The art of screencasting

Paterva makes great demo videos (and data mining apps, too)

Nowadays, almost every kind of software release is accompanied by some sort of screencast showing off the new features - usually with boring, disembodied narration.

Not so with Paterva, whose edgy videos are moodily shot and edited like a Bourne film, accompanied by a dubstep soundtrack. A preview of Maltego Radium, for example, is hosted “on a rooftop in Johannesburg, under a full moon” by a member of the development team clad in fingerless gloves and hoodie (the video is embedded below).

Their product is far from standard, too. Maltego is a Java-based data mining app, designed for analysis of networked data - from social networking profiles to internet infrastructure. In the moonlit video, they demo an example of data-mining a Twitter account - in this case, Paris Hilton’s - for geographical and device info.

Granted, not every software release justifies such a dark, brooding video. In fact, it would be downright hilarious for something like Jetty was marketed in the same way.

Still, plenty of developers could learn a thing or two from Maltego (and, to a lesser extent, PrimeFaces) in the art of screencasts. Sometimes, a screencast can be so good it ‘goes viral’, like Dropbox’s meme-laden demo, which saw the company blow up on Digg long before it became a household name.

(via Geertjan Wielenga)

Elliot Bentley

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