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  1. #1
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    What do you think of the use of video snippets on blog posts

    Hi

    I have started noticing bloggers adding short video snippets to illustrate what they wanted to show. For example in this blog post. http://scotch.io/bar-talk/the-comple...plugins-part-2

    Does this approach have any disadvantages or is it really a positive trend to take when writing blog posts

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I think it helps if the content is not super obvious in writing. It's quite useful for design tutorials that require you to use lots of options and stuff.

  3. #3
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    In general, I prefer reading to video. It's easier to scan for the content I want, I don't miss the relevant bit because the phone rings or the dog starts barking, etc. The exception to this would be for tutorials on practical skills which are hard to describe in words - knot-tying, for example.

    I can't comment on the particular example above, because I tried twice to visit it and both times it froze my browser.

    If you do include video, and it contains important information not available in your text, then make sure you also include a transcript for those unable to access the video.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I like the point made by TechnoBear. The example I showed does just that, it doesn't cover anything different to what you can read.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast BoostSoftware's Avatar
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    I agree with Techno Bear. Making sure that the text is understandable is most important. I've seen some blogs that have video snippets that end up being somewhat distracting, or at the very least they are not enhancing the subject that is being discussed. The one that you use as an example seems (to me) to be a good use of the video, since it's making things even more clear to the user. Tutorials or diagramming more technical concepts (ie. electrical current) seem like they'd be the most beneficial uses of the videos. One thing that I personally dislike is clicking onto a blog & having the video start right away. I like to have the option to click on it after I've read the text on the page. If it starts immediately, I get annoyed & usually end up clicking away from the site just because it bothered me. That's, of course, probably just personal preference though.
    Erin Walsh
    Director of PR, Boost Software, INC.
    http://boostsoftware.com

  6. #6
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akurtula View Post
    I have started noticing bloggers adding short video snippets to illustrate what they wanted to show. For example in this blog post. http://scotch.io/bar-talk/the-comple...plugins-part-2

    Does this approach have any disadvantages or is it really a positive trend to take when writing blog posts
    I think that is a particularly bad example of video on the web, because it is on an infinite loop and it isn't immediately clear that it is just going round and round, and there's no narration or subtitles (or if there is, it's flaky and didn't load) so it really isn't at all obvious what is going on.

    But what is equally common, and equally bad, is "talking head" video, where all you have is someone talking at you, newsreader style. Way back in 2005, it was becoming such an issue that Nielsen wrote Why talking head video is boring online, and it's just as true today as it was then. It's one of the things I really dislike about Matt Cutts' mythbusting videos – they're just there as videos and not as text. What's wrong with that? I can't skim read it, I can't check it on my mobile or when I'm at work, I can't jump backwards and forwards easily, I can't search for text, I can't copy and paste text into an email or somewhere else ... it's a pain in the proverbial.

    Videos used to illustrate a complicated process can be helpful, if they are done well, have sufficient narration and are significantly easier to follow visually than from the written word. That said, I would never use them instead of writing it out in full, but always as well as. Unfortunately, from what I've seen the vast majority of videos on blogs and other websites don't come anywhere close to that, and most are worthless and often counter-productive, for the reasons I've given.

    But maybe that's just the voice of a crotchety old crank...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post

    But maybe that's just the voice of a crotchety old crank...
    Nonsense. I'll vouch for the fact that Stevie D is not crotchety, old or a crank. And neither am I, (I hope ) and I agree with all his points.

  8. #8
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    In my opinion. the only time you should place a video on a website or blog is where the aim is to show how to do something. A video is an ideal tool for demonstrating how to make an omelette, repair a puncture, or darn or sock. But not for most other things.

    The worst examples are videos where the author is simply speaking to the camera, giving information that would be much better presented as well-written text. Often the presenter speaks the text without any preparation, giving the impression that he was too lazy to plan it in advance or to write it down (a certain well-known member of Google's staff is one of the worst offenders here).

    Personally, I would prefer to receive this kind of information as written text. This has the advantage that you can choose either to skim it or to study it in depth; you can read it at a time and place convenient for yourself, without disturbing those around you; you can print it out, copy and paste into a document, transfer it to your ebook reader, search it, or translate it; and you can do all that without consuming excessive bandwidth.

    That's my personal opinion, I know that there are people around who prefer watching a video to reading a piece of text. That's their choice. But personally I hate having to have to watch a video in order to obtain information that I can consume more easily as straightforward text.. I also believe that there are too many videos on the web which exist simply because the author was too lazy to write their thoughts down.

    If you really must use video to present your thoughts, at least provide a text transcript of it as well.

    Mike

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    If you really must use video to present your thoughts, at least provide a text transcript of it as well.
    Slightly off-topic here, but when did you last see a video that actually did provide a transcript as well? In my experience, they're very few and far between.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    ... when did you last see a video that actually did provide a transcript as well? In my experience, they're very few and far between.
    Yes, that's my experience as well.

    Mike

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member cyrilkeiser's Avatar
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    This facility of adding video in the article lets you share video more readily and also give you a chance to showcase your creativity. Thus, it would be the beneficial for a writer to make the blog more attractive to readers.

  12. #12
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    Like anything it can be used as an effective tool, but if overdone or done incorrectly it detracts. I personally find it helpful if it is in relation to a concept that by its very nature is difficult/wordy to describe.

  13. #13
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    Videos snippets will really help, especially if the pots is not long and when Google can't get a clear idea about the mean topic. But make sure to create a relevant snippet that tells what's the video is talking about, if you're using WordPress, you can serach for plugins that can help.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRCW View Post
    Videos snippets will really help, especially if the pots is not long and when Google can't get a clear idea about the mean topic..
    If Google can't get a clear idea of what your posts are about from the posts themselves, then you're in serious trouble, and no amount of video snippets will help. Google cannot access the content in video, so unless you provide a complete transcript, you're wasting your time including videos to influence Google. (And in any case, you should be providing your content for human visitors, not search engine bots.)


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