities, user guides and other promotional material. A good example is The British Library, who have their own YouTube ‘channel’, where you can access a variety of films.

There are a number of instructional videos that librarians might find useful such as this one about searching with Boolean Operators. Dominic and Kim have recently commissioned this video on Patron-Driven Acquisition E-book purchasing as part of the E-BASS25 JISC project: watch it here!

And the Library has its own channel too!

YouTube EDU brings together YouTube content from Universities around the World, which you can search in. For this Thing you are asked to browse YouTube, search for library instruction videos, and when you find something of interest, share them with the other 23 thing-ers by adding them to your blog. To do this, follow the instructions at the end of the step-by-step guide for this post.

Other library videos:

Study like a scholar, scholar (Harold B. Lee Library promo)

Cookie Monster in the Library (Sesame Street!)

Mitchell and Webb’s Insulting Librarian

Finding YouTube content Locating relevant material can be a challenge on a fluid site like YouTube. The site has just updated its design as well, but this handy guide should answer any questions you have about layout or functionality. You’re now ready to start searching! Remember:

  • the query bar at the top allows for keyword searches, which you can then filter
  • pay attention to who has uploaded the content
  • if it is a trusted source, explore their other videos
  • it’s worth subscribing to YouTube channels of organisations and institutions directly relevant to your research. You can only do this is you have a Google Account and are signed into YouTube

Sharing YouTube content Thing 22 is to find and share two YouTube videos that you find interesting, or relevant to your work.  We also want you to comment on why you are sharing this content and why you think it is useful. Embed one video into your blog and share the other via Twitter. The Share button will provide a custom message – you can edit this to provide your commentary. Don’t forget to write a blog post about your experiences with YouTube.

But what is Vimeo?

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

(C) imjustcreative. Flickr.

Good question. I was wondering this myself. Apparently, it’s the ‘Coolest Video Site for Creatives’ and has a number of features that make uploading and embedding videos a lot easier, and prettier. This man thinks that the quality of videos is improved, also. But it seems to be that Vimeo is a little smaller, helping us to filter down the abundance of videos we could find – you’re more likely to find what you want, and quicker. BUT, if the site is smaller, your work is less likely to be found, as most people will visit YouTube first.

Try both sites, and see which is easier to use. Blog about which you prefer and why.

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Thing 17: Screen Capture

A lot of people find it easier to learn how something is done by watching so video can be a great way of doing this when you are trying to show people who are not with you how to do something. I have used them professionally for how to videos but also personally when friends or family have asked how something is done.

Screen capture tools record your mouse as well as everything you click on and show on your screen. Screen capture is a great way for showing students, colleagues or a wider audience how to use an online tool.

There are a number of screencasting tools available, both free and for purchase. Often short videos convey as much information as needed without the need for fancy editing.

Some general tips:

  • If doing a voiceover speak slowly and clearly
  • Write a script if talking
  • Run through what you’ll be demonstrating in advance

Screencast-o-matic is fairly intuitive, so you can get started right away. You may want to create an account (so that you can store and keep track of your videos), and you can also watch a short demo that walks you through the recording steps.

screencast o matic

1. Press ‘Start recording’ in the top right hand corner.

2. A frame will appear (make sure Java is enabled); you can drag and resize this frame to suit your needs, and you’ll also see some options for size, etc.

3. press the red button and go. If you don’t want to record anything, make sure you mute your computer’s microphone (otherwise you’ll get a lot of white noise).

When you’ve finished, press the ‘done’ button and choose where to upload your video.

You can upload direct to YouTube.

Here is one I did earlier on Finding Exam Papers:

Thing 17

Why not record a short video? You can use the Library’s Screencast-o-matic account (details to be given in sessions or email Helen) if it is library related!

If you don’t want to do that take a look at some screencapture videos on these YouTube accounts:

RHUL Library

City University Library YouTube

Judge Business School

Don’t forget to blog about your experience and share your video!

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Thing 18: Podcasts

What makes a voice recording a podcast?

Despite many audio and visual sources being available on the internet, the term podcast really only comes into play when that content can be subscribed to or syndicated, or downloaded automatically (e.g. via RSS) when new content becomes available.

Podcasts can be listened to via your PC or downloaded onto your smartphone or ipod/mp3 player. If you are an Apple user then there are thousands to choose from on iTunes or iTunesU . For those visual learners out there, here’s a Common Craft YouTube clip on Podcasting:

So how do I find podcasts that interest me?
You can use one of the podcast directories (PodcastAlley or the wonderfully named Podcast Ferret ) or take a look at podcastnation where you can submit your own. A quick straw poll of colleagues highlighted the following but of course there are many library-related ones available.

I sometimes download some for long train or car journeys – if you have an MP3 player you can do this easily through iTunes or directly from the sites below.

BBC has loads – Radio 3 Composer of the Week, The Archers, Books and Authors, Desert Island Dics, Lauren Laverne
Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time
Joshua Rozenberg’s Law in Action
Dilbert Animated Cartoons
Alexander McCall Smith’s online novel Corduroy Mansions(Telegraph)
David Mitchell’s Soapbox (Guardian)
National Gallery monthly


The service was created to manage, distribute, and control access to educational audio and video content and PDF files for students within a college or university as well as the broader Internet; it has since been updated to include schools..



Open University

Oxford University

Library ones
Library of Congress – featured podcast series include Digital Preservation Slave Narratives and Music and the Brain
British Library – talks, lectures, discussions as well as those focused around current exhibitions. I liked: Educational standards: not as good as in my day and Who owns the future of the story?
Goldsmiths has a podcast tour of their library to help new students,  whilst other universities Oxford Brookes) use podcasts as guides for their services.
There are loads of reasons why libraries might find podcasts useful – in the public sphere, things like storytime and author talks can be great, academic libraries generally tend to focus on the areas mentioned above: tours and guides. from the University of Leeds also have podcasts on essay writing and critical thinking for their students.

The article Higher Education and Emerging Technologies: Student Usage, Preferences, and Lessons for Library Services discusses how students find podcasting an effective learning tool and academic librarians have been amazed by their popularity when they created one!

What do i do with them?
Click on the orange RSS logo to subscribe or pull into Google Reader.

How can I create my own? 
Audacity is the tool of choice for many but there is also Audioboo.

So it’s over to you! Why don’t you blog about the great podcasts you’ve found? Or maybe about where you think RHUL Library could be dipping its toe into podcasting – what should we be using the medium for? The lecture theatres are set up to record lectures and the Liaison team have been asked to do this.
You could always record one yourself …

Credit – Verena Price and Emily Allbon at City University who’s post I borrowed.

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Cool Extra thing: Fotoflexer, Photfunia, Speechable and History Pin

Fotoflexer allows you to mess around with your photos to your heart’s content – you can add any number of different effects. You can change colours, distort, beautify, animate or decorate. Here’s a few of me below!

Original Image

Original Image

Me as a diver

Me as a diver

Put borders on the photo

Put borders on the photo

PhotoFunia is an alternative to Fotoflexer which allows you to put your face on any number of scenarios: billboards, statues, famous films, paintings, surfing, being Father Christmas and playing sports.

Hosted by



me pop art

Speechable is a great tool for adding speech bubbles to images like this:

History Pin is another photo related ‘thing’, but is all about historic photos.  The site allows users to pin historic photos on to a map, and also to post comments about the photos.  It is great fun to browse around and see any historic photos that have been posted for your area.  Also make sure you take a look at the photos of Royal Holloway, which include some posted by the Archives.

The site is owned by google, who have supplied all of the map data.  This has been put to interesting use with a few of the photos, which have been overlaid over the modern google street view.

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