My friend, Armen over at TimeLessInformation.com had a recent article about why sometimes words don’t work as well as they should on a website.  He has many great points about how things can be misinterpreted or how words are not as powerful as they are intended because people skim them or don’t read them with the same thought put to them as experiencing it first hand.  Also, he mentioned about this and how video can be better for those areas.  So, while I agree with his points on video while recognizing, each method has its own dangers of being communicated poorly, to me video has many more dangers, and this article covers some of the things that video posts are often lacking or have as problems. I’m sure there are more risks with video than outlined here so I’d love you to comment with your own feelings on video posting.  Here are several big reasons from my experience that I don’t like video on most websites from bloggers.

Egocentric

This has got to be the biggest one to me and unfortunately, while I have seen many good videos recorded without the host being ego centric or self-promoting, I find that video bloggers on the whole, spend a lot more time mentioning their own names or websites or achievements than they do in written form. Even introductions and mentioning who they are seems weird to me on a video cast since anyone watching is doing so from the website anyway, or there could be references at the end, instead of the beginning of every video cast. It seems very self promoting and even worse when a video caster spends more time trying to convince you of what they have to say is useful or important, instead of just saying it.  The added details or background information on what they have done or discovered seems to be more prevalent with video bloggers than with writers.  Or at least, that is what I have experience with seeing hundreds of video bloggers and thousands of bloggers who write text only.

Perhaps there is something about getting behind the camera that adds some nervousness or risk factor that people then overcompensate for by trying to hard to prove their point.  Perhaps it is because video bloggers are more free-flow with how they communicate.  It seems likely to also be because of assumptions of the audience.

Unedited, Less Concise or Impactful

Another big one for me is how often video bloggers don’t prepare well or finish their content well enough.  This is not the case for all video bloggers but many I’m sure don’t even watch their content before they publish it.  Unedited video is like reading from bloggers who obviously don’t even read their own written content before publishing it.  It is messy, disjointed and often repetitive instead of concise.  Many video bloggers are actually, very poor speakers as well so can be hard to understand or even listen to.  Poor speakers throw additional words like “umm”, or “ahh” into their message and it can be incredibly distracting from what they actually want to say.  I know that video takes practice, but even a beginner writer knows not to add “umm” into their writing, so they can usually get their point across easier with words.

Most writers spend a lot more time on the actual words they are going to write than do video bloggers, who often shoot with less notes, editing or planning of their content.

Impersonal

Video is often said to be more personal since the person is visible and the audience can learn a bit more about the person in the video.  Thinking on this however, it is actually, the opposite because communication is only more personal when it is delivered in a way that is pleasing and fitting to the audience, not the speaker.  The audience is not engaged in video and there is nothing in video more personalized than in writing.  I think video has a great danger of stereotypes and appearances from actually killing the personal content of the words themselves as well, since most people are so quickly and easily distracted by first impressions and appearances.  This leaves the deeper meaning of the words and message that may have been more personally reflected on to be masked by superficial and unneeded video distractions.

Out of Place Body Language

Body language is up to 70% of all communication and so the human brain is very in tune to body language with conversations.  Body language however is something that is normally delivered in a unique personal way, that matches the audience and often in response to the body language of the viewer.  With pre-recorded video content, you cannot have body language that is appropriate to the viewer (at best, you have a guess) so it is out of place more than it is suitable.  This problem once again, distracts from the message itself and makes the content less convincing, especially if the body language is considerably different than what is expected or common in conversation with that particular person.

Technical Limitations

Last but not least, there are several more reasons why I don’t care for video that much from bloggers.  They start with eating bandwidth on servers on the web for little or less value than reading written text.  They are much slower to listen to than to read even if you listen instead of watching.  Taking content offline for reading or watching on planes/transit is much more difficult and troublesome.  Most video is not searchable or indexed well (if at all) so it doesn’t have as many ways to find it after first being published in the news/feed circles.  Video is often harder to share with people as well since it cannot be printed or distributed easily except on the web and to the demographic of high bandwidth users.

Please add your comments about written or video blogging and some of your own personal tastes, I’d love to hear them!



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