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Summary:

I’ve been reviewing a wide array of applications over the last few months, and there never seems to be an end to the new ones coming out or the old ones I’m hearing about for the first time. I decided to check out several competitors to […]

jingI’ve been reviewing a wide array of applications over the last few months, and there never seems to be an end to the new ones coming out or the old ones I’m hearing about for the first time. I decided to check out several competitors to sites I’ve reviewed before and do some quick comparisons. FYI, I often find out about competitor apps through the comments section of this site so thank you for your ongoing input!

The first one I looked at was Jing (Jing Project) that helps you capture images – and video – and share it in multiple ways online. I recently reviewed Skitch, began using it immediately and loved it. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I tend not to read any instructions at all so like applications that are intuitive and help me immediately with my Web work. Jing is almost as intuitive as Skitch.

If I had to make an immediate choice between Skitch and Jing, I have to say that I’m still leaning toward Skitch, but there is a certain elegance to Jing’s functionality that does make you go “oooo” and “aaaaaa” starting with this lovely, subtle “sun” icon in the far upper right hand corner of my screen that expands into sunrays representing a toolbar of choices for using Jing: Capture, History, More.

Whereas Skitch integrates beautifully with Skitch.com, Jing relies on Screencast.com as the repository of screen shots if you want to host them online and embed them into your blog posts unless you have an FTP site or Flickr account. Not a huge deal but it does feel less seamless, and I wasn’t able to find easy sizing options like I could with Skitch.

Also, while I could frame, add text, highlight or add color to my screenshots through Jing, it lacked the cool and handy doodle feature that gives me that much more flexibility with Skitch. These are minor things, but these are the small details that can make the difference between liking and loving a product.

One thing that Jing does have that Skitch doesn’t is a video capture and sharing function. I’ve been wanting to create screen casts of various online activites as demos and was thinking I had to buy a software product to make this happen. Well, Jing does just what I’ve needed – and it’s free and both Mac and PC compatible.

The next site I demoed was Flowchart.com which is “an online realtime collaboration flowchart creator,” according to the site. I looked at flowcharting and “mind mapping” sites like SpinScape (rockin’) and a number of others in my post Mapping Your Work Madness.

I can’t put my finger on it, but I just can’t figure Flowchart.com out. So I decided to make a video with Jing to illustrate the trouble I’m having with creating a simple Flowchart. View my video. I started with a template thinking it would get me going on the right track. But I was flummoxed.

I hate to say this, but I gave up soon after the “how do you connect the boxes” quandry. Still, Flowchart may be perfect for someone else out there. It just clearly wasn’t for me.

What are you using these days to create your flowcharts? Screenshots? Video screencasts?

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  1. Aliza Sherman Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Awk! Just got this from Jing: Dear Jing participant,

    Your Jing account is approaching the bandwidth limit of 1GB. When your account reaches 1GB, viewers will no longer be able to access content in your account.

    To manage your account, you can remove unused content from the Jing History or monitor your bandwidth usage.

    Hadn’t noticed a limit and have only created 2 short videos and a few images. That sure did fill up fast. This may mean hosting the videos I create elsewhere as Jing doesn’t seem to support very much…

  2. Jeff Bhavnanie Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Aliza,

    I see your screen is not expanded fully hence your menu options are not clearly visible. 1024×768 screen should give you the full menu options. As for the arrows, you can use the orthogonal arrow. Please look at a user generated video made by University professor for his class that uses flowchart.com here: http://voicethread.com/share/143337/

    ping me if you have any more questions.
    Jeff.

  3. Aliza Sherman Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Awk! Now Jing has made my content inaccessible: Dear Jing participant,

    Your Jing account has reached the monthly bandwidth limit of 1GB. Viewers cannot access any content in your account until your next monthly bandwidth allocation begins.

    Alternatively, you may purchase additional bandwidth from Screencast.com.

    Need some help? For support, visit http://support.techsmith.com

    Thank you for using Jing! Don’t forget to visit us at http://www.jingproject.com where you can post feedback on the project and participate in the Jing blog where we will discuss all the juicy details as to where we’re headed with this.

  4. Aliza Sherman Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    Jeff – will try it again when I get a chance. Thanks for the tip.

  5. If you can’t figure an application or software out in 10 minutes, move on to an alternative. How many of us actually fight through a long learning curve? Probably none.

  6. Aliza Sherman Wednesday, June 18, 2008

    Todd – I’m with you on that! If you read through my past posts, you’ll see I frequently mention my complete allergy to reading instructions. If it doesn’t start working for me in that Magic 10 Minutes, I’m on to the next thing.

  7. Aliza, can’t you FTP the video up to your blog? That should fix the bandwidth issue.

  8. I’ve recently discovered Jing as well and was surprised that the creators were also responsible for SnagIt – we use that program religiously in the office. Jing is more intuitive than SnagIt and I’m stoked with the free trial with Screencast. I’ve already made several tutorials with the video feature and love how it connects to my Flickr account.

    I’ve seen videos of Skitch but it doesn’t work for PC users.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie
    http://heystephanie.com

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