With “Screencast.com’s recent Library redesign”:http://blog.screencast.com/2011/04/try-the-new-beta-features-and.html comes a particularly interesting enhancement that many may have missed.
In the old design, you could upload anything to your Library. Some people might have a bunch of loose content that wasn’t in any true folder. Further, this content is “Public” – meaning anyone that knows your display name can see your Library.
Take a look at my public offerings at “http://www.screencast.com/users/d.frazier”:http://www.screencast.com/users/d.frazier You see two public playlists that I’ve created, and four folders that are publicly visible and able to be browsed. What’s not showing up are all the individual pieces of content that are stored at my Library level.
When you log into your account using the old UI, you find yourself in a “My Library” view by default. Here’s a snapshot of some of my Screencast.com account now with me logged in:
Uploading content by clicking the “Upload Content” button results in your file being stored at your Library level, i.e. not in a specific folder. (You can of course upload content into a specific folder by navigating to that folder level and initiating the upload process.)
Previously we had no way of implementing any level of privacy at the Library level other than “Public.” With our new UI, and particularly by displaying all folders in the left hand navigation area, we can now treat the Library as a real folder (and it is now called “Default”…by default. Clever, I know). Now with the new UI, when you log into your account you find yourself not in your Library, but in a “view” – specifically the “All items” view.
When you choose to upload content from this view, your content goes into your Default folder – for the time being. (A logical enhancement for us is to put a folder picker on the Flash-based uploader, but that’s for a different discussion.) The point here is that because the Library is now a real folder, you can set the privacy of it to something other than “Public”.
If you set it to “Hidden”, anyone browsing to your account by using your display name won’t be able to see any content that’s been uploaded to your Default folder, until you send someone a direct link to it, or move it into a “Public” folder of your choosing. I see this as a benefit to most who want to upload lots of content in bulk (through the Desktop Uploader application or Camtasia Relay for example), not have it be instantly, publicly browseable, and then decide later how to organize and share it.
Our intention is to one day index all public content in Screencast.com in order to provide discoverability both internally (as related content perhaps) and externally through the various search engines. Additionally, we will one day make the new UI the only available viewing option for content owners. When we do that (and for those who don’t realize that their Library/Default content is publicly browseable), we have an opportunity to set everyone’s Default folder to “Hidden” (by default), without affecting any of the content or links to content that have previously been shared. If after that update, you want your Library/Default folder to be browseable, you can easily set its privacy level back to “Public”, but it will be you that initiates that action and not us, on your terms and with your understanding.
For now, if you want to take advantage of this new degree of security, feel free to update the privacy settings of your Default folder and rest assured that any content you upload into your account that’s not uploaded directly to a Public folder, will be hidden from view until you decide to share it.