As I continue to explore the idea of making movies of software, I've been thinking that this medium needs a name. Apparently I'm not alone. Eric Hanson thinks so too.
Names are enormously powerful. For example, podcasting was bound to reach a tipping point sooner or later, but I suspect the brilliant marketing term that's been attached to the phenomenon has greatly helped the cause. You can quibble with the etymology, and I'm sometimes tempted to do so. My own use of the medium, for example, has nothing to do with Apple's iPod. But it doesn't matter. Podcasting is the term that's now firmly stuck in people's minds, and it evokes much more than just subscription-driven automatic transfer of MP3 files to the iPod.
So what should I call the medium -- or, as Eric Hanson says, the genre -- that I've been developing? TechSmith, the company that makes Camtasia Studio, calls it screen recording. Microsoft calls it screen capture. Qarbon uses the term viewlet. The generic term I've been using until now is screen video. But none of these is especially catchy, and none really conveys what I'm aiming for. The name I'm seeking would describe:
A progressively-downloadable video,
which shows interaction with software,
as is narrated by a presenter,
or as emerges in a conversation.
Here are some other names I've thought of, along with my critique of them:
|vidcast||Doesn't convey narration or conversation; muddies the semantics of podcast|
|vidcon||Misses the screen demo aspect; too close to videoconference|
|software movie||Tries to mean "a movie of software in use" but winds up sounding like software-assisted playback of a conventional movie|
I'm not thrilled with any of these. If you can coin the right term, I'd love to give you credit for doing so. Blog your ideas, and/or email them to me at this address, and I'll report them here.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2004/11/15.html#a1114