Avoid The Ubiquitous Youtuber Tech Help Mistake

The array of help videos can quickly bamboozle those seeking a variety of tech advice often now known as ‘hacks’.

I recently ventured into the bedroom broadcast abyss. My trepidation outgunned by the need to delete certain Windows files Microsoft bewilderingly think fit to stifle your machine.

Most potential clips last roughly in the range of three to six minutes.

Most of them are from people who have posted a number of similar instructionals.

Most are from lone tekkies, altruistically sharing their knowledge. As opposed to those trying to make a day-job of consulting in such matters.

A significant proportion appear computer-voiced and hail from beyond the anglosphere.

A seemingly smaller amount feature footage of the actual real-life assistor speaking into camera.

Thankfully I found rescue from a few of this latter set.

Their output is pretty much (OBS-style) screen capture with occasional annotation and zoomed captions. Interspersed with small inserted frames of their talking head visual or actual shot of their, ahem, homeworking studio space.

Given that I found the main solution I sought from most I watched, what they all had in common was startling.

There were, I discovered, a number of ways to slay the particular menace at hand.

Each video began by stating what the beast to be tamed was. Followed by the number of ways we’d see it be done. Three, four, five. Whatever amount.

Then they all dived straight in. Number One. And off we went.

The key-presses, mouse-clicks and button pushes to get you home all shown. To varying degrees of suitability and speed.

On. And on. And on.

No vid had a specific section title card between each option. Only one (yep) put up a text heading for each of their points. Simple white text superimposed on the screen for a fleeting moment as they clicked around.

Not even any summary at the end.

There’s such a learning here for our own meeting management. Online or IRL.

An agenda. Contents. Your menu to come.

A pause at the end of each item.

And a recap at the end.

In fact, this latter tactic is one trick that is most often absent from meetings or presentations in general.

Here’s what we’ve gone through. With learnings, resolutions and action points. Reminders of what’s been shared. Annotated with what’s coming or expected after.

Also of note, is that each one seems reliant solely on their clip. No link to a blog, publicly stored file or any other such place where documented, written out, step-by-step or even accompanying notes can be found.

Undoubtedly b2b sales looks set to move from face-to-face and way more towards V2V (video-to-video) contact in our post-coronavirus new normal. Meaning the above are salutary lessons for our own imminently triggered explanations and forums. By whatever flavour of Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Connect, Facebook/Messenger Rooms, Google Meet or any of the other many apps vying for attention you end up touching on or defaulting to.

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