Blog Post

Explanations in Plain English!

Social Media is really fun...well, in any case I do my best to evangelize and recruit as many faculty and student users as I can. This is another post from the Visualization in Education Network in the Web 2.0 Social Media Tools Group. Join up and check out what else is there. And post some comments (only Cathy and Mechelle have) so I know you are reading this and not just clicking through..."Throw me a friggin' bone here". :-)


First, we look at free websites for posting (and usually downloading) videos. Lee LeFever is the mastermind behind the wonderful "Explanations in Plain English" on web tools like blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, and social networks. Click to view his popular creations on his website blog The Commoncraft Show (blogs) or on YouTube (choose from an array) or (wikis) or DailyMotion (social bookmarking) or MetaCafe (social networking).

All of these websites deliver video content, but check out how they differ in look, functionality, and upload method. Don't forget that Ustream is great for fast and easy live streaming video and recorded media too, but that will be described in a future post.

Below is Google Docs in Plain English, created for them by LeFever. It is available on and Google's YouTube Channel.

(still working on getting it to display in this from or YouTube link for now)


Click here for another example produced for Google on using My Location for Mobile Maps, viewed on

The final "Plain English" example is for WetPaint wikis. Very nice, available on and YouTube.

(ditto above--need to get it into this spot--I'm pasting the

codes from YouTube in the Video Fields below, but I don't see any evidence that the video is showing up--if it did it would be at the end and not here?--usually I'm good at figuring these things out, but not this time...aack!)


A quote from LeFever's excellent advice:

"Here's the lesson from our experience: If you're about to start something new, don't spend weeks trying to make the first attempt perfect. Get started as quickly as possible and learn as you go. Tinker, experiment and look for the big things you can tackle as you go. Solve problems when they need to be solved and you won't feel as overwhelmed by all the things that could be fixed."

Perfectionists and technophobes (none of those here!) take note.


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