Please, No More Gratuitous Videoblogging

The latest trend seems to be videoblogging instead of traditional text-based blog posts. This is a step in the wrong direction for several reasons:

  • It kills the usefulness of a feed aggregator. When Matt Cutts starts posting all his SEO information as video posts, no longer can I browse through them offline, styled the way I like it. In one respect this is like the partial feed vs. full-text feed debate in that the video posts require one to visit the website.
  • Because I have to visit the website to see the video, I can’t read posts offline.
  • Video posts waste my time. I can read a text post faster than I can listen to a video post. More time is wasted in downloading the video. Even on broadband, it often takes several seconds for a video to begin. That’s wasted time.
  • Video posts introduce distractions. Instead of the message, it’s easy for the viewer to get focused on clothing, background, speech patterns, accents, or any number of things that aren’t related to the point.
  • I can’t quickly “skim” a video post and decide whether it’s worth viewing. With text posts in my aggregator, I can quickly skim through a post and see if it’s worth a full read. With a video post it’s all or nothing.

If you’ve got something that requires a video (perhaps some sort of hands-on demonstration) then by all means make a video post. If you’re just doing a video post because it’s cool and hip, then please stop wasting your readers’ time and just post text.