Have you seen the new Microsoft Office Community Clips?
People upload videos that demonstrate how to perform a task. I guess people like this because it’s almost like watching TV. Never mind that you actually have to click and watch in order to determine if it’s useful. And, a 3-minute video contains roughly the same content that you could read in about 20 seconds.
It’s billed as a “community.” Anybody can watch the videos, but to contribute one, you must be a member of the community. I think this means that you must have a Windows Live ID. Is that the same as a Passport? I have no idea. In the past few years, I’ve told Passport (or whatever it’s called) to “remember me” at least 100 times. But I’m forgotten every time. But I’ve come to expect it, so it’s no longer a big deal.
Joseph Chirilov, at the official Microsoft Excel blog seem to like Community Clips (but then again, could he really say that he hates it?):
The folks over in Office Labs are testing out a new idea called Community Clips and I, personally, think it’s a fantastic idea. It’s a community site where anyone, not just Microsoft employees, can upload “how to” videos that take you step-by-step through accomplishing a particular task. Think of it as YouTube meets Office Online. If, like me, you’re a visual learner, this is a great way to learn new tips and tricks on how to do any number of things with Microsoft products. There are already quite a few Excel-related topics, from using freeze rows to creating your own UDFs in VBA.
I guess I’m not a visual learner. Watching these videos is almost painful to me. It’s all so slow and inefficient, and I can’t easily skim to get to the relevant part.
So what do you think? Are videos a viable way of learning?