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A Tutorial on Tutorials

The internet, bless its heart, is most probably the most massive collection of information since the dawn of creation. The jaws of the caretakers of the great ancient library of Alexandria would drop like lead if they could peer at only a fraction of what we have today at our fingertips.

For the most part.

After spending more than a half hour yesterday watching two so-called “tutorials” on a specific subject, it has me today scratching my head as to what I got out of them and why the perpetrators have the nerve to label their offerings as “tutorials.”

For starters, let’s look at the actual definitions. Webster says that a tutorial “give(s) practical information about a specific subject.” Similarly, (thank you, internet) says that a tutorial is “a class in which a tutor gives intensive instruction in some subject to an individual student or a small group of students.”

That’s all well and good, but what about a tutor? Again, Webster says that a tutor is “a person charged with the instruction and guidance of another.” adds that a tutor is “a person employed to instruct another in some branch or branches of learning.”

When taking those definitions into consideration, I must say that the two videos I watched yesterday failed miserably on all counts.

Why? Because they failed to provide “practical information” or “intensive instruction.” What they essentially gave me were commercials about the product in question. To paraphrase, they said that this product can do this, and it can do that, and this product is capable of doing… whatever. The problem is that there was no “practical information” or “intensive instruction” on HOW to do anything.

I now know what the product is capable of doing but, I have to be honest with you, I pretty much knew that before watching the videos. What I was looking for from these “tutorials” was some “guidance” as to HOW to actually do these things so that I could benefit from all the wonderful dividends that this product alleges to deliver.

But that’s not what I got. I closed the videos still not knowing how to wrangle any benefit from this product.

A word to all YouTube creators: Don’t congratulate yourself for creating a tutorial on – whatever – without taking the time to explain HOW the product in question works, instead of just rambling through a laundry list of what it’s capable of doing. Reading brochure copy does not instruct.


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