Death to repetititous online video

Great to see Pete Clifton at the BBC recognising the single biggest problem with video footage on news websites.

What irritates the hell out of people is if they click a story which says ‘Britain buys 100 new tanks for the war in Afghanistan’ they then click on the video and it’s just a bloke standing in Whitehall saying ‘they’re going to buy 100 new tanks for the war in Afghanistan’. The viewer could say ‘you’ve wasted my time’.

The same comments add some research weight to Sky’s decision to put embedded Flash video players inside article pages, rather than relying on popups or external players. Pete says it took traffic levels to video content from 2% to 40%. All very well, but the content has to be worth the bother.

I can see two approaches to online video. The first, and more obvious one, is where moving pictures give extra impact: a big explosion perhaps, or a dramatic rescue. But more exciting to me is the ‘gimme all you’ve got’ approach. The full interview, from ‘go’ to ‘cut’. The entire speech. The full ceremony. Not just your chosen ten seconds worth of edited highlights.

When I click on a video link, I’m telling you that I really care about a subject. It’s a more considered – and arguably more valuable – click than just reading a text story, or looking at a picture gallery. It says ‘detail, please’. So why not give it to them? It’s not as if the broadcasters haven’t got the full thing recorded.

2 thoughts on “Death to repetititous online video”

  1. It’s a good point. There are so many stories to scan in a day that the shallowness of [specifically the BBC’s] written content is a necessity – but where does one go for a deeper article? Having “the full ceremony” would be a step in the right direction.
    As an aside, the BBC site bugs me when I click an interesting link only to have a video window pop up. Somehow I miss that one every time…

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