Let me preface this by saying that what you are trying to do is tremendously difficult to do well — so much so that I usually advise people to spend their resources elsewhere. That's not to discourage you from continuing your work — you've already put a lot of time into it — but to see if I can point out some of the common pitfalls so you get the most out of your efforts.
The #1 problem very common to these videos is that you most likely already know TOO MUCH about Stack Exchange to tell the "first time user experience." It's really difficult to turn that off, but it will always show in your videos. People tend to forget that these systems are designed to be self-learning, so they skip over that really obvious first-time-user stuff because it is so self-evident… once you use the site. But then they proceed to skip ahead haphazardly through issues that are completely out of context of actual "first-time user experiences."
Try watching your video like you are seeing it for the first time. Don't study the text; Don't "know" the screens you are looking at… Sit back and nonchalantly glance through your video and try to "see" it as you would for the first time. It is VERY difficult to re-acquire this critical eye, but it is crucial if you want to make an introductory video.
As I saw it, the story was laid out something like this:
- The first half ("before Stack Exchange") shows what a mess the Internet Q&A space is by whirling around a jumble of screen text intermixed with a some captions that explain what we are looking at.
- The second half ("after Stack Exchange") shows how great Stack Exchange is by whirling around a jumble of screen text intermixed with a some captions that explain what we are looking at.
Unless you are already familiar with the look of a Stack Exchange site, using text captions (no audio?) over a predominantly text website makes it difficult to follow the story.
Second, you have to pick an audience and speak to what they know. The What? How? and Why? parts don't really say much if you've never seen the site. And if you've already used the site, the video doesn't provide any depth of information they need. You have to pick your audience, and that's very hard.
That's why these "introductory videos" tend to fall into this weird no-mans land. It's a difficult problem: You want to tell people all the cool stuff you know before they even know what you are talking about.
So this is what they remember … Something about a Stack Exchange answer screen with 26 answers with a blue arrow pointing to a 219 and people can comment and request feedback which are differentiated from answers so they get notified and if they comment you get notified. And notifications follow you if you so you don't have 15 tabs and curators can correct the formatting. And the big red box shows you can flag answers because ethos is being nice and "there's lots of other stuff."
Step back for a second and think about what that soon-to-be, first-time user wants. All that stuff about Experts Exchange and flagging and curators and formatting and notifications… blah, forget it. Nobody cares.
The first-time user storyboard
True first-time users want to find the answer to their question. Cool, it's already on the top. Maybe they want to ask a question. See the button over there? You don't even need an account. What are all those numbers? Don't worry about it. If you write some good answers, people will vote on your stuff. If you get enough votes, you'll be able to vote on stuff, too. That's how the whole system works and how people know which is the best stuff. For now, just know that we have the best answers. Want to know more? Create an account. You don't ever HAVE to create an account, but us experts like to show off little bit once in awhile. That's how we get better at what we do. If people keep liking what you write, pretty soon you'll be running the site. And that's where the real fun begins. But for now, get on over there and find what you are looking for… or ask the question yourself. It's fun!