Is The Rise Of Online Video A Good Thing?

License: Creative Commons image source License: Creative Commons image source

Back in the day, the web was very much a place for reading. A picture alone could take minutes to download on an old school dial-up connection, so most correspondence and news was done in text form.

In the web 2.0 era, and at a time where everyone has some form of camera about their person and can readily capture and upload anything of interest (or not!) that happens around them, video is taking the place of words as the way information is shared online.

However, can video alone really be the best way to get our news?


License: Creative Commons image source License: Creative Commons image source

One of the issues with video based news online is that not everybody can use it. This doesn’t just mean people with disabilities, for example blind people who use screen reading software to read written articles, but also people who don’t have headphones or speakers to play the sound on video, or people with slow or limited internet connections.

Accessibility on the web is important and one of the W3C (the body that tries to implement global web standards) guidelines is that information shouldn’t really be presented in one format alone if it isn’t a basic one (like text) that everybody can reasonably use.

Of course, some things can be presented or explained much more easily with video than anything else, however for the benefit of your users, it pays to have a written transcript of the video or an accompanying written article explaining what is going on in it.

Lack of Facts

Another problem when major news outlets use things like user submitted video to present stories is that there can be a lack of facts. If you hear that there has been an earthquake in part of the world, you may want to know what the scale of it was, and if anybody was hurt or killed, but often the early news reports these days come in the form of some shaky camera phone footage of some rubble.

While these eyewitness reports can be interesting and give you a sense of what is going on, it is often the case that you need some words along them to tell you what has really happened.

The rise of video blogs and other online video has given us a chance to share information in a new and easy way, and many people prefer watching a film to reading a long article to find out what is happening in the world around them. Videos are also easier to share on social networks as they can be embedded on things like Facebook so your friends don’t need to link offsite to see them.

However, it is important to remember when you are creating content that there is a balance that needs to be struck between video and text, to serve your users content that they can all use, and which presents more than just part of the story. Try creating a mix of different styles of content and looking at the feedback you get to see what your visitors find most helpful on your site.





The author of the article is Brooke West, a freelance blogger who takes a keen interest in online video marketing and their transformation into mainstream product or service promotion. She is a nature lover and enjoys spending time with her pets.

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