Webcam To Help Writing


10/25/20222 min read

How To Use A Webcam To Help With Your Writing

Yes, webcams are mostly used for video meetings, but they can provide other uses

When you think about webcams, you think of business or personal family meetings. The image accompanying this story was taken with an inexpensive webcam. I apologize for the person in the photo – he came cheap and did not require a release document.

If you do not have a webcam, you can get one cheap now because you do not need an expensive one. The cheaper ones still do a pretty nice job. Look for one with a USB connection so it can be used with a desktop or laptop computer. Yes, laptops have a camera and a microphone, but they are fixed in place.

Personal images

By creating my picture for this article, I did not have to worry about copyright issues. Yes, you can use Unsplash, but a lot of Medium stories use it, and we see the same images over and over. You can create a picture that stands out for the article with your imagination.

My webcam is a separate device that sits on top of my monitor. I can take it off and turn it around to grab a screenshot or a video of my screen. You can do this with a camera or a phone camera, but by using your webcam you have the file already on your computer. No downloading from your camera or phone.

Make a funny GIF file

If you are handy with a computer, you can make a recording with the webcam and turn it into a GIF file that Medium now accepts. This is not hard, but beyond the scope of this article to demonstrate how to do the creation.

For example, maybe your article is about something you don’t like. Take a short video (ten seconds or less) putting your hands to your face and shaking your head. Then convert it to a GIF and upload the GIF file into your Medium article as you do with any “JPG” or “PNG” file you have on your computer. Anyone viewing a list of stories will be able to spot your article right away as it stands out with the movement.

Replace your manual typing and save time

The webcams come with a microphone built in. Did you know you can have your words transcribed to text as you speak? Perhaps you use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to create your story and then cut and paste it to the Medium Editor.

They both have features to speak into a microphone and “type” the text into your document. Both can handle quick speech pretty well so you do not have to speak slowly. You will have to edit later as some words will be wrong, but overall the process is much faster.

A tip to writing stories is to make it sound as if you were talking. This is sometimes not easy to accomplish. Using the voice to text with your webcam microphone will make it like you are talking because you are talking. Tah Daaah! Below are articles about using text to voice and processes to make writing easier.