I have some opinions about how-to/DIY-oriented video shows*. Some strong ones. And having just watched Diane’s inaugural two-minute video, I’m compelled to shout to all the world that she’s nailed the three most important rules I think MUST be followed to ensure the healthy progression of how-to video into the modern era:
- She’s unscripted. Thank the gods! Know what makes for awful how-to video? Reading. People rarely sound natural when they’re reading, either from a script or a teleprompter. And unnaturalness means I want to change the channel or close the window. Goodness, it’s boring. Diane’s a natural in front of the camera, and her unscripted chatting makes it feel just like that, like she’s chatting to ME.
- She’s online. In my opinion, the future of how-to television is online. Low(er) budget, less rigid formatting, more relaxed, more sharing, more interacting, no scripting. (Of course it also needs to be a great concept, well-organized, well-shot and lighted adequately. All of which I’m sure Diane will nail.)
- The video is short. In the scheme of online how-to videos I’ve been chewing on for over a year, no video is longer than six minutes. Diane’s sticking to two. It’s fabulous.
That’s all. I just needed to say all this in something longer than a tweet (obviously).
*Yes, I’ve spent some time on some. I’m heavily critical of my work on them, too. The thing I’m most critical of? Not seeing myself as myself. In my opinion, a how-to show’s only worth watching if the people on it are REAL. And not boring. Two key things.