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June 21st, 2016

Putting Together a Video Book Review

Some things are easier than you might think. For example, here our contributing video editor gives you an example of a way that you can give thanks to a favorite author in a useful way with nothing more than a laptop, some freely available software and a YouTube account.

The Video Screening Room

If you encounter an excellent new book and you want to thank the author, your first inclination might be to track down the author’s email address and send them a thank-you message. A more meaningful step, though, is to write a short book review on Amazon (or elsewhere) explaining why others might also like the book. You can go one step further, too, and create a video book review that can be shared via social media.

To show other people what is possible, here is a screencast-style video book review I recently created on my Linux laptop. The book I’m reviewing is titled “NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity,” a history of autism published in 2015.

If you use a larger monitor, you can watch this video in full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). The quoted text I cite in this review is shown in context with the surrounding text, something not easy to do in a written book review. The author of this excellent book, Steve Silberman, already follows me on Twitter, so I’ll share the link to this video book review with him. It’s my way of saying thanks. In the open source world, we find new ways of giving dignity and appreciation to others. That’s part of open source culture.

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, Opensource.com and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at pshapiro@his.com.

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