Let’s begin with the obvious question: what is a tudeo?
It is a word – invented by me – that combines the words “tutorial” and “‘video.” Once you’ve written the phrase “tutorial videos” hundreds of times, believe me, you start looking for a shortcut.
Use the word “tudeo” with your friends and family – “I can’t stay on the phone, Aunt Marge, I have a tudeo to watch on bathtub caulking” – and together, let’s watch it become part of the social media vernacular.
But now let’s address the real reason we are here – how to make a good tudeo.
Over the last three months, I’ve watched hundreds of tudeos. And in my search for the most helpful ones, I’ve seen some horrendous things. Confusing things. I did not complain at the time, but, trust me, it ain’t easy being a YouTube filtering mechanism.
But I also learned a few things along the way about what makes a good tudeo. And I am willing (and eager) to share my tips with you.
Without further ado, here is my YouTube Tudeo Best Practices List:
1. Don’t kill people
This, my friends, should be obvious. Why then do people post tudeos with instructions that could lead to instant death?
Recently, I was trying to find a tudeo for help on changing light fixtures. With every YouTube video, there is a place underneath where people can leave comments. Almost every single person – all of whom seemed to know something about matters electrical – denounced the advice as dangerous. The word “electrocution” was used, for crying out loud.
It is worth noting that nobody defended the instructions. Nobody wrote “I followed the instructions to the letter and I am fine.” Why? Because those people are dead.
2. Comport yourself in a manner appropriate to the subject
I was watching a tudeo recently on cake decorating and the woman demonstrating the technique looked like she had just been told that she was going to be executed at dawn. At several points, she muttered darkly under her breath. If there was a dog nearby, she would have kicked it.
Hey lady, I don’t want to make your grumpy cake anyway.
Conversely, if you are providing instruction on how to sew on an arm that has just been sheared off by a passing locomotive, then, by all means, look grim. If you furrowed your brow and set your mouth into a tight, determined line, I’d appreciate it all the more.
3. Provide written commentary
I absorb information better when it is in written form. A lot of people do. That is why it’s helpful to have a written recap every time an important point is made in a tudeo.
Recently, I decided that I wanted to speak like Gloria from Modern Family so I watched a tudeo that coached me on how to affect a Spanish accent. When I saw the same video on Videojug, I shouted a uvular fricative of joy upon discovering written instructions posted underneath. For that reason, I am posting it below. I teenk joo ahrr go-heen to be leeking dis bideo.
4. Don’t skip steps
Yes, I’m looking at you, Martha Stewart. I am still bitter about the fitted sheet debacle. Why you thought it wise to take the viewer from Point A to Point B to Point C to Point F with a subject as complex as the folding of fitted sheets, I’ll just never know.
So please tudeo makers, don’t be a Martha. Provide detailed instruction.Don’t miss a single step.
If we knew what we were doing in the first place, would we be looking at a tudeo for guidance?
5. Have Some Production Values
Your tudeo doesn’t need Hollywood production values, but it would be nice to hear your instruction and see you what you are doing.
I watched a crochet tudeo where the hooking was demonstrated by someone separated from the camera by a long dining room table. At least, I think she was crocheting. Who will ever know?
I also noted that camera people who shoot cat manicure tudeos tend to shoot from a distance. I am all in favour of self-preservation, but when something intricate and detailed is being demonstrated, we kind of want to see it. Tight camera angles, people.
Also be aware of ambient sound. Don’t give instructions on changing a tire when you are standing within spitting distance of the Indy 500. We appreciate that it might give you credibility, but none of us are auditioning to be part of the pit crew. We just want to be able to hear the instructions on how to change a tire on our Elantra.