“Video posts are lazy.”
There it was, and it hung in the air for a moment after he said it. It was actually the third of three points a friend of mine made about video posts in a discussion about blogs:
- Not everyone has access to sound or can watch videos conveniently where they generally are when they read blogs.
- It’s hard on bandwidth for some, again depending on where they generally read blogs.
- It seems lazy.
Often you only hear/read people touting how awesome video blogs are and that text posts are dead. “Video is better for SEO anyway!” they’ll say.
His statement struck me at first, but as it sank in for a moment I found that I agreed.
Why Video Posts Are Different, But Not Inherently Better
I could read a quick post, but I can’t watch a video right now. I’ve actually been sent videos and such by friends while at work that I couldn’t watch. For me, contrary to what some tout as an advantage of video, I can generally get to the point faster on textual blogs because I’m reading at my pace. If it’s a video, I’m stuck at their pace, and if I’m busy I may not have time for the diversion.
You may be able to create skimmable content with good header tags, but it’s not clear on a video progress bar where the “good parts” are.
Bandwidth is indeed a concern if you’re in coffee shops and such with free wi-fi a lot, as you’re sharing connection with a lot of others and they generally don’t have a super fast connection to begin with. It’s one thing to load your favorite blog when it’s text and a a few graphics, and once it’s loaded you’re done. Videos chew up much more bandwidth, and do so continuously, and you may find your immersion broken if the video has to keep stopping to buffer.
While it is a nice change of pace for bloggers to throw in the occasional video post, I can agree that from a technical standpoint relying on that too much can look lazy. “But I put a lot of effort into making that video! Sound effects, screen transitions, etc.!”
Almost every video post I’ve ever seen — by bloggers who write excellent articles — has meandered a bit and feels off-the-cuff. Again, that’s great once in awhile to be less formal and mix it up a bit. When it becomes consistent, however, and is not rehearsed, it can start to feel lazy because it lacks the polish and organization that person may ordinarily put into a regular blog post. You may have invested some time in making the video pretty, but did you invest in what you were saying to the same degree?
Would you watch a webinar where the presenter seemed to be thinking of what to say as he or she went along? I doubt it.
What are your thoughts? Are video posts a more convenient, easy to digest way to get information or does it become a long-winded way of saying what could’ve been said better with text and graphics?