Will Video Kill the Keyboard Star?

A few years ago, text ruled the ‘Net.

Prohibitive technology costs and connection speed limitations made graphic-rich pages a gamble.  The idea of communicating with video was laughable.

Now, even cheap laptops come with installed cameras.  Phones and other portable video devices are dirt cheap.  Server space is more than plentiful and those old slow, dial-up connections are rapidly becoming the online version of 8-track tapes.

Video is gaining ground.

Many extremely successful online businesses have virtually abandoned traditional text in favor of video presentations.  Video content, video sales pages, video blogs, video, video, video.

Speaking of which, here’s a video I put together for this post:

This whole video thing really isn’t bad news for writers.

I doubt that the increasing popularity of video will have a negative impact on the amount of writing work available for quite some time.  The size of the overall marketplace for content and copy of all sorts is growing so quickly that more video us shouldn’t have a huge impact on the ability of freelance writers to secure opportunities.

It also creates new opportunities for those who can work with video, whether they offer complete solutions or know how to write effective scripts, etc.

Nonetheless, I think video’s gains are important to those of us who make a living with words.  Even if it’s not influencing our space much today, I can’t help but to think that it eventually will.

Personally, I haven’t done a great deal of video to support my business.  I should probably do more.

Unfortunately, I’m more than a little bit camera shy.  If I could convince myself that I was extremely photogenic, I’d probably do short video blog posts once in awhile along with a few other things.

I can toss together slideshow-style videos very quickly–the one above took about fifteen minutes, top-to-bottom.  No, it’s not Oscar material, but it’s something.  When I spend time on a project, I can actually create some fairly attractive and effective videos.  I do them for a few clients with some regularity.

I think I should develop my video skills, invest in pro-grade video creation and editing software and find a way to overcome my camera shyness.

I’m curious.  What are you doing on this front?

Are you playing with video?  Are you updating your blog with little clips of you chit-chatting directly to your audience?  Are you peppering your site with video?

Are you providing video services to your clients or do you regularly collaborate on video projects?

Note:  If you’re still seeing “Obama Girl” bikini as the video’s preview, it wasn’t part of that “use a bikini shot as the preview to drive traffic to your video” strategy.  It was purely accidental.  And it’s been changed.  It just takes YouTube some time to make the thumbnail switch.


5 responses
  1. Deb Ng Avatar

    I’ve done a couple of videos for blog posts and they were well received. I went through a series of oral surgeries and didn’t want to be seen on camera while my teeth were wonky so I talked off camera but showed what I need to show. I still don’t think I’m very photogenic but I think after attending so many conferences everyone knows what I look like at this point so I might as well get back to it.

    I love video. I have fun making them (though I’m very amateur) and enjoy watching. I recommend you do more dabbling and have some fun yourself.

  2. CT Avatar

    Honestly? I don’t watch videos on the net, unless it’s something “funny.” I much prefer written content. And I’m in my twenties, but maybe I’m becoming a dinosaur? Crap.

  3. Laura Spencer Avatar

    It’s a good question Carson.

    I don’t think video will completely replace written web content.

    First of all, there are different types of learners–some learn through what they read, others need to hear and/or see a video to learn. The web is big enough to accommodate all.

    Personally, I like written material because I read rather quickly and can take in a lot in a short time. With a video I’m forced to move at the author’s pace.

    Also, if you have a complex topic to cover written content is still going more cost effective.

    Finally, remember that somebody will need to write the scripts for all those videos. That will be us–the writers. 🙂
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..Should Writers Be Paid by Word Count? =-.

  4. allena Avatar

    I seem to be in the minority among the younger set, but I can’t stand watching videos. I can glean my info MUCH faster scanning text. I don’t have the time or patience for videos to get to that one piece of info I need somewhere in the middle of their 1:35 or whatever.

    I wouldn’t mind DOING videos. I don’t know about photogenic, but I’m comfy TALKING in front of people. But I just have too much on my plate to undertake that right now.
    .-= allena´s last blog ..The Two Smartest Things I’ve Done as a Freelance Writer =-.

  5. Carson Brackney Avatar

    I agree with those of you who prefer text over video.

    It’s not really surprising to find writers who feel that way, though.

    It’s also likely that our opinion is becoming something of a minority viewpoint. The numbers don’t lie–video is growing FAST and a number of businesses have found that they can secure higher conversion #s on sales offers by using video instead of text or by integrating video with a more traditional approach.

    As Laura and I both noted, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The main problem with much of the video we see is what Allena mentioned–it can be a pain in the butt to find the info you want–and that problem is exacerbated by the fact that a lot of the video is pure rambling and babble. I have a feeling that those who are serious about taking advantage of video for their sites will realize that they can get more mileage out of a piece that’s well-assembled, interesting and (ta da!) well-written.

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