My team is investigating the use of video as a content type for IT Pros. We are compiling best practices and tips/tricks for creating this kind of content, but we need your feedback. Thoughts/comments?

DO

  1. Have some lighting. It should be good enough to distinguish what’s important (for example, a person’s face if they are talking), but no more.
  2. Help the viewer understand whether or not the content is for them. Start with an intro, some text around the video, or both, that helps the user decide if the video is for them. If your video requires expert-level knowledge, say so up front. If your video is about only ONE version of a product or technology, say so up front.
  3. Rehearse sufficiently and prepare your screens sufficiently so that the user is not distracted by typos or confused by work arounds. For example, see the comments on this video.
  4. Keep it as short as possible. ~ 5 minutes seems to be a sweet spot, and should allow you to dodge the random insertion of commercials into your video by MSN. We don’t control this, but when you get hit and send feedback, we have had some success getting them removed. No promises tho.
  5. Talk like a real person. In written text, we place a premium on clarity and brevity. This is not only for ease of reading, but because it lowers text localization costs. However, if you read it out loud, it doesn’t sound “natural” – like people talking. Just talk on the video in a natural way. Humans respond to other humans speaking in a way that is quite different than reading. Trying to “pretty up” your speech usually does not work anyway unless you have had public speaking or acting training. If you have had special training, by all means use it.

DON’T

  1. Over-produce. You don’t need Hollywood-level lighting or sound or script development. Spend your time on content quality rather than “extra” levels of “production value.”
  2. Neglect to establish context. Anticipate the FAQs for your video, and answer them up front. Who are you? What is the video about? What do you expect the viewer to get out of watching it? How long is it? What pre-reqs are required to make use of what you are demonstrating/discussing?
  3. Stray from the point.

SteveOLAP leaves a great comment on this video that kind of sums it up:

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We’ve published a new topic in the TN Library that lists new Hyper-V videos in LIFO order. Check it out at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee731912(WS.10).aspx

If you are interested in sorting these by number of views as of today:

  1. Hyper-V Architecture Demonstration Video
  2. Getting to Know Hyper-V with Felipe Ayora
  3. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Bare Metal to Live Migration in about an hour!
  4. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Installation
  5. Virtual Machine Migration Test Wizard
  6. Hypervisor is not running error: How to fix
  7. Hyper-V R2: Building a Hyper-V R2 Cluster
  8. Ben Armstrong on Hyper-V Snapshot Common Issues
  9. Hyper-V R2: Making Highly Available VMs
  10. Hyper-V R2: Introducing Cluster Shared Volumes

Let us know what you think about these, what’s working for your, what’s not? What subjects would you like to see covered next?

Also check out TechNet Edge videos for the IT Pro.

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