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Text vs Video …

by Sachin Balagopalan on January 13, 2009 · 1 comment

It’s no secret there has been a proliferation of video content on the internet lately, especially with services like YouTube making it easy for users to upload videos and share them with others. However when it comes to searching and search engine optimization (SEO) textual content seems to take precedence over video - at least that’s what Steve Rubel seems to be postulating. He makes his case citing popular blogster FriendFeedster, Robert Scoble’s predicament that his videos don’t generate a lot of in-bound links from bloggers and they don’t aggregate well on Techmeme. Rubel says there are at least five reasons why Text is still king …

  • Text can be scanned through - You don’t have to read every word to get the gist of the content.
  • Text does better with search - they optimize better and you’re likely to see textual content appear at the top of a search query.
  • Text is easy to consume at the workplace (don’t want to get caught watching a video in your cube :) )
  • Text is better on hand held devices given the size.
  • Text is easy to distribute via email, readers etc.

All valid points but I would also add that text is habitual - we’re used to reading for generations and it’s a hard habit to break. Text qualifies almost everything we consume. Even before renting a movie on iTunes we tend to read the text around the preview before actually watching the preview and ultimately deciding to rent/buy the movie. Due to the pervasive nature of the internet most of us have resorted to info-snacking i.e. reading the first few lines of and article/story and moving on to the next one. The other crucial point about reading is pace. You can read at your own pace - stop mid sentence to ponder or think - and grasp the content at your leisure. Video on the other hand is fast and you tend to miss things if you blink an eye - yeah! yeah! you can rewind and pause but it’s not that seamless as your mind stopping in the middle of a sentence and going back and re-reading it!

IMO, it’s going to be a long time before we “stop” reading!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Growthhormonelevels 01.14.09 at 12:38 pm

Good points! but I prefer the video :-0

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