The Tutorial Wave

20 03 2013

Have you ever wanted to know more on how to do something? If you are like most people of the computer age you would turn to your trusted search engine of choice and fumble through the results perhaps choosing a free video tutorial. Most of us have watched one or two on a subject at one time or another.

Undoubtedly if the speaker sounds as if he understands the material and is entertaining as well as informative you would be more inclined to view more of said person’s instructional guidance videos. What if the tutorial narrator constantly pauses as if needing to collect his thoughts or looses his place and trips over his own tongue repeatedly in between colorful expressions normally given to those of a less than adequate vocabulary? Imagine now that the speaker is only recording a mere six minutes of such a disaster as if he knew your limitations would not exceed such a time frame. In addition the subject matter consists of an explanation of just one small portion of a section of the material you would like to know more about. You might compare the content value of this video tutorial to that of one word from a paragraph from a whole book several hundreds of pages long, in a series of volumes numbering in no less than double digits. Would you consider it worthy of your time? Would you feel confident that the speaker could actually teach you something or would you absolutely and completely lose all confidence in the speaker and find yourself utterly perplexed by the 200,000 or so views? Well after suffering through the most recent half a dozen such attempts at video instruction I find that it is not only rational to assume but fact of a growing trend online now and you are no one unless you have an equally worthless attempt at instruction.

I have been there a few more times than I would have liked. Normally I am a patient person but I fear that even my poor long passed mother, the saint of patience that she was, would find it outrageously ridiculous and absurd not to mention a complete waste of time not only to view such an atrocity but also the creation of such an obviously useless effort. I do imagine that such must afford the creator some sense, however misguided, of pride and lend value to their otherwise pitifully mundane existence.

Imagine if you can that there are hundreds of these so-called tutorial videos available from just this one speaker on practically any subject you can imagine, and millions of other such speakers online offering the same unproductive and noneducational material. Yes Victoria, anyone can make a tutorial video and pretend they are a teacher with practically no knowledge of the subject to which they speak. Such is the computer age as it presently stands. It is such a pity that the time these individuals willfully and wantonly waste in such efforts to bolster their egos could be better spent reading a book to their children, helping their spouse with the laundry, continuing their own education with an authentic instructor, or any of a thousand more productive endeavors.

These individuals have no concept of the futile uselessness of their ineffective meager attempts at fame having no doubt given up on the dreams of fortune long ago. To a person of average intelligence and less these frivolous attempts to gain notoriety are inspirational, and another star is born! To those of us with slightly more under our hats it is a sad tradeoff for all the vastness of truly informative information that abounds all around us via the internet. Don your snorkel and dive right in because you will have to do a bit of swimming through this ever present muck in the ocean of tutorials in order to find those pearls of wisdom today. Yes, they do exist and you can actually locate a few if you are tenacious enough not to be deterred by the country bumpkin playing school house without all the rocks.

Yes my dear Victoria, you can actually still find informative tutorials by educated instructors that actually have knowledge pertinent to the subject but you must employ you super powers of deduction, reasoning and common sense. Ascertain in the first minute or two if the material is of a level you desire, ignore the page views and other such irrelevant and misleading statistical data. Concentrate instead on the tutorial length, written description and the intro to the subject matter. If the speaker is not well versed and articulate you will need to decide rather quickly by means of the well written description and length of the video as to whether this one might be of some value to you and not simply an utter waste of your precious time. Make it a point to recall the name or at least the image associated with poorly constructed tutorials so that you may automatically avoid them in the future. You have thousands of free tutorials available to you in any particular subject of interest so why waste your time with those that simply waste your time.

I suggest that you create an account in YouTube if this is where you find yourself hunting tutorials and I have no doubt that you will. YouTube is the largest repository of tutorials both good and bad, and all in between. An account, which takes mere minutes to set up, will serve you well in your tutorial seeking endeavors saving you both time and sanity. There are links under each YouTube video which enable you to save the video to a list to view later or a folder which serves the same purpose. If you are new to YouTube let me assure you that it is not hard to find your way around and in no time you will feel quite at ease with your folders and playlists of video productions.

Once you find a worthwhile tutorial save the video in a folder with a simple name easily understood by yourself and any of the public you may care to share it with. Feel you cannot filter out the bad ones because your memory isn’t what it used to be and they keep popping up? Add a rubbish folder and stuff the bad ones into it for future reference of what not to waste your time with, be sure to describe the uselessness briefly in the folder description so people viewing your saved videos will know that the videos are substandard. Now you have saved a few worthwhile tutorials and you are ready to grab a sandwich and some tea and start your studies all from your carefully selected educational tutorials. Naturally you will also want to create some folders for amusement and entertainment after your tutorial studies and it is no problem to do this with all the tools you need directly below any video of interest.

If school was this much fun you would never have played hookey! So off you go now armed with the new found knowledge that you can efficiently paddle you way through the ever growing sea of tuts effortlessly now that you have all the right tools and my swift kick in your keester! Off with you now, go learn something!

 

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