On the uselessness of video

Over the last few years, I’ve seen more and more instances of sites using video presentations in place of actually useful articles. Now there are times where a video is a really Good Thing. But for a tutorial, or a general how to do anything even slightly complicated article, video is bloody useless. For a start, I (and I’m sure any moderately literate person) can read text a lot quicker than anyone can comprehensibly speak it. Furthermore, if a point in text isn’t immediately clear, I can simply re-read it, which is a lot easier than skipping backwards and forwards in a video.

A properly presented article with appropriate illustrations can be an incredibly useful thing to which one can refer back to easily while trying to do whatever it is for oneself. But a video is a different matter altogether. For a start, most such things start with what seems like an interminable introduction, often including material that has no relevance to the actual content. Then there’s the problem of finding a particular point – this is easy with a web page that includes relevant screenshots, but difficult with a video.

Why can’t people write articles any more? A video of a presentation takes far too long to watch compared with reading a properly written article. Maybe I’m getting old and grumpy, but it seems that more and more potentially useful information is being presented in such a way that makes it too hard to use to be of any benefit to anyone. This particularly irritates me when the subject at hand is WordPress. Note the first part of the name – it’s about the words, people. Try to remember that. And also remember that for people whose first language is not English, text is several million times easier to translate than your personal version of colloquial spoken English. This also applies to people whose first language is a different variety of English than your own…

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