Stop Making Senseless Videos

2008-12-12

I don’t care how 2.0 your new development environment is.

I don’t care if your web site has a stylish white background and three or four big, friendly, rounded icons in primary colors.

The Santa user

The Santa user

I don’t even care if your icons are cute and stylized like the illustration Santa user.

I don’t care if you’re not original; it can still be something I want to know about.

So don’t… just don’t make me watch a video about whatever it is. Please. I don’t want to watch a video.

OK, so you have a video. Congratulations! Nice. But does that make you deserving my undivided attention?

How do you know I’m not listening to some music, that I don’t want to pause?

How do you know I’m not in a boring meeting, and have about 40% of brain capacity to spare, ready to peruse something potentially useful?

How do you know I want to spare 10 minutes? I could have skimmed the equivalent information in text form in half a minute.

And how do  you know your video doesn’t suck? Count how many of your sentences start with the word “so” or “ok, so”. More than one third, and you should write a couple of paragraphs about it instead. Programmers often have excellent written skills!

This doesn’t just go for the x on rails and general 2.0 crowds, but sites like infoq as well. Please consider that videos have completely different consumption modes. If I can read an article in five minutes while listening to my music, it sure beats turning off the music for half an hour to have it read to me. (Especially when every other sentence begins with “Ok, so …”)

Want to be original? Don’t have a video!

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