Whiteboards, scribbles and DIY video

One of my favourite web projects of the last few years has been Channel 9, also known as Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble‘s day job. They take a camcorder round the various project teams at Microsoft, and get the inside scoop from the guys who do the actual work. Guess what? They’re normal guys who are really knowledgeable, and really passionate about what they do. And suddenly, it’s hard to hate Microsoft. A goofy home video effort is proving more effective than the company’s megabucks marketing efforts.
But this offering from IT publisher ZDNet takes the DIY video thing a step further. ‘At the whiteboard‘ is – guess what? – somebody explaining a topic in a few minutes by drawing on a whiteboard. Granted, you might get two cameras, and a little bit of editing… but it’s the same basic point-and-shoot, zero-production-value ethic. And it works rather well.
Don’t underestimate the power of scribbling. Some of the most effective presentations I’ve ever given were during my time at Microsoft, when I had access to a Tablet PC. The ability to scribble on top of PowerPoint slides, like on a whiteboard, is a huge advance. I’ve had similar success with a more primitive method, beaming slides on to a whiteboard.