17 January 2009

Why Video IS Worth Experimenting with On Your Blog ?

Earlier in the week I wrote a post arguing that Text is King in the online space which caused some interesting discussion (both in the comments and on Twitter).

While I did try to qualify the post by saying that I do think video has its place and that it’ll continue to grow as a medium, particularly in some demographics, some people saw my post as me ‘writing off’ video.

So today I wanted to write a short post giving three reasons why I do believe in video and will continue to use it on my blogs. I won’t do it exclusively (ie I’ll primarily be investing my time into text) but I do believe that it’s a great compliment to the written form of communication that I focus upon.

  1. Video Gives You a Voice and Face - perhaps the biggest thing that I noticed when I started posting videos here at ProBlogger was that I noticed readers interacting with me in a different way. Suddenly the emails I received had a more personal edge. Strangers started emailing me using a tone and language that was more familiar - as if they knew me. At first I didn’t realize what was happening - but after a while I realized that people felt like they ‘knew’ me. This happens with text as well - but video has a way of showing your personality. It shows your face and lets people hear your voice as it really is. This ‘personal’ aspect is powerful.
  2. Video Connects with Different Personalities and Learning Styles - another thing that I noticed when I started using video was that I started getting comments on video posts from people I’d never heard of before. I started getting comments that would start with - ‘I’ve been reading your blog for 12 months but never commented before but just wanted to say…..’. We all have different learning styles and personalities - some of us learn better by hearing and seeing - while others by reading. Video appeals to a different crowd and can potentially widen your audience.
  3. Video Opens Up Opportunities to Illustrate Certain Principles in Creative Ways - some things are very difficult to communicate in the written word. There are just some times when you need a tone of voice or body language to be able to ’show’ people what you mean. Video allows you to do this. It also opens up different ways of illustrating the principles you’re talking about. For example in my last video on First Impressions I started the video with a little sequence that illustrated what I went on to talk about - that sequence was commented upon by many and wouldn’t have been achievable with text (or at least not in the way I did it).

Should you write off video? No way! It is definitely a medium that I feel is worth experimenting with (and so far it seems 67% of you have been doing just that if our latest poll is anything to go by).

I guess all I was trying to say with my last post is that just because video is on the rise doesn’t mean that Text is dead. I think it is here to stay and will remain ‘king’ for quite some time yet!

Text, Video, Audio and other forms of communication online all have their place and can all be powerful. I find them especially powerful when you combine them rather than focus upon one - (but that’s partly just my style). Choosing your mediums and working out how much to focus upon them will probably come down to weighing up a number of factors including:

  • Your topic
  • Your audience and what mediums they’re most comfortable
  • Your personality and how you best communicate
  • Your skills in presenting, speaking, writing etc
  • Your resources and access to cameras, bandwidth etc

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