Home > business, personal, web 2.0 > Videos (and podcasts) suck sometimes

Videos (and podcasts) suck sometimes

January 28, 2007

So I already commented on the whole Scoble thing, but I was commenting in general about how linking is usually better than not linking. I think everyone gets that.

But there’s another discussion going on that’s almost as interesting. Paul M. Watson got me thinking with his comment on my original post, which of course, led to me reading his blog. Specifically, his blog entry about how he doesn’t like video. It’s not too hard to find other opinions in like vein, such as Mathew Ingram’s post about video being Scoble’s achilles heel. Just take a peek over at Techmeme and Tailrank and you’ll see there are quite a few discussions, including this one, bubbling up.

I don’t really agree with the specific details (some don’t think his coverage of Intel was that great, others just think video isn’t that great, etc), but I agree partially in spirit. I watch the occasional ScobleShow episode or listen to the occasional podcast – but not often, and not religiously. I read his blog (and dozens of others) almost daily, though. So what’s the difference?

Blogs are massively easier to consume. You can skim them, you get headlines, you have hyperlinks to follow an extra interesting story around the web, etc. The list goes on and on – but what it comes down to, for me, is time. If I’m going to watch a 20 minute video or listen to a 30 minute podcast, I basically can’t do anything else during that time. I also can’t “skip to the good bits” easily.

With text (blogs, articles, reviews, interviews, whatever), those things don’t apply. I can consume blogs in 1-minute chunks of time I have between tasks. I can explore the web to find out more. I can easily find the stuff I’m really interested in.

Don’t get me wrong – I love certain videos and podcasts a great deal. But the signal-to-noise ratio has to be sky-high to get me to invest my time.

Now I’m just gonna sit back and see if any other interesting discussions come up over this furor… I’m sure there will be.

Grab some popcorn, enjoy the show.

Categories: business, personal, web 2.0
  1. January 28, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Don, I agree 100% – it is a lot easier to read a blog than to watch a video.

    I end up bookmarking all sorts of links to videos “for later,” but later never seems to come. I just don’t seem to have a single focus when I am sitting at the computer.

    Perhaps I could aggregate them all and take them with me on my next plane trip. That might be fun.

  2. January 28, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    @Jeff Barr:

    I find myself wishing people would “chunk up” their videos into 1-5 minute segments, with decent summaries, so I can just watch the stuff that *really* interests me.

    I think that’s one of the reasons YouTube is so powerful and fun – it takes very little time to get in, watch, get out, and get on with your life.

  3. January 28, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    You’ve just described why photos are (for me) far superior when it comes to recording my family’s history. After I take my snaps and caption the better ones I’ve uploaded, I have ample means of consumption. I can go through the gallery on SmugMug. I can print and frame. I can catch them as a screensaver. The list goes on. All of this as fast or as leisurely as I desire – and the same holds true for the people I share them with. With video, I’m locked in, and if it sucks, my time is wasted. Same for the people I share IT with. 🙂 Any media which removes control of time from the consumer MUST be excellent 100% of the time – that’s my view. Good topic! 🙂

  4. January 28, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Agree Don. I’ll add that video is more intrusive: Play it in the office, and everyone knows you are goofing off, at home, no one else can hear the TV, etc. I can glance at a text blog post and gauge quickly how long it will take and grasp whether it is interesting. Video I have to trust the title.

    However, video blogs work great on the iPod, where I have time when traveling or when exercising to absorb a few mins of video. Much more engaging than reading or listening…maybe its just the new video iPod I got for Christmas…? 🙂

  5. PanMan
    January 28, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    I totally agree, and for that matter don’t completely understand the popularity of Youtube (and the likes). I have 77 feeds in my Bloglines, and it takes quite some time to keep up with that. If one links to a video, it takes a couple of minutes to watch that, in what I can’t read/scan other things. And often reading is much faster than being read to. I guess the Youtube generation just has more time on their hands :). (I’m not saying video has no point, but these days lots of things are put in video, that I’d rather read).

  6. January 29, 2007 at 10:01 am

    of course, relative to hypertext, video stands apart with it’s multimedia appeal. And TV has programmed us to adeptly keep one eye and ear tuned in whilst folding the linen, or slurping soup. Video is still in it’s infancy on the web, an experimental phase. Once intra-video indexing is widely available and easy to use we’ll see a deeper merging of blogging/linking/hypertext with video and audio. Any VC’s reading this?

  1. January 28, 2007 at 7:24 pm
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