Archive for February, 2009

5 Reasons Why Video Blogging is Bad

Video Bloggers Beware

Last Friday I was on a course entitled “Perfecting Your Pitch”. It was given by Catherine Moonan who coached the Dragon’s Den applicants for the current Irish series.

As part of the day’s course we were recorded on video whilst giving a 10 minute presentation about our business and then took questions from the audience. This was a great exercise and an opportunity to improve my public speaking and my pitch all at the same time. But it got me thinking about doing some video blogging, and the opportunity it affords. However, I’ve decided not to take it up for a number of reasons. Here are my top five picks on why I won’t be video blogging any time soon.

1. Videos Cannot Be Scanned Through by Visitors

When visitors are deciding whether to read a blog post or not, one of the things they often do first is scan their eye over the text to try and get a flavour of what the article is about. With video, this just isn’t possible. Instead, the visitor has to trust that the content of the video is worth watching, something that we cannot always rely on.

2. Watching Videos Is Time Consuming

When you watch a video that has not been edited it’s safe to say that it took you as long to read it as it did for the author to create it. There is no way to speed read the content or to read just the highlighted or bolded text (because there isn’t any).

Quite often I’ll spend no more then 5 seconds running my eye over a post to see if it’s something I might want to invest more time on. With video, there is no equivalent and I have to watch it in full before I know what’s in it.

3. Video Content Cannot be Searched (yet)

Search engines cannot read or understand video content. They cannot index it based on keywords in the audio and they cannot prioritise the importance of the text within it. At least not yet.

This is a major stumbling block for online video content and currently search engines rely on tagging and surrounding text in order to take it’s best guess at the content of the video. This can often mean that search engines index the video content incorrectly or maybe even skip it altogether.

4. Not Exactly Web Friendly

Watching video online requires special browser plugins. The most popular ones are Flash, Media Player and QuickTime. Not all devices have these plugins and depending on how you’re viewing the content you may or may not be able to view it. For example, many YouTube videos don’t embed themselves correctly in RSS feeds.

5. Possibly NSFW (Not Suitable For Work)

You take a small risk when you decide to watch a video in work. Because the truth is you don’t know what’s on the video before you watch it. It might be perfectly suitable or it could surprise you and have inappropriate content halfway through or the audio might include an ear piercing screech. You just don’t know.

So, because of these reasons I’ll be keeping this blog free of video posts for the forseeable future. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be videos. There’s a difference between a music video or an interview and a video post. With the music video, I know what to expect. But with the video post, well, that’s anybody’s guess.

Comments Closed

See You At The Blog Awards

Irish Blog Awards

I’m joining the mass exodus of bloggers from Dublin today and heading off to the Annual Blog Awards. It’s being hosted in the stylish Cork International Airport Hotel and as always is organised by the irrepressible Damien Mulley.

I’m really looking forward to tonight, mostly because I’ll get to meet so many people that I admire and respect within my own industry. It’s a chance to connect with like minded people over a pint, have a great laugh and give the blogging world a big high five in the process.

Make The Most of Everything

To all of tonight’s winners in each of their respective categories, I second Robin’s call to do something while your in the spotlight. Like he so rightly says “the blog awards are not an award to say you’re great. The blog awards are a platform to do something.” Since winning the category for Irish Technology Blogger last year, Robin has left his job and started his own business. Part of the motivation to do this, he says was down to the spotlight he found himself in after winning the award last year.

Make Your Predictions

There’s a little predictions competition running over on Le Craic’s site if you fancy a go at guessing the winners. The closest prediction wins an original (and pretty cool) oil painting of the Ha’penny Bridge. Give it a go before the awards tonight to be in with a chance.

See You There

This is my first time going to the Blog Awards (although it doesn’t feel like it), and if it’s even half as good as the Web Awards were then it’s going to be a very memorable night!

Hopefully see you down there. If you want to get in touch, my mobile is 085-7343118.

Good luck to everyone on the shortlists, it’s going to be a great night.

App Launch –

Twitter Perch - App Launch. Auto Follow 20 New People Per Day.

Twitter Perch is a new app that lets you automatically follow other Twitter folk that post about things you’re interested in. It’s a small app that was very simple to build and uses a combination of the Twitter API and the Twitter Search API to do it’s magic.

How To Use It

It’s really easy to use. Just enter your chosen keyword into the form on the homepage along with your Twitter username and password and Twitter Perch will then add new followers to your account every day, automatically growing your list.

The Rules

To put off spammers, we’re restricting the maximum number of new followers to 20 per day for each keyword. We’ll be carefully managing its use and will kick off anyone who abuses the service.

The Good News

We’ve also open sourced the code behind Twitter Perch so that others can run the service privately if they have security concerns or want to extend its features. The source code is hosted in a Google Code repository available here:

Best Intentions

I’ve launched this tool in the hope that it will be useful for businesses who want to track their brands and engage with people on Twitter. I think if it’s used properly then it will be a very useful extension of the Twitter Search features already available. However, if it’s used incorrectly it could reduce the value that Twitter provides to its users and potentially dilute the strong community bond that currently exists there.

So with that in mind, I urge people who want to try the service (online or on their own server) that they use it responsibly and in moderation.