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Author Topic: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?  (Read 1468 times)

MilesAhead

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Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« on: November 23, 2016, 06:55 AM »
it caused me to waste a great deal of time looking at videos when I could have probably been doing something more useful.

That triggers a pet peeve.  Why does every explanation how to do something have to be a video now?  It drives me nuts.  I want to know (something made up just to illustrate my point) how to change the HD resolution of a video player, let's say.  When the answer could be "go to main menu, click Options, then Display, then HD Settings, then click the desired resolution."  Instead a google search brings up a video I click on. "OK, here's were we go to download the player, then double click it to install.  Keep clicking Next.  Then go to the site for the free registration.  Now we go somewhere to play a video.  Choose any video.  OK, now go to the main menu and click Options..."

Arrgggggg!!!   :)

« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 05:08 AM by mouser »

IainB

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 10:38 AM »
...Why does every explanation how to do something have to be a video now?...
____________________________
Well, it's a bit of a digression, but I think I can answer your question.
I didn't know that what you refer to was the case until fairly recently, when a tech support guy in a PC hardware supplier shop told me that, if I wanted to find the latest workaround for a certain product (a TP-Link USB Wifi dongle), to get it working under Windows 10, then I should search YouTube, and NOT the discussion forums.
When I asked why that was, he said that it was easier/quicker to produce a short YouTube video than it is to document a solution.
Anyway, I followed his suggestion, and discovered that he was only about half right, and eventually I found a fix via a forum discussion that led to a new hardware flash update for the dongle, and new drivers.
Recalling the advice to search YouTube, I looked in YouTube for other fixes and workarounds for other problems, and I was surprised at the number of vids there were for supporting this and that, but most of them were mediocre.

My theory as to why this is is that a large number of people probably find it easier to make an amateur video on YouTube, and probably get more satisfaction from viewing their video and hearing their own voice, than there are people able to enjoy documenting a solution and seeing it in writing - because of relatively low levels of literacy.
Similarly, a large number of people probably find it easier to, and thus prefer to, watch a video - because of relatively low levels of literacy.

I generally find watching a video for information to be a slow and tedious exercise, so I only do it as a last resort, if I can't find it documented somewhere.
Having said that, I do think that training videos - e.g., demonstrations showing how to use a piece of software - can be tremendously useful and often succeed in being the simplest/fastest way of communicating something, but the presenter has to be trained and skilled in communication and making presentations - and self-aware - for this approach to be successful.
Only today I saw a classic example of how NOT to do it, on a Microsoft website offering Office 2016 training videos - I was looking for something for my 15 y/o daughter to use for Excel training.
In this video (sorry, I didn't keep a link to it), the presenter was a young Asian-looking woman who sounded like a native English speaker. She spoke in what sounded like clear English, but with a very slight twang - possibly Aussie or Kiwi.
Unfortunately, even though she possessed a nice voice, her elocution was very poor. Not only did she speak too rapidly (maybe nervous, I don't know), so that she kept clipping some of her words, making them hard to decipher, but also she started sounding her vocal fry register about halfway through each sentence and continuing it to the end, and sometimes tailing the tone of her voice upwards at the end of the sentence, thus contorting a statement into a question.

So I rapidly switched off the video and hunted around for one presented by a better communicator, for my daughter.

The unconsciously-made vocal fry and the upwards tone would have to be two of the most annoyingly bad, distracting and avoidable bad speech habits a person can have - they are typically habits of immature girls with poor language skills, though I did once hear a young man unconsciously performing the upwards-tailing tone at the end of every single sentence. These bad habits can be learned by girls at school as a form of unconscious protective colouration to gain acceptance by a group, and can often be accompanied by excessive use of redundant words including "like" and the phrase "you know". They can be crippling habits, in terms of career development.

MilesAhead

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 01:35 PM »
My theory as to why this is

Well said.  I agree a well produced video can substitute for a convoluted written explanation of a task with many steps.  I also agree on the "I was like, whoa" discussions I hear these days.  I often think of the film Valley Girl when I hear young people conversing.  Even in business meetings one might hear the employee relating to the manager the reasons the customer was "pissed" instead of using a word like "annoyed."  It is kind of funny if you can keep from laughing out loud during the meeting.  :)

I too have noticed a lot of my  searches for tech fixes resulting in YouTube hits.  :)


wraith808

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 02:10 PM »
I think its a bit simpler than that.  You can monetize youtube channels and videos pretty easily these days.  There's no way to monetize text explanation.

Deozaan

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 05:25 PM »
That triggers a pet peeve.  Why does every explanation how to do something have to be a video now?  It drives me nuts.

I know someone who would let his wife's teenage brother play games on his computer. He found that this teenager wouldn't really play much of The Incredible Machine because it had a lot of text to read. But the teenager would play copious amounts of The Incredible Toon Machine because all the dialog had animations and voice acting, so he could just watch and listen instead of having to read a wall of text.

