Video killed the, eh…reading…thing

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Is it just me, or is the confluence of Internet and TV starting to “noise things up” a little more than expected?  I want to like CNN’s new site design, and ESPN’s, and any number of others that  are prioritizing video content.  But I keep finding myself scrolling through the page, struggling to find written content – everything’s in video, everything has volume.

I’m a firm believer that we need to keep advancing media until we find the right delivery mechanisms.  There is great value to online video and podcasts, but are we approaching overkill?  Doesn’t this trend prevent visitors from consuming content at their desks (unless they’re wearing headphones, in which case will we all soon have our ears and eyes locked to our screens for 10 hours a day, with no human interaction – and yes, I’ve seen Wall-e)?  Doesn’t it make it difficult for researchers, which I often am, from referencing valuable sources?  And more apocalyptically speaking, does it signal an inevitable decline in reading on the whole?

I’ll be watching to see if the video gets scaled back, or if I am in fact just a curmudgeony old skeptic.

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One Response to “Video killed the, eh…reading…thing”

  1. Jamie Giller Says:

    Good post Evan. I agree that in some cases, video can help prove a point. I find it really useful when doing medical research, which can be difficult to visualize without an image. Or, more recently, when demonstrating that whole hose-in-the-sky-will-stop-global-warming argument.

    I also agree than the CNN and more mainstream outlets tend to overuse the video feature. However, you have to wonder who’s telling them they need more video? Maybe some social media guy who says, “No one is going to post our article on Facebook if there’s no video.” So they make more video.

    On the same note, we’ve come to expect our handhelds and other electronics to stream video. Maybe it’s the iPhone and BlackBerrys of the world who demand more video, for those 5 minutes of boredom when standing in line at Starbucks and we NEED to be entertained.

    Either way, I don’t think video is going anywhere fast. Society as a whole has become so accustom to constant noise, we become uncomfortable without it. The nice part is, you *can* choose to ignore it if you don’t want the noise. Just don’t try to talk to the guy next to you on the T when he has his ear buds in.

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