Is video a good information support ?
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Videos are used since many years on Internet and became a very common information media. However, I’m always wondering about their relevance regarding all of the use cases we can see.
I’m myself a subscriber of various Youtubers and also from other platforms, so I am a video consumer too. But sometimes, I think the video, or audio, format is not necessary in some cases. Most of the Youtubers I follow do a great work with very good and interesting informations (that’s why I follow them, I don’t care about the so-called influencers that are just advertising companies prostitutes). However, sometimes, they have nothing to show, only spoken information. In this case, is a video relevant ? Some of them use the Podcast format for this reason and other will illustrate their video with stock footage.
However, both Podcasts and Videos have a problem for me : they need attention. I can’t do something else aside while listening a podcast or a video, because if I’m focused on some other tasks, I’ll miss informations. In fact, the only moment when I can listen to something and do others tasks is while driving (mainly with news radio).
One of the case I hate the most is while searching for tutorials or how-to and only finding videos. Honestly, aside the content and the work that may be fabulous, I think a 20 minutes video of a guy typing commands in a Shell terminal or clicking on windows is useless. A text tutorial is far more usable and accessible than a video where you need to focus on image and what is the guy speaking about.
Another case where I don’t see the value of a video is a review of a product where you just see the creator speaking and nothing of the product. As an amateur photograph, I like to see some reviews about cameras and lenses, but what you’ll mostly get is useless unboxing videos or a guy speaking during 10 minutes without showing anything. Photography is typically the topic where a video is completely relevant because we’re talking about imaging, and they don’t use it ! I don’t understand. This problem is not only in photography but general to products reviews. The last example I have in mind is when I was looking for a new screen display and the reviews of some models where only a guy speaking or boring unboxings (in fact, I’ve always found unboxings stupid).
In my opinion, video, podcasts, and texts are all good media to propagate information. The problem I see is when a content creator is only focusing on one of them even when they’re irrelevant. A video requires attention to be watched because there are images. An audio media also requires some focus and isolation or you may lose information. In the other side, a text is lighter and can be quickly parsed before a more focused reading. This is something you can’t do with audio or video format.
Fortunately, there are some creators I follow who provide their content in both video/audio and text and I deeply thanks them for doing this. I think that’s a very good compromise because the audio can be listened to or the video may add complementary content to the text, and the text remains a far more quicker way to parse in order to find something inside.