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Re: Video Schmideo

My buddy Doug Mahugh posted a short rant on not having time for on-line videos.   He's affirming an observation on "Vanessa Fox. Nude."  The comments are useful too.

This stopped me in my tracks.  I'm busy expanding the amount of video authoring I'm doing, yet I also agree that video is more intrusive and attention-commanding than reading web logs, especially with (for me) the efficiencies of feed aggregation and reading.

I even have the same resistance to videos and podcasts that Doug mentions, for the same reasons.  Yet I am at work expanding my ability to create both.  What's with that, if I am myself a reluctant observer of such material?  I need to look very carefully at what I think I'm doing. 

It is also clear to me that there are people who want to see videos, some for entertainment, others for how-to and educational purposes.  My goal is to make my 'casts short and pointed and supported by text (not necessarily transcripts) and to use diverse media resources as a way to support the interests of computer novices and enthusiasts.  Sometimes my videos are too lengthy and unedited, but I'll often post one along with text information (usually produced and refined after the video is created).  The video is supplementary to the text (or vice versa).  I need to make sure that it is not necessary to watch the video.

So, I am not giving up on videos and I do want to support the needs of those who find my material on line.  I will be careful that for the most parts my videos should be companions to and complementary to other forms, but not indispensable. 

I also have some ideas for videos of interviews and experiences that really require the video form.  I don't know how I'll balance all of that.  I will do everything I can to be respectful of the attention and needs of the prospective viewer.  So I need to work at being brief and crisper.  I will also consider the idea of providing a digest version of videos that are rather long.   Transcripts and indexes that identify time points in the video may also help, but the key may be to keep videos as supplemental wherever possible.

Although my posts embed videos that are also available elsewhere, I am not keen about just posting exclusively to sites like kyte.tv, Soapbox on MSN Video, and YouTube.  In the case of Soapbox, which I prefer as a download site, I have found using the actual site to be mind-numbing because of all of the dreck that gets automatically forced into my playlist there, including the mandatory commercials.  That is so repellant that I only watch videos on MSN Video while I am uploading one of mine, though lately I've taken to reading a book while that painfully slow process progresses.  At some point I may escape from video sites entirely, depending on how well Silverlight video catches on and is supported cross-platform.  If I can find an inexpensive and easy way to create and host Flash videos, I'll consider that too.

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