Edward Loveall

Video Tutorials

Recently I’ve seen a lot of people expressing their dislike of video tutorials. That they are less polished than a blog post, or that you can’t search or scan through a video to find the one thing you’re after. You’d prefer to learn in written form, and most of the time I’m right there with you.

But writing, good writing, is so flipping difficult. Much of my writing is never published because I just don’t have the spoons to research, structure, edit, re-edit, give up, start over, publish, and promote it.

In contrast, I can sit down and give you my knowledge in close to real time by recording a video. That’s powerful.

Video is a great format for certain topics or tasks like 3d modeling, sign language, or device repair. It’s not that you can’t teach those with writing, but those topics are visual and kinetic, something that does not translate well to words.

It strikes me, too, that this is a pretty entitled thing to ask. You want some information and you demand that others make it in your preferred format.

Are you requesting as a paid customer of say, a publication or product that they stop pivoting to video? Fine. But the world does not write tutorials for you. Not everyone working on their side project is also a brilliant technical writer. Heck, not everyone can speak your language, let alone write it!

To those of you that make video tutorials: I would also encourage you to give writing a try. It will make you think differently about your subject in a way that video doesn’t or can’t. It will force you to better understand it, and you will learn more about it! I guarantee you will even learn about yourself when you write. It’s beautiful.

And to the rest of you, video is a fine medium for tutorials. Yes, it’s often not as polished, or searchable, or as easily skimmed, but so be it. I’d rather have that information out in the world than not.