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I hate online video. In fact, I don't just hate it, I loathe it.
I find nothing on the internet more annoying than going onto a website or blog looking for information and discovering not a handy article I can quickly scan to see if it contains the information I'm looking for but rather a video which I will have to stop and watch and listen.
Video means, if I'm at home, turning off the hi-fi, turning on the computer speakers and sitting through 2, 5 even 10 minutes of some stranger waffling on at a camera. If I'm at work it means finding my headphones, untangling them, plugging them in and sitting in the office with 15 people talking in the background while trying to concentrate on some stranger waffling on at a camera. If it's written down I can get an idea of whether it's worth taking the time to read the article in 30 or 60 seconds (or even less). If it's on video I'm committing to a much longer block of time.
Not only that, if it's on video I'm coping with poor production values which mean fuzzy or nauseatingly shaky camera-work, terrible sound and probably somebody who has the stage presence of a dead tree (no offence video bloggers, but most people shouldn't be in front of a camera cause they just don't know what to do). Then, 9 times out of 10, after 3 or 4 minutes of waiting for something useful I give up - and those 3 or 4 minutes I will never get back - and I feel cheated.
To be honest, I feel the same way about YouTube. I don't find homemade video particularly amusing or watching it an enjoyable experience. If I'm online I'd rather be doing something useful - like blogging, catching up on reading the blogs I follow, reading the news or emailing people. If I want to watch something I'll pull out a DVD and get comfortable in my lounge. Sitting a desk staring a tiny little frame of blurry video of some kid miming to a song I hate is more torture than entertainment. (To be honest, if I want to watch a kid miming to a song I hate I'll turn on one of those freeview music channels and get it in decent quality).
The thing is, I'm a rarity. While most people will no longer take the time to really read the content on a website - they'll scan it and move on - they will watch video content. In fact, having informative or entertaining video content on your website is one of the best ways to bring in viral traffic because people share videos.
Write it, say it, show it (get them to DO it)
People online have short attention spans and reading takes time and concentration. People learn and take in information in different ways - some learn better by reading (or seeing), some by hearing and some by doing. Most people find learning easiest with a combination of methods - and video with the visual and auditory aspects offers a good combination made even better when supported with great textual content.
Because the average user will take in and remember information better if they see it/hear it and read it at the same time, one of the best things you can do to improve your website is to make an informational video to sit alongside your content because it just might drive your point home to potential customers, and if you do a really good job of entertaining them while you inform them, they're more likely to share it with their friends.