📚 Text is vastly superior to video for content

First Published: 2023-04-16

unpublished post from january I found in my desk

This one was a long time coming. In the past few months I've worked to increase the volume of content I produce. As a part of that process, I've experimented with video content over on Odyssey, producing about a dozen screen-casts in December.

When I say that text is superior to video I mean that from both the perspective of the producer, as well as the perspective of the consumer. From the consumers perspective, text saves bandwidth and time and usually has a lot higher information density. For pure entertainment value a consumer may prefer well made video, tho even that I'm not so sure of. From my perspective as someone who publishes content to a small but existent audience, I'm usually more satisfied with my written work and enjoy it's creation a lot more.

This is of course influenced by my preferences as a consumer, but also in no small part due to editing and versatility. While video editors exist and have existed for decades now, I'm unwilling to invest time into learning one. As a result my videos were one-takes that generally could have been better. They were also visually lacking, usually my voice was accompanied by an excalidraw whiteboard and little else. Increasing my production quality here means a significant investment of time learning a new skill, but I would also likely need to upgrade my microphone in the process.

Now contrast that with text. I've been taught the basics of creative writing in school and have built on that slowly for many years. Tooling is accessible and everywhere. The whole world of personal computing has been built around text editing. And even outside of that, writing is accessible. I may sit down with a pen and paper and write the first draft to an article before later editing it on the computer. (Sometimes much later. This one is 3 months old!) I can then, during that editing process, find structure, reshape and adjust my arguments, fix spelling and grammatical errors as well as refine my choice of words to create a coherent and well written blog post. Lastly, there is the element of formatting and version control that is missing with video.

Suffice to say I'm no longer producing video content.