Video as an afterthought – why bother?


Screen clipping taken: 11/20/2008, 11:59 AM

Trolling through the internets (actually found a promising pizza recipe on delish.com) and came across an MSN affiliate that integrates some of MSN’s video content. Video has a place on the internet. The only trouble I see here is that the ‘place’ is a sidebar half-way down the page. It just doesn’t feel right. Video takes a while (this one is 5 minutes apparently). But my surfing behavior is very jumpy.

Where I am going with this:
Video and the internet go together. But, video either needs to be the hero and the focus (like hulu.com or as part of a story mosaic like cnn.com) or it needs to allow me to multi-task and tune-in and out as my attention span allows (like Yahoo!s TechTicker – Scroll the page and it ‘sticks’. You can comment on a post or read other stuff while the video rolls and stays with you. The page refresh is troublesome, but the idea is right.)

Video is becoming too ubiquitous to be plunked into sites like a banner ad. It’s compelling, but the anticipated behavior is in contrast with other web behavior. The standalone player is a popular solution (like Brightcove‘s Player), but the working assumption seems to be that people are going to consume video in a focused manner (even if they switch from video to video). That, or stick it in the background or on another monitor. But my hunch is that video will be better served as part of a multi-tasking, in-browser experience (with the option to pop-out).

My Follow-up
Going to search for some data around usage and see if there are any studies about the matter. If both of my readers have heard of any, let me know.

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