The Long & Winding Road: Visual Noise? I hear you!

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“I see,” said the blind man. Of course everything is perception is it not?

I don’t want to fill a blog with rhetorical questions but we really should try to understand what we have unleashed on the world in the form of the moving image. In a world which still lauds the eloquence of historical literary figures as benchmarks for expressive thought communication, we find ourselves producing enough video material every second of every day to fill 5 years viewing time…. think about that!

Volume alone does not constitute quality; as the joke goes, ‘the food can’t be all that bad, 20,000 flies can’t be wrong’. Technology has allowed the mundane to become hip, the average to become exceptional and encouraged indiscriminate bombardment of the innocent with so much chaff that the wheat can sometimes become invisible.

At 3rd Planet we strongly espouse the virtues of using video as a means of education and engagement but only if it is carefully planned and expertly executed.Sadly,much of the video content being unleashed every day is poorly crafted and lacking in refinement. Video can be a magnifier , both good and bad and therein lies the rub. The industry needs to be careful not to follow the lemmings over the cliff of mediocrity as far as video content is concerned. The immense take up of watching content on any available device is awe-inspiring and understandably an attractive element for advertisers wanting to catch the latest wave. If you are in this business for the long haul you may hold a different view on the growth in numbers of viewers.

‘All that glistens is not gold’, I know , I used to think it was ‘glitters’ as well 🙂 anyway, I digress.

More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos (YouTube).

This figure is mind-boggling, agreed but my question is this, ‘what are people watching?’ Chances are that it will , in the main, be less than edifying material and unlikely to forward humankind.

Little wonder then that 76 percent of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration. (Social Media Examiner)

Will this mean that all these efforts will be carefully crafted by companies like 3rd Planet? Probably not and this then causes more problems…. ‘Visual Noise’ as I call it.

How does the average consumer learn to weed out the dross before they give up due to the sheer magnitude of available content on video? Answer is that they do not, so we must approach this video proliferation in another manner.

Such is the mental burn out already in evidence that we find, consumers give up on an online video if it doesn’t load in two seconds. (University of Massachusetts Amherst and Akamai Technologies)

Our task is to work twice as hard at developing communities and answering simple human questions for people on-line than we do at producing video for video sake. We are not in the luxurious position of seeing what will happen as we go because we are already going too fast as it is. By the time you work out why your videos do not work you will be out of business. Just because videos are relatively easy to produce in basic form does not mean that all the people who can do so actually should do so! I can cook pretty well but I doubt that Gordon Ramsey would be happy paying me for any meal I dish up!

This video ( well what did you expect me to use?!) was made in 2010 in the UK, yet the thoughts expressed have been accurate and the numbers surpassed already…..

So there we have it, video is how we will communicate predominantly from now on, so if you have ideas of throwing a video on your website because everyone is doing it, stop and think.

There is a reason professionals exist, it is to make amateurs look better!

see you on the long and winding road….. Patrick

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