In the holy name of Cthulhu, stop doing video tutorials!

They are useless, do not allow you to go in depth on a subject, and, unless your production values are top notch (read professional sound and image crew) will probably be horrible and a pain to watch.

If you care about a technical subject, please take the time to *write* about it and publish it on the Internet.

ยท Web ยท 18 ยท 49 ยท 65


They are good if the written language is not your strongest language (ie written documentation is English and English is not your main working language, for example). It is also good for people that are more like visual learners, or even kinetic learners, or even want audio learning.

(I'm assuming that you don't include conference videos, which may include tutorials and we are probably not talking about stuff like Dr. Messer videos?)

@ParadeGrotesque It's interesting because one of the first places I go to when I am learning something is.. a video tutorial source and I generally don't care who does it. Also the highly polished 'tutorials' are most likely vendor marketing oriented type videos or it's by an education provider in which case one is paying hundreds or thousands for the course.

@ParadeGrotesque Totallly agree but people are obviously hoping for some of that elusive YouTube advertising money.

@ParadeGrotesque In most cases what you write is truth. My problem with video tutorials is how the presenter sounds. If they are unclear, have thick accents, are hard to listen to, aren't using a script (rambling, repeats), or have some vocal 'tics' like upspeak I can't get into them.
One person presented a Python YT tutorial but she sounded like this? Every sentence? She was hard to listen to? I gave up after the fifth sentence?

@ParadeGrotesque yeah

For me itโ€™s the static bitrate. When Iโ€™m reading I can speed-up or slow-down the information dynamically and the net result is getting the information I need much faster.

Iโ€™m not opposed to videos as an option, but when itโ€™s the only form, that sucks ๐Ÿ˜

@ParadeGrotesque There are situations where video is the right tool.โ€When what you want to know is, say, how to disassemble something, or how to set up a machine tool, it can be far better than any amount of text.โ€I see it used, however, FAR beyond any sane context.
Put me down in the column of those who become frustrated without the option to assimilate information at their own speed, & skip back & forth at will.

@publius @ParadeGrotesque

One technique Iโ€™ve seen is to embed short (animated) GIFs in a written tutorial. That gives you the advantages of text while still being able to show key things as little videos.


That's a good point. Recording a terminal has become easier recently, and it can be interesting.


@ParadeGrotesque 100000% agree except that I'll admit that as long as it's accompanied by a full text description, a short video that explains, for example, how to get a tricky part in place can be justified.

@ParadeGrotesque Many of the younger people at work couldn't live without video tutorials, and think that written documentation is horrible.

For me it's the other way round. Video and audio blocks my mind, and I can't think while watching. With text, I can take my time, skip back and forth, look something up in parallel, quickly try out an example - whatever. I try to avoid vendors who only supply video, but it is getting harder. Good technical writers are expensive.

@ParadeGrotesque Absolutely agree, there's nothing more useless than video tutorial.

@ParadeGrotesque @Digitalcourage i'd say it always depends on the subject. I like scientific stuff in videos (like explaining equations by gradually developing them). But i prefer tech stuff in written form (and optional screenshots if necessary). Recordings of someone configuring something are tiring to watch.

@aslmx @ParadeGrotesque @Digitalcourage

with electronics/electrical engineering I find that *demonstration* videos work better, ranging from things that you might aspire to do but currently don't have the resources/knowledge (such as restoring a 1960s radio) or being shown why you *don't* want to do a thing (i.e using cheap/defective equipment on 230V mains that short circuits/overheats). You do learn stuff from them but they are used alongside things like forums, blog posts etc..

@ParadeGrotesque @Digitalcourage No, please don't stop doing video tutorials. There are good ones and there are bad ones. I love them both. It's great to see someone hacking Linux or disassembling a laptop, smartphone or anything. But please use peertube to publish your tutorials. That would be great. Thank you. Roll it! ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽฌ๐Ÿ“น

@ParadeGrotesque If you mean a specific subject you don't like videos on, just say that (programming maybe?)

Otherwise, video tutorials are great! for visual/sensory learners and for things that are hard to describe in writing & better to demonstrate.
- how to repair cars, appliances, home systems, computers, etc.
- how to build/make things
- how to play an instrument or a certain song on it.
- how to do physical things like sports, etc.
- demonstrating operation of machinery or software

You have a point: for certain technical subject (assemble or disassemble hardware, music, etc) a short, on point, video with good production value may be more efficient than a text.

On the other hand, so many video tutorials are atrocious rambling nonsense it's hard to for me to pay attention.

My point still stands, though: it's worth taking the time to *write* what you'd like your video to be about. Before shooting it.


"stop doing written tutorials!

They are useless, do not allow you to go in depth on a subject, and, unless your writing skills are top notch (read professional style and content editor) will probably be horrible and a pain to read." /s

seriously though, don't friggin discourage content creators who are trying to share about stuff they care about, or who are trying to give back to the community.


You have a point, in the sense that I should not discourage people from sharing knowledge, and I apologize if my wording was perhaps too harsh.

My main point is this: video can be interesting in some cases, but it should be kept short. Writing something that is detailed and on point is almost always better than video (IMHO).

I have found some (very) valuable information even in poorly written documentation.

Also, they're neither searchable nor translatable and you can't just skim through to the part you came looking for. They don't work for people with aural impairments either. I hate this trend.

@ParadeGrotesque I've learned welding (to some degree) by watching video tutorials. Cannot imagine getting to the same point so fast by studying written instructions.


I have to disagree about that. Sometimes you can write 1000 words to desribe something and nobody but you will understand the content, show them a picture and everything is clear. In my company I have to write a lot of workinstructions. Sometimes you just to forget to write a certain part down which is necessary, because it is "basic". A Video just contains everything even the parts you "forgot".

@ParadeGrotesque I wonder what this toot would have sounded like in the time of King Hammurabi.

"In the holy name of Marbuk, stop doing written tutorials! They are useless, don't allow interaction with your apprentices, and, unless your slabs are top-notch, will probably be horrible and a pain to read."

"If I see anyone writing a tutorial, I will cut off your chiselling hand."


To be perfectly honest, if all our written documentation looked like this... I could sypathize with the feelings! ๐Ÿคฃ

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon @ SDF

"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko