I have been wondering about the preponderence of video, in place of the written word. Today, I was taking a break at work and went to a blog I follow, and was happy to find that today, the blogger was discussing something I’d been wondering about for a long time. I read it eagerly, looking for the answer…
Only to find that the remainder of the blog – and the answer to the question – was in a video.
Well, poo. I would have to wait until I got home to find out.* Because I was at work, and without headphones to plug into my computer. I supposed I could have pulled it up on my phone (which I was listening to with Bluetooth headphones), but…
Nah. Too much trouble. And takes too long.
I am not fond of videos as a rule. Maybe this comes from the fact that I hardly ever watch TV. But that’s mostly because I don’t have time. But lately, several blogs I follow have posted a video instead of a written blog post – or at least, the “meat” of the post is in a video. And I find this unfortunate. Because at work, my usual choice is to just skip it. Even if I have headphones with me. If I’m working at my client’s location, even that isn’t an option – blogs are blocked. I read them on my phone, and while YouTube works fine on it, it’s slow (in addition to the time to watch the video). If the video is from Vimeo, that’s a total non-starter – Vimeo doesn’t work on my phone at all.
The thing is, I can read fast. But a video is the speed it is. I can’t watch it any faster than it will play, nor can I easily skim ahead to the part I want to see. With written material, I can read quickly (my usual MO), or just skim to the parts that interest me.
That’s probably why I’m not a fan of audio books either – you can’t skip the boring parts. Of course, we all try not to put those boring parts into our books in the first place. But invariably, some make it in – to any book. Of course, if enough people were interested in an audio version of my books – I’d certainly look into it! But would probably only listen to them once myself.
Even Holly Lisle uses video in some of her fantastic online fiction workshops. I watch those, but knowing I have a 20 minute video to sit through, even if it’s interesting, good stuff, makes it that much harder to get to it in the first place.
People email me videos from time to time, and of course, there are plenty of Facebook shares. I like them if they’re really, really funny, but otherwise I skip them. With dozens of emails a day and writing to do, who has time?
Several industry pundits have hypothesized that ebooks will move to an “enhanced” form, where text will be supplemented with video. If these are an alternative offering to a text, or text and picture only format, great – some people probably love them. But I sure hope they don’t replace text-only ebooks. I read because I want to read. Not to mention, a good, professional video takes some doing to produce, even a decent DIY job, and they’d undoubtedly raise the price of the book.
I get it that sometimes, something just can’t be as easily explained with text and pictures, and if it’s something I’m trying to learn, I’ll watch a video. Or if it’s really, really funny. Otherwise, please write!
* I emailed the one blog to myself through Google Reader, and watched it when I got home from work. But usually I don’t remember to do this.
In the interest of presenting both sides, here a couple videos that are so freakin’ funny I can watch them over and over. I don’t think either of these would be at all effective in text and still photos.
Cat Yodeling, anyone? LOL!
I don’t know why, but I LMAO every time I see this one:
So tell me, am I the only one who’d usually rather read than watch? Do you like audio books? What do you think the concept of enhanced ebooks – is this something you’re looking forward to, or is it pretty much a “meh” thing, like it is for me?
Photo via Microsoft Office Images