Steve Rubel has a smart post up at the moment on Why Text Remains King of the Web. In it he reflects upon why Robert Scoble’s videos don’t tend to generate the buzz that they could and why text has it over video:
- It’s scannable
- Text does better with SEO
- Text is better to consume in the workplace
- Text is better on mobile devices
- Text is easier for distribution
While I think some of the above is slowly changing as technology catches up I think a lot of it rings true. It’s why I put most of my time into textual mediums rather than video.
I’ll add another point to what Steve’s written:
My Mum Doesn’t Get YouTube.
OK – perhaps Mum could work out YouTube if she put some time aside to learn – but recently I was talking to my family about online video and the blank stares that I got from my parents made me wonder if they’d ever watched a video online before. They’re not online all day every day but the majority of what they do is email and searching for articles on their subjects of interest with Google. They live in ‘text content land’ – right in the middle of it.
While many of us who are into the blogging and social media game have been doing video for years now and are completely at home with watching them, embedding them, sharing them with friends….. it can easy to forget that perhaps as a fairly tech savvy bunch we might be ahead of the field (or at least some of it).
Perhaps it is partly generational or perhaps it is about personality (or a mix of both) but I’d guess that there are a fairly significant proportion of the population who are either unsure how to view video, don’t know where to find video or have no interest in video and who are much more at home with ‘reading’.
I do see a future in online video (and think it’ll even increase in popularity in time, particularly with some demographics) and I’ll continue to use it on my own blogs – but I’m betting that text is also here to stay.