My first encounter with video tutorials was actually with the original Ruby on Rails movie. This version did not have sound at all. Instead, whatever important things that needed to be said was done by typing text into the terminal for the viewers to read. For me, this sort of increased its geekiness level. True, sites such as Lynda.com have been offering video tutorials for many years now. However, (let me rephrase that) my first encounter with free, open-source technology was with Ruby on Rails.
Since then, many have jumped on the bandwagon. Personally, this seems to be a good move. The simplest common sense reason being that you can explain so much more using pictures and videos. It's actually quite hard to understand the common nomenclature that a group of developer uses while dealing with their framework. Secondly, (also another common sense reason), videos can create an great first impression. Joel Spolsky says in his book Joel on Software that even if you have the world's greatest program, you will lose to the other competitor if you do not have enough screenshots. Yup, screenshots are that important.
Some of you might snigger now and think that people who fall for screenshots are nothing more than gullible people who eat hype and drink the kool-aid. Not true. In a field where there are so many competitors, gaining a lasting first impression is really important. And, not every technology out there can do it. I doubt that you could create a Java powered blog within 10 minutes! So, as you can tell, the length of the presentation also plays an important role in determining how popular it will be. Make it too long and people actually lose interest in it all together. Too short, and you leave your viewers wondering is that it?
I guess video tutorials are not limited to teaching people about programming languages and frameworks. Some companies are also using them to teach their users how to use the new technologies. Now, this is an excellent thing because it really shows that you want your users to use those tools. 37signals uses videos for all their web applications.
If you are looking for tools to make video tutorials, here are some:
So, what video tutorials out there are worth watching? Here is my list:Tweet
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