On Changing Blogging Format

By | March 3, 2021

I’m really late in coming to an understanding of this, but I’m just realizing that “blogging” has moved to video. I mean, the kinds of things I’m writing down here are mostly being done, these days, as 10-15 minute videos on YouTube. That’s why it’s so hard to find good blogs now. The problem, for me, is that video is effectively linear. I can read much faster than I can watch something. When I’m reading, I can track where a thought is going, and skim forward to the next thought. You can’t do that with video.

So much content I would love in written form is just being “wasted” in video form. And so many videos are just bullet point lists of things I’m tangentially interested in. At least, with a written list, I can neatly skip over the points I already know, or am not interested in.

I’ve spent an hour watching various videos on YT, mostly about the Battlefield game series, and the MCU movies. Of course, there’s endless repeats of various clips in the background, but the voiced-over script has (almost) nothing to do with what’s being shown. These videos could have easily been blog posts, with a few screenshots for effect, and I could have gotten through all of these thoughts in 20 minutes.

The “best” example of this was “This Is What Captain Marvel Has Been Doing For The Past 24 Years Before Avengers Endgame,” at 10:11 run length, which I watched in its entirety at 1.5x speed, and which ended without giving any reasonable explanation about what she might have actually been doing. That’s “content” I could have figured out in about 10 seconds if it had been a blog post.

And that’s really the problem right there. It’s clear that something magical happens on YT around 10-15 minutes. It must be something about the advertising. Almost every one of these videos is that length, and it must have something to do with making money from the site. So, like banner ads, people are trying to get paid, but the net effect for the end user is 10x worse. People just pad their videos with fluff to hit this magic mark, turn what would be a 2-minute thought into a 11-minute “piece,” and the net effect is that I just don’t watch much video.

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