Dear everyone who is considering making a video of yourself talking rather than just writing the *exact same words* into a text file, a blog post or a PDF:

Unless you're specifically targeting people who literally cannot read...

Please don't.

Sincerely, A Person Who Doesn't Have Literal Free Hours To Hear You Slooooowly Say Something It Would Take Me Five Seconds To Read And Also I Can Ctrl-F It

I didn't spend five years in kindergarten laboriously learning my ABCs just to throw all that out and mainline Youtubes, y'all

@natecull …or at least release a podcast so I can listen with Smart Speed at 2x


My absolute favorites are the "tutorials" that are video of text being typed into Notepad.exe.

They're so absurd they're almost art.

@natecull is it's paired with a text version, I don't care. Kind of like how NPR does it, or how some sites do reviews.

@natecull personally I prefer text too, but for lots of people, a talky video is actually easier. Different people need information in different formats, and even if I skip the videos in annoyance, it is important that they exist.

@maunzi @natecull Sometimes I have a hard time focusing on text and it can be helpful to have a video playing in the background.

But other times I'm not in the mood for a video, so it's nice to have options. When people can provide both that's great, but it takes a lot of effort

@natecull or release transcripts. Some people like watching people talk

@Shutsumon @natecull On youtube, when there is sub titles (even auto generated), there is an Transcript window available under the ... under the video, where you can then see the text (with timecodes and is copyable and ctrl+f able)

@Neui @Shutsumon

oh, that's neat! auto-generated transcripts are starting to get pretty good now.

@natecull love to read an article only to have a fullscreen video of someone else reading the article appear when I'm halfway through the first paragraph

@natecull my whole final year computer science degree project was 'a thing that parses YouTube videos into searchable text and then lets you see search results on a scrubbable timeline'.

Mostly for exactly this reason.

@natecull IMO, it really depends on the style of the video. If I'm watching instead of reading, I want the person I'm watching to actually use the medium rather than just stand and talk at a camera. Do some cutting and editing. Add some humour. Be funny. Be interesting. Show relevant things at relevant times. Do literally anything more than just sitting and speaking.

@natecull I can read, yet, I can't use that if I am listening on my commute, much less use Ctrl+F.

Please don't assume that being blind is the only use for talking-delivered information.

It's just a different delivery method.

I get your point, though, some "videos" are just cheap and unneeded conversions to video. It's like those pesky Facebook posts in which they use an image with text instead of the text itself.

@alvarezp @natecull You know how I'd recommend sending talking-delivered information?

I should have something that outputs audio files from HTML for you sometime soon...

@natecull And... the carbon footprint would be lower!

@natecull why not both ?
Most of the cultural/informative contents i have been exposed last years was videos, if i would have been text only, i would never take the time to read it but if there is à video i can watch it while doing something else (videogame, bike, chores...). Reading demands me a lot more mental ressources than a watching a video

@natecull but my clickthru rate! my Blue Apron and Casper endorsements!

@natecull Will take the time to promote the presentation/notes layout that Dan McKinley (and others) use

@natecull this or at least write a transcript in the description tbh

@natecull Documentation and changelogs in video form are possibly the most infuriating type of content on the internet :(

@natecull I feel like there’s a legitimate audience for both styles, but like, just publish a fucking transcript ffs

@natecull (the actual steps are "copy this file, click here, type your search and click the good result")

@natecull Part of the Unity3D learning resources aren't just in video form, but in recorded stream form, so you also get the benefit of them interrupting their explanation to respond to a chat box you can't see and moments where they lose their train of thought which would at least be edited out in a competently made explanation video

@natecull i think "stop making videos" is a weird take when that's clearly how people wanna consume info now?

but *also* pasting the script somewhere ought to be standard tho

@natecull This, this exactly. People are making 10 minute long videos to get them monitized when I really just want a short article.

I agree, nearly 100%. I'm all about the speed of information transfer. If you post an audio file and I don't have a road trip coming up, there'd better be a transcript of the thing.
That tiny bit, the reason I say "nearly 100%", is because I will make allowances for exceptionally appealing presenters. Those times are quite rare though.

@natecull On some video platform and more important YT and peertube, you can watch the video at accelerated sped. 1.7 is perfect in such situation.
But yes, text, text, text.

@natecull I have a special hatered for DIY/tutorial videos that don't need to be.

"Ok, so you could do it that other way, but we're gonna... oh this is my cat... so next we.." *fumble* *30 seconds of guy retrieving screwdriver from under his desk*

Instructables has the right format

@Agrippa as long as I don't have to click on the video/podcast or load megabytes of it into a page, and I can get the text separately, sure.

@natecull Then there’s the ten minutes of preamble just to give three sentences of content.

To me, putting together a video is way more work than text. Others disagree I guess.


Honestly, when i was considering making the videos i never made, i was strongly thinking about offering *transcripts*

I can see several reasons why one might choose videos for content

- videos can be listened to while doing art/programming/etc
- people like hearing others' voices because many of us don't get out to real public meetups any more
- networks just form around posting videos, so it seems like you'll reach more people on "atheism" etc if you join 10 others than blog alone


most of the reasons i can think of past that are just bad ones, but exist

- people may not even have a blog host now tumblr & wordpress (sometimes even medium) are hated, & can't pay for a VPS
- everyone you know always links video essays so you begin to think that's their preferred format
- your next alternative would be tweetstorms and you recognise how shit they are vs a 10 minute video
- you put all videos on 2x and never use un-speedable mobile yt, so a long video seems shorter

@natecull Reminder: You could (at least in theory) write your webpages as text and have the client render it out as audio, or even braille bumps! Text is incredibly accessible!

There shouldn't be any need to distribute an audio version of your webpage.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!