Don't underestimate how many people are visual learners, how many people don't like reading, and how images/videos are much less abstract than words.

Even if you can't understand the language, watching a video can often give you enough information to do the thing you're trying to learn.

There's no way to monetize text explanation.

Then why am I running an ad blocker?

wraith808

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 07:12 PM »
Ok... no easy way.  Twitch, Youtube, etc, make it dead easy to monetize videos.

IainB

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 11:44 PM »
@Deozaan: Yes, I consider you have raised an important and salient point there ^^. The demand for such things is still evolving, is very natural, real and easily understood, and potentially infinite. The Internet has enabled the release of that demand and its satisfaction on the supply side.
(By the way, I think this is all off-topic and maybe we should pull the salient comments into an appropriately-named thread.)

I suspect that the English scientist Tim Berners-Lee would see that things have certainly come a long way from the CERN scientific
information-sharing system as he probably imagined it when he invented the World Wide Web in 1989. The Internet is apparently one of the largest markets on the planet - if not the largest - and has (or had) no borders. It's ubiquitous.

The embryonic "Internet" - "www", as it was then - initially seemed to be for techos and scientists and those as could read/write - kind of exclusive of those who could not, and effectively a barrier to entry into this New Thing. However, the founders of Google (now become "Alphabet" or something) perceptively and disruptively transformed the scene - e.g., with the acquisition and/or experimental introduction and then promotion of seriously useful email, personal blogging services, "channels", YouTube and various other services. Also, as @wraith808 refers, the introduction of blanket commercial "incentivisation" (enabling "monetisation") to use Internet media such as blogs, webpages and YouTube videos, for example, to carry and disseminate advertising, would probably have been a powerful motivating factor on the supply side.

Some important things were enabled/achieved through the use of the developing technologies, including:
  • (a) The technological "emancipation" of the newly-created market - the lowering of barriers to entry, so that now anyone (supplier or consumer) could enter the market if they had an ISP, a modem and a PC.
  • (b) A lowering of the lowest common denominator for the messaging in the whole system of communication, so that people with basic or no literary skills could reach out with and be reached through communication at the audio-visual level - which utilise our natural senses - rather than have to try to use an artificial encoding system (text) for communication.
  • (c) The collapse of the value-chain in the market, which in one fell swoop wiped out countless intermediate links that traditionally had acted solely as middlemen (adding no real value) in the B2C (Busines-to-Consumer), C2B (Consumer-to-Business) and B2B (Business-to-Business) transactions along the value-chain. This was a huge benefit for consumers and businesses alike, as it improved efficiency and enabled across-the-board cost (and price) reduction for most/many transactions, thus boosting demand (where demand was usually price-elastic) and corresponding supply. Amazon would probably be a prime example of this in operation, having formed itself into a self-regulated near-perfect marketplace (in terms of economic theory), where market entry costs are minimal and where genuine C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) WOM (Word-of-Mouth) and feedback is generally encouraged/enabled. Ruddy brilliant.

I have a prime example of (b) A lowering of the lowest common denominator in the shape of my now 6 y/o son, who, with no literary skills and just my help, guidance and encouragement, at age 3 began using a laptop and playing online and downloaded games that I directed him to.
Pretty soon, by click-happy trial-and-error, he was finding other games that he wanted to play. Some that he particularly liked (and still does) were "Tower Defense" type games, but at first he couldn't progress very far through the levels, so I found a website that had walk-through videos which took one through successful strategies to win particular levels. After a bit of hand-holding, he was eventually able to independently do this and then go back and apply the winning strategy in a particular level of the game.
Then, after sitting beside his older sister and watching her playing them, he graduated to online games like Wizard101 and Pirate101, and suddenly, to her astonishment,  he was outstripping her achievements, using her wizards/pirates, and then starting on his own from scratch - i.e., he had begun to learn to think critically and strategically how to develop his game characters, without even realising it. This was all through audio-visual media, but at the same time he was incrementally learning to recognise the patterns of the odd useful word or three, and he thus commenced reading, without really trying - because it was useful to know these words for playing and winning a game, so he was motivated by the realisation that he needed to be able recognise certain words. Gradually, his vocabulary and list of recognised words expanded - it was classic learning by trial-and-error through play and experimentation - an instinctive, essential and basic human survival skill. We are all scientists at that age, though sadly it often somehow seems to get squashed during our school years.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 12:14 AM by IainB »

tomos

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 04:24 AM »
@moderators (can only mouser do this job?)
would it be possible to split away this discussion (let's see, starting with post #670) to a new thread?
Title whatever, e.g.
'Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?'
as Miles asks.

