When people ask me who is doing the best explanatory work these days, I often point to public radio and podcasts. The radio format, while not visual, can be incredibly engaging and effective in packaging complicated ideas into explanations.
Lastly I'd say yes, Idea Stories are a pain in the ass, but they provide an enormous service. People feel so grateful when you clearly explain something complicated. It gives them an access point to all future stories on the topic. It can be powerful to hear a piece that gets at a big fundamental idea or question. It gets under people’s skin. There are obviously more than five tricks to take a boring or complicated topic and make it interesting. The point is if you’re fascinated by something but it seems really complicated, or if you can tell everyone is confused by something and you are too and you’re thinking it’s a monster to take on – do it. Find a way to make it work. It’s worth it.
NOTE: If you're interested in learning in-depth about the skill of explanation and how to make Common Craft Style videos, check out our online courses at the Explainer Academy.