Before I became an Apprentice Web Developer I made a name for myself on YouTube doing screencasts. What is a screencast you might ask? Its where someone broadcasts a recording of their computer screen for informative or educational purposes.
Where it all began
I signed up to YouTube back in April 2007, but I didn’t start making videos until much later, when a friend from school convinced me to give it a try. I thought why not, I had nothing to lose by doing it.
My very first tutorial video was posted in April 2008. It was a guide on how to use Microsoft Word 2007 and its makes me laugh when I see it as it makes me wonder how my videos could have been so badly produced.
I made pretty much every mistake with this video, the frame rate was poor, there was no narration, and I recorded me typing words into a word document while recording.
Around October the same year is when my channel started gaining some attention and some controversy with the following video. A lot of people watched and liked the video, but on the flip side it was criticised for having too many links, poor video quality, pronouncing “Leopard” wrong and some people were even claiming the software used gave them viruses. (Which it didn’t by the way) to this day it remains one of my most viewed videos on YouTube.
I’ve also done other videos which are not tutorial videos. One such series is my controversial “Name & Shame” series where I would offer a comedic response to hate comments I got on YouTube, I actually had people in real life asking me to make more Name & Shame videos, but sadly due to me getting banned from YouTube the series had to be removed, and I have no plans to come back to it. I also won’t be linking those videos for obvious reasons.
While I still make the occasional mistake here and there my tutorial videos have improved. One of the more recent videos can be found below.
The feedback I get on my videos is mostly positive. With people saying thank you, and even now there’s people sharing my videos on Twitter and on Google+, and I have over 2340 subscribers at the time of writing this post. I always love seeing constructive feedback too, as its helped me produce better content.
What influences the choice of topics I cover?
I don’t really have a standardised system of choosing what to cover in my videos, I usually look up stuff and then if it works for me do a video about it, this is of course for the tutorial videos. For my other videos such as the video blogs are influenced by what’s going on in the technology world or if there’s something I want to talk about.
How the videos are produced
To make the tutorial videos I’ve used a combination of software packages. The ones that I like most are Camtasia Studio and BBFlashback. They allow me to add zoom and pan effects to videos, record my voice and webcam at the same time, and they allow exporting in HD formats, and both are really easy to use they also allow me to tweak the format so I can get better quality. A recent example of a video made with camtaisa can be found below.
As for my gaming videos, most of them are straight uploads to YouTube, but recently I’ve had a friend of mine edit the videos for me to save time.
Since I am a gamer and the fact tutorial videos are no longer what people want, I’ve decided to focus on creating gaming guides and lets plays instead, there are a lot of very large open world games out there and people will obviously need a helping hand with them, I also tend to think out loud a lot when playing games too which would make for a good video. While I have done some commentaries like the one below, I’ve not done a massive series so far.