Stephen Downes linked me to a video that documents his following my documentation for spinning up Ghost in Reclaim Cloud. I have to say I was a bit worried it would end in frustration, but luckily it had a happy ending. That said, watching him try and follow my instructions was really instructive for me. Seeing how someone as tech savvy as Downes have to interpolate through several of my assumptions helped me understand I need to slow down and explain things better. These videos are relatively new territory for me, and seeing where and when they work and don’t work is a great exercise. So thanks for doing this Stephen, I appreciate you spending the time going through it cause it will help me do better.
I few things I learned:
- I’m not that precise all the time, words like “here” when referring to a location on the screen for folks is not very useful. Specify where you are and where you are going. But more generally, when giving instructions I need to be more precise.
- Know your audience. I was doing this video for folks using Reclaim Cloud yet I jumped out of our infrastructure all together when pointing DNS—that is very confusing, and as he noted I could lose someone pretty easily at that point. Downes stuck with it, and watching him navigate DNS in cPanel was also instructive as to how unintuitive that system can be, so cohesion and consistency is important.
- The above point about about DNS raises a bigger point. The how-to video about installing Ghost using a Docker container should have just been that, I should have saved the domain pointing and SSL certificate for a follow-up, separate video.
- I need a better system for zooming in on things I’m doing to illustrate where I’m working on the screen more clearly. I think I lost Stephen with the public IP address because the Cloud interface can be confusing when you have multiple containers in an environment, like the load balancer and the application, etc. That is both a UI issue and an explanation issue.
In these videos I’ve been trying to develop a technique for creating compelling, relatively quick tutorials via video—although being a text person, I also include a step-by-step textual guide with screenshots. The push to be succinct in video, which is important, is hard for me given I like to ramble. A lesson that hits home here is separating out processes into shorter videos that can be more readily consumed, hence saving the bit about domain mapping and A record pointing for its own video, wherein I can talk in more details about Reclaim’s DNS management versus a tool like Cloudflare, which is quite valuable when mapping domains to the Cloud.