FWIW not so bothered about this being off-topic, as thinking it's worth it's own thread

mouser

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 05:08 AM »
As you requested  :up:

IainB

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 05:27 AM »
@mouser: Hey, that's great - thanks.   :up:

FWIW not so bothered about this being off-topic, as thinking it's worth it's own thread
Yes, I reckon so too. I find it very interesting and a potentially wide-ranging topic..

app103

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2016, 01:13 PM »
I remember an incident with my printer, and an error that kept telling me to open the paper tray...the same paper tray that I thought was already open. Text based instructions were failing me, photos were not properly illustrating how to fix the issue, and I was pretty well convinced there was something wrong with my printer.

Then I came across this video:





Yup, that door that didn't look like a paper tray door, was actually the paper tray door.  :-[

tomos

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 02:46 PM »
I think like everything, they have their place - they work someplaces, like app's example above.

Where it gets me is when you're trying to find out about a software, and *all* they offer on the home page is a video after a brainless mini bulleted list. Offering a video is fine, but no reasonably detailed list of features I find terrible. That's usually where I leave the website. I'll come back if someone highly recommends it, or I know I need it.
But I resent watching every minute of that pesky video -- nah :p in fairness watching the video is can be informative, it's just you're not able to pace how fast you take in the info, quickly search for that feature you need.

Once I know I want the software, then videos are really helpful for figuring out the gui etc.

PS thanks mouser for the new thread :up:

Stephen66515

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2016, 02:49 PM »
I want to throw my 2c into the pot here





So here is a video that sums up what I think:




 ;)

tomos

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 03:43 PM »
^ hah :P

wanted to say TL,DW,
but I managed it

wraith808

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2016, 05:03 PM »
That's exactly what I meant above.  You can monetize video a lot easier, with better conversions than text.  I prefer text- I read books, but now that my company has done away with our safarionline subscription in favor of pluralsight subscriptions, I find myself delving into subjects a lot less.  With books, if you already know part of the material, it's a lot easier to skip it, and if you want to reference the subject matter later, it's easier to find in text.  Just my feelings on the subject.  And I didn't need a video to convey it :P

IainB

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Re: Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2016, 02:32 AM »
The video about "why video converts better than plain text" essentially describes what was implicit in what I wrote above:
Quote
(b) A lowering of the lowest common denominator for the messaging in the whole system of communication, so that people with basic or no literary skills could reach out with and be reached through communication at the audio-visual level - which utilise our natural senses - rather than have to try to use an artificial encoding system (text) for communication.
______________________________________

Regardless of what the presenter in that video says he thinks, he would seem to be unaware of the research and psychology involved in perception and marketing and communications theory and which explains how video "converts" better than plain text. Since the '20s, psychology has been a fundamental tool used in developing marketing communications that create successful advertising and propaganda - stuff that sells an idea or concept. This is communication that gets through to the limbic system - a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, necessary for our survival, controlling the basic emotions and drives, influencing the ego but generally having little or no influence on our higher level thinking centers.

Watching videos is a passive exercise that, because it employs our natural senses and has the potential to excite the limbic system, seems to slip around our critical thinking gates. Having to mentally decode text necessitates mental effort (not exciting the limbic system) and that would be more likely to engage our critical thinking capability - which is an artificial, learned skill (Edward De Bono).
These are the reasons why communicators who may want to condition an audience to believe that something is, for example (say) necessary or good or true or useful or desirable - when in fact there may be no rational basis for it if one thought critically about it - use persuasive multimedia, the most powerful being audio-video. But large staged events (e.g., Hitler's orchestrated rallies and speeches) are just as effective - if not more so - than video, because you're there in the midst of it all, experiencing it firsthand, getting carried away by it.
It's all about persuasion and "let your limbic system do your thinking for you" - and, depressingly, that's often just what we do, existing in the illusory state of ahamkara, imagining that we have rationally thought things through to get to this point, so we cannot be anything other than correct/right.

Americans would be familiar with this, having had a barrage of this sort of marketing communications for about a year now, in the election process. The very last thing the communicators probably wanted to trigger was the arousal of the audience's critical thinking potential, hence all the rousing BS, the flags, the staged strutting of the virtue-signalling film-star advocates (as if that even matters), the echo-chambers, the rabble-rousing pejorative labelling, the stigmatisation and demonisation of the Other, and the divisive identity politicking, etc., ad nauseam. It had to be like that and that's probably the only way it could be, if the objective persuasion was to be achieved - or, as one of the campaign operatives so aptly put it on camera:
Quote
“It doesn’t matter what the friggin’ legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherf#cker."

For those as might want to follow this up, the topic of political persuasion in this election has been interestingly explored and analysed on the SCOTT ADAMS' BLOG (of Dibert fame).
 
This all goes a long way to providing an answer to the question in the OP:
Quote
Why Does Everything Have To Be Video?
- the general answer probably being, "Because it sells by not burdening our little heads".

Absolutely classic that @Stephen66515 demonstartes this by using a video to communicate his POV on the matter, by "qouting" (showing) us a video that sorta says what he thinks, but doesn't bother articulating in text:
Quote
I want to throw my 2c into the pot here
So here is a video that sums up what I think: ...

Love it. Very droll.