Posts Tagged ‘commoncraft’

More Commoncraft Goodness: Blogs In Plain English

December 16, 2007

Commoncraft logoYou may remember Commoncraft, creators of simple but effective ‘For Dummies’-esque, 3-minute online tutorial videos, such as Social Networking in Plain English and Social Bookmarking in Plain English. I like them because they’re uncomplicated and get straight to the point, packing in enough content to get the message across to newbies without being overwhelming like, say, reading an article at Wikipedia on the same topic.

They’ve recently released a new video entitled Blogs in Plain English, which you can also catch on Youtube:

It’s an interesting take on a complex topic. LeFevre decides to show the difference between ‘old’ news which relied on publishing companies, editors, professional journalists and so on, and ‘new’ 21st century news. The latter, through the internet, allows anyone with an interest in any topic to become a newscaster.

I’d have liked it if they’d given a few seconds to the ‘splog‘ phenomenon, instead of just glossing over with facts about numbers of blogs being on the increase, and ‘oh, look how easy it is, why not start one yourself?’. Still, you can’t have everything: overall, this is a very effective and entertaining introduction to the world of blogging and blogs that even your grandmother could understand.


Videos In Plain English: The CommonCraft Show

August 30, 2007

I’ve just become a big fan of the CommonCraft Show’s series of Videos In Plain English:

The CommonCraft Show

They are a sort of “…For Dummies” series for the YouTube generation: short (3-5 mins), witty and straightforward, they give you a good bite-sized overview of a number of web 2.0 topics.

Social Bookmarking In Plain English is a case in point. This is the latest — and by far the most enjoyable and effective — of the four videos produced so far. It concisely presents the benefits of using social bookmarking tools such as, as well as giving a quick tutorial on how to get started:

Also notable are Social Networking In Plain English and RSS In Plain English. These aren’t quite as slick as the most recent offering, but are well worth a look.

Social Networking… is entertaining, but it concentrates too heavily on the functional benefits of networks like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn (e.g. finding contacts to get a better job, house or relationship). While important, I think most people use social networking sites just to stay in touch with friends, rather than to achieve some life goal. Similarly, RSS… is good but it’s also the least polished of Commoncraft’s videos, so don’t expect the high editing standards shown in Social Bookmarking…

Nevertheless, this is a great resource which could be equally useful for introducing technophobe friends or work colleagues to the wonders of web 2.0.