Video beats text hands down (Look ma, no hands!)

Three days ago (so my del.icio.us account tells me – and boy, do I find typing del.icio.us tedious with all those fullstops) I bookmarked a beautiful example of trigger-response: the article by Tom Hodgkinson in the Guardian lambasting Facebook and all that he thinks it stands for; and Shel Holz’s video response on seesmic (better with audio!).

Tom Hodgkinson doesn’t like Facebook one small bit. He doesn’t like the way it encourages people to interact solely through online sources, and he doesn’t like the organisations behind it.

As a result, Shel Holz is virtually apoplectic (seesmic?), and counters Tom’s claims in his typically (for people who listen to the FIR podcast) articulate way.

But there’s the rub: I said ‘articulate’. Because Shel was articulating, not typing and editing and re-editing. And when I say apoplectic, well here’s a screen grab from the video:

OK, maybe not apoplectic – as in, he’s not actually going red and keeling over backwards – but you can tell he’s fairly animated about it all. There’s another interesting word: animated.

Now, you could describe some writing as ‘animated’ but really, I could have read a transcript of what Shel was saying and forgotten it as it drowns in the sea of words I read every day.

But I don’t. I remember it simply because of all the other signals I was receiving, from the way he talked to the way he looked.

In fact, I remember Shel’s reaction much more vividly than I do Tom’s original piece.

So, I’m a convert. I do truly believe that video blogging has so much more impact than text or even podcasting that if you really want to communicate, you must do it.

Obviously there is still a place for the timid text bloggers like myself, and the audio podcasts you can zone out to during the daily commute.

But I’m going to keep an eye out – literally (not literally ‘out’, I don’t have a glass eye but you know what I mean) – for the rise of video blogging. 

I’m going to monitor seesmic  (when they sort out my login problems) and similar sites (when I get the time to find them) and hopefully, my human brain, with its strongly audio-visual bias, will retain so much more than acres of text.

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3 thoughts on “Video beats text hands down (Look ma, no hands!)

  1. Not sure if there is a “rise”. People (generally younger people) have been video blogging for years. I’m not just talking about a small minority of the online community doing it either. Look on YouTube to see lots of its members communicating through video on the site itself.

    I still prefer reading blogs with well written, informative content and comment however. I learn more than, as you say, “zoning out” and watching videos or listening to audio.

    But there is a place for all three. Just like TV, radio and newspapers.

  2. Okay, so your point here seems to be that communication is richer when you can see someone’s face, hear their words, analyse their body language and gestures? So – we should do more video blogging.

    Or maybe we should be getting out more and meeting people and having conversations face to face?

  3. So, Shel buys a ticket, hires a taxi to the airport, flies across the Atlantic, gets the Heathrow (or Gatwick) express across to west London, then spends two minutes telling me about his reaction to the Guardian piece face to face, then the same, but in reverse, to get home, roughly 24 hours after reading it, if he’s lucky.

    Social media has its limitations, but then again so does real life!

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