Thursday, March 19, 2020

Why I Make Video Tutorials

Yesterday afternoon someone wrote on my Facebook page that she was going to stop following the page because I had too many videos and not enough written tutorials. The fact of the matter is that I've published nearly 15,000 blog posts and less than half have videos in them (I counted last night). But I can see how she had that impression because for the last two years I have made a concerted effort to publish more tutorial videos and fewer written tutorials. I'd like to explain why. So here it is in list format.

1. Copyright issues. If you have followed this blog for more than a year, you're probably well aware of the many issues I've had with people stealing my work and pawning it off as their own. The most egregious cases have involved people using my work as their own in conference presentations! It's a heck of a lot harder to pass off my video as your own than it is to copy and paste my writing and images.

2. Discoverability. Depending the report you read, YouTube is the second or third most visited website in the world. Putting videos on YouTube helps more people discover my tutorials and this blog.

3. Clarity. Even when I write tutorials there are still some parts of the process that are better shown than told. A video solves that problem.

4. Time. I have a full-time course load and a family to raise and I try to stay in shape by racing my bicycle (masters category, baby!). I can produce a screencast video in the same or less time than it takes to make a series of written instructions.

Could my videos be better? Sure they could. But I wouldn't be able to make as many and many of them are made as a direct result of a request from a reader. So it all comes back to trying to help as many people as I can. It appears that video is the way to do that. Someone recently gave me the compliment that my videos have a "nice homemade feel." I'll take it.