All posts for “technology”
The chances are, you use computer networks every day. Whether you connect to a network at your workplace, or use the Internet at home, computer networks help information get to you efficiently. But have you wondered how they work or what’s really happening when you visit a web page? This video makes it easy: Watch it now. What it Teaches: This video focuses on the basics of computer networks, and how data and information are shared. It teaches: The basic idea of a network, online and... Continue Reading
Dropbox, with 100+ million users, has become a case study in startup success. But before that success they had a big problem to overcome, one that seems to plague startups everywhere. How they solved it and what that has meant to their company provides a look at the future of business communication and how to engage and turn website visitors into customers. A New Kind of Problem Companies are problem-solving machines. Whole teams and departments exist to solve engineering problems, design... Continue Reading
There is just something funny about the not-too-distant past, especially when it comes to explaining technology. Here the interestingly named (and still in the media) Kim Komando explains computers for a TV audience in a series called Komputer Kindergarten. The editing is choppy, but still fun to watch. Email readers can watch here. Via Gizmodo.
Today we’re announcing a new video: Application Programming Interfaces - APIs - Explained by Common Craft Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are a fundamental part of the Web. By connecting websites and applications to specialized functions over the Internet, they can help websites become more fully featured and productive. Watch it now. What it teaches: This video tells the story of Carson, who has an idea to sell interactive maps on his website. Rather than buying and... Continue Reading
The word "GIF" is in the news recently thanks to being named the Oxford American Dictionary's word of the year. Today I saw a video that's part of the PBS series Off Book, which explores the history and usage of the animated GIF. The video is included below, but before we get to that, I want to point out an explanation problem. At about 30 seconds into the video, Patrick Davidson of MemeFactory appears to answer the question "What is an animated GIF?" Here's how he did that: An animated gif... Continue Reading
Today we’re announcing a new video explanation: Big Data - Explained by Common Craft What it Teaches: Incredible amounts of data are produced every day, so much that we can’t use it all. Big data is a term used to describe the tools and processes that seek to make this data useful and productive. This video uses the example of traffic data to teach: Where big data comes from and how it’s collected Why special tools are required to use it The three big challenges: Volume, Variability and... Continue Reading
As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a book coming out in October and it will contain QR codes. The big idea is to give readers of The Art of Explanation an easy way to watch the videos we use as examples in the book. Scan the code with a smartphone --> watch a video. It’s easier than typing a long URL. Of course, we made a video explaining QR codes, if you’d like to learn more. The QR code in the photo above is from a previous draft and not a trackable version. There will be 16 QR... Continue Reading
Today we’re announcing a new video: Crowdsourcing - Explained by Common Craft These days crowdsourcing is changing how we think about getting things done. This video follows the story of a person who discovers how a “crowd” of strangers can help him accomplish a goal. It teaches: • Why crowdsourcing is needed • How goals are accomplished using crowdsourcing • How crowdsourcing helps with speed, quality and cost • What motivates crowd members to contribute • How crowdfunding helps turn... Continue Reading
Today we’re announcing a new video: Website Cookies, Explained by Common Craft. This video was suggested and voted on by Common Craft members who will use it to educate others in classrooms and on the Web. It teaches: How and why cookies are saved to your computer when visiting a website The role cookies play in helping websites remember you The two basic types: session and persistent cookies How advertisers may use cookie data How website owners use cookie data for analyzing traffic ... Continue Reading
Recently Jay Rosen published a fascinating article on his PressThink blog that focuses on politics and how the parties have learned to exploit an “electoral blind spot”. As Rosen puts it: The blind spot is the point at which voters stop paying attention because the costs of figuring out what’s really going on are too high. It’s a fascinating article, and I really love this idea of “costs of figuring something out”. The article is about politics and the press, but I think the idea applies... Continue Reading
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