If you follow my blog, you would’ve noticed several videos of me coding up a Connections clone in Elm. I did this as a bit of an experiment, to see if I’d would be interested in screen-casting my coding sessions, and if anyone else would be interested in watching them. I also wanted to see if hosting them on a platform that’s not YouTube would gain any traction.

So far, I’ve received no takers: most videos have received zero views so far, with the highest view count being three. I’m guessing part of the reason is that the audience for this sort of stuff is just not there, or maybe it is but they’re spending all their watch-time on YouTube and Twitch. Building an audience on a platform like PeerTube might be feasible, but it’ll be quite a slog to fight for oxygen from these juggernauts.

But I also have to know that it’s unreasonable of me to expect any decent view numbers after just seven videos, especially after the first seven videos from someone who’s starting from scratch. Much like growing an audience for anything else, it’s just one of those things I need to work at, if I want it. Part of me is not sure that I do want it. And yet, the other part of me is seeking out posts about coders streaming on Twitch. So maybe that desire is still there.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I took on this small summer project. I had a chance to experiment with Elm, which was much needed exercise of my programming skills. I also had a chance to try out video production and editing using DaVinci Resolve, and I had a play around with PeerTube which… well, who can resist playing around with software? So although I didn’t get the banana1, at least I managed to compost the peel.

Anyway, on to the retro. Here are a few things I’ll need to keep in mind the next time I want to attempt this (it’s written in the second person as I’m writing this to myself):


  • Do a small recording test to make sure you’re setup is working. That last thing you want is to have a 30 minute recording with no audio because you forgot to turn on your mic.
  • Drink or sneeze while recording if you need to but make sure you stop moving things on the screen when you do, especially the mouse. That would make it easier for you to trim it out in the edit. This also applies when you’re thinking or reading.
  • When you do restart after drinking or sneezing, avoid repeating the last few words you just said. Saying “I’m going to be… (sneeze)… going to be doing this” makes it hard to cut it from the edit. Either restart the sentence from the beginning (“I’m going to be… (sneeze)… I’m going to be doing this”), or just continue on (“I’m going to be… (sneeze)… doing this”).
  • Also, just before you restart after drinking or sneezing, say a few random words to clear your voice.
  • Avoid saying things like “um” and “ah” when you’re explaining something. I know it’s natural to do so, so if you can’t avoid it, stop moving when you do so they can be edited out.
  • Don’t sigh. It makes it seem like you’re disinterested or annoyed.
  • Narrate more. Longs stretches of keyboard noises do not make for interesting viewing.
  • Saying things like “let’s change this” can be improved upon by saying why you’re changing “this”. Viewers know that you’re changing something — they can see it. What they can’t see is your thinking as to why it’s being changed at all.
  • Try to keep the same distance from the mic, and speak at the same volume, especially when saying things in your “thinking” voice (it tends to be a little quiet).
  • If you think the editor font is the right size, make it two steps larger.


  • Showing that you’re thinking or reading is fine, but don’t be afraid to trim it down to several seconds or so. Long stretches of things not happening on screen looks a little boring.
  • Proofread any titles you use. Make sure you’ve got the spelling right.
  • Try not to get too fancy with the effects to show the passage of time. Doing so means you’ll need to recreate it the same effects for subsequent videos. Less might be more here.
  • Learn the keyboard shortcuts for DaVinci Resolve. Here are some useful ones:
    • m: Add new marker.
    • Shift+Up, Shift+Down: Go to previous/next marker (only works in the edit section though? 🤨).
    • Cmd+\: Split the selected clip.
    • Option+Y: Select all clips to the right of the playhead (useful when trimming stuff out and you need to plug the gap).
  • Your screen is not big enough for 1080p recordings. Aim for 720p so that the video will still be crisp when exporting (a 16:9 video intended for 720p will need a capture region of 1280x720)


  • You don’t need to announce a new episode as soon as it’s uploaded. Consider spacing them out to one or two a week. That would make it less like you’re just releasing “content”.
  • Aim to publish it around the same time, or at least on the same day. That should give others an expectation of when new episodes will be released.
  • Put some thought into the video poster. Just defaulting to the first frame is a little lazy.
  • If you’re using PeerTube, upload the videos as private first and don’t bother with the metadata until the upload is successful. Then go back and edit the metadata before making the video public (changing a video from private to public will send out an ActivityPub message). That way, there’s less chance of you loosing metadata changes if the upload were to fail.

  1. The banana here is anyone taking an interest in these videos; and I guess releasing Clonections itself? But not doing so is a conscious choice, at least for now. ↩︎