I’ve mentioned before how much information I need to process each day. The word “overload” applies, and I suspect you have a similar problem. It raises the very real question of whether blogging is worth the effort.
The answer is “yes”, but you need to understand why you’re blogging. If you aren’t a media outlet with a huge following it better not be about aggregating traffic or selling ads based on the hits to your web site. And besides, The Content Farm Wars are going in an ugly direction.
If it’s purely about satisfying your ego, well, that’s OK, but your ego better not need a huge following; there are an awful lot of blogs out there.
Assuming you understand why you blog, the next issue is how. Should you post video? It’s faster and easier for most people to talk than it is to write, and hey; all the studies say people like to watch video. And lately search engines have started to rank video content highly, so there’s the added benefit of garnering extra Search Engine Optimization juice.
Sometimes, Business Change isn’t for the better. You probably don’t want to go this way.
It isn’t quite on the order of Cute Kitten Videos, but mixed in amongst my reading material a few days ago I found a video at Phandroid.com that its author really, really shouldn’t have made. The sound is terrible, and the author clearly (and by his own admission) has no experience making videos (i.e., writing a script). Check the comments and you’ll see that even the many otherwise-loyal readers of Phandroid though this was a bad idea.
But the real reason video blogging is a problem isn’t even about production values. It’s that watching a video takes too long.
This isn’t a rant about shrinking attention spans. I’m not going to talk about what the “correct” duration for a video should be. I could, by the way: when I owned Lockergnome, I taught Chris Pirillo how to tell a four-minute story in one minute. That was almost fifteen years ago. Ask Chris about that lesson (it’s easy; as he says proudly, he’s who you find if you Google “Chris”).
It’s about perception. Perception is Reality, and your perception might be different from mine. I’m talking about something simple: The problem with video is that the creator of the video is in control of how much time the viewer spends watching it.
There are places where that’s OK. When you settle in to watch a television program you knowingly give up thirty or sixty minutes of your time—although as a ten-year DVR user I started thinking in 22 and 45 minute blocks a long time ago. Ditto films; it’s two hours or so of your life that you knowingly give up when you decide to watch a movie.
But I have no interest—and literally no time—to watch a non-professional video creator umm, aww, and stammer his way through ten minutes to cover what I could have digested in one to three minutes had he written it out.
If you have something to say that belongs in video, put it in video. If you’re doing editorial, it’s just not very likely that video is the way to go. Bad enough that we have journalists who can’t write; we sure don’t need them tripling or quadrupling the time they take to tell their stories.
Need help wading through and managing your business change? Contact The Answer Guy.
By the way: this article should have taken you about three minuted to read. You’re welcome.