Totally random gripe, but you know what? I’m not actually a fan of the way the web is getting more multimedia. (This gripe brought to you by the Onion, which has too much video and audio content these days for my taste. I miss when it was mostly text.)

Why does this irritate me? Because 95% of the time I’m at the computer, I’m listening to music. My own music. If a website loads up some song (MySpace, I’m looking at you) or I click on an innocuous-looking link and find a video starting to play, I have to go pause my music — or, as I more often do, just back up to the previous page and go find something else that won’t interrupt me. Also, I can read text at my own pace, whereas a video makes me go at its pace — and when it’s seven minutes long, I generally decide I don’t care enough about whatever it is, and I go do something else.

Which is not to say I never want to watch videos. I just want to know that’s what’s coming. A lot of people these days put a (pdf) warning when a link leads to an Adobe file, since many of us dislike having Adobe launch out of nowhere, and don’t always remember to check the url we’re being pointed at before we click on it. I’d love to see a similar thing for videos, so I don’t get ambushed by them. Then I can decide whether I want to go watch a video right now or not. Also? Don’t just link saying “This is awesome” or some such. If you do that to a webpage, I can skim the content briefly and decide whether it’s something that interests me. If I don’t know what a video’s about, I’m not going to sit around and wait to find out, then decide whether I, too, think it’s awesome. (It usually isn’t anyway.)

I also don’t follow any video podcasting on blogs. I’d follow audio podcasting if I could be bothered to put it on my iPod (and video too, maybe, if I had an iPod that supported it), but not watching or listening on my computer. Again with the wanting to move at my own pace thing. And being able to skim over the stuff that doesn’t interest me.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not an epic problem; I’m far more concerned with writing my novel and catching up on my e-mail and what our legislators will do about the White House thumbing its nose at them. But it’s a minor irritant, and I thought y’all might like a post that isn’t about MNC.

So warn folks when you’re linking to a video, and give some sense of what the video is. Or Angry Kitten will come after you.

0 Responses to “”

  1. buymeaclue

    >give some sense of what the video is.


    The “here is a YouTube video with no context” thing drives me nuts. And no, “This is great!” does not count as context.

    • Marie Brennan

      Embedded video is better, I think, simply because it doesn’t ambush you. I can just ignore it, unless I’m feeling bored or curious.

  2. unforth

    I agree with you 150%. I usually have the time to skim articles and such. I almost never have the time to view videos, and find it mildly annoying when they are sprung on me.

    So give some sense of what the video is. Or else Jonie will come along with those angry kittens, and she WILL lick you. A lot.

  3. d_c_m

    I totally understand and agree. I hate it when Web sites load music automatically. *raspberry*

  4. squishymeister

    oh, I hate the Myspace music! I want to send comments to these people on my friends list “what makes you think I want to listen to you’re music?” and it’s always so loud, and sometimes it’s impossible to find where it’s coming from! I’ve even had it where 2 or 3 things proc at once. In those cases I scream and click on the X or back arrow as fast as possible.
    It’s actually one of the big reasons I really prefer LJ to myspace. Myspace seems a whole lot more like a popularity contest than friends who actually care about what’s going on in each other’s lives. Most of the bullitons are just stupid quiz-memes where they answer the same questions over and over again about themselves. I’ve never understood it.

  5. sapphohestia

    I’ve seen some places be respectful of where users are sent when they click on a link. Reddit (a socially managed link page organized by user votes) for example, indicates the type of link that’s being promoted or gets mercilessly voted down by annoyed users. Essentially, though, the rating system is the equivalent of the angry kittens payback and isn’t a feasible option for other people’s blogs.

    My pet peeves are the obnoxious, tinny music-playing ads that jump you from an innocuous news report.

    I was just reading an article about whether e-mail is going to become a relic of the pre-Web 2.0 internet ( So, by falling behind on your e-mail you’re actually getting ahead in the tech race.

    The stuff going on in politics is dreadful. Is the system getting more corrupt or is the dirt just getting easier to find?

  6. fallenrose

    But your Angry Kitten is so CUTE. ^_^

    Just kidding!

  7. gollumgollum

    I’m so with you. Most of the time i’m surfing on something without speakers, so music-filled pages are less of a problem, but it means that there’s usually *no point* in videos, other than dealing with the lag as my puter tries to load them. Argh.

  8. markdf

    Agree. Agree. Agree. I am not a passive user of the web. I like to do things when I want, if I want. The other thing I hate about myspace? On my homepage (the manage page) those damned large video ads for

    Oh…on CNN and Comedy Central (and a bazillion other sites) that try to force me to watch an ad before viewing a video link. The moment I see them loading, I mute the volume, scroll the video off until I can see only the timer and wait for the video to come on. I hate doing that too, but it’s preferable to watching an ad.


  9. kurayami_hime

    Somehow, I think I am missing the point . . .

    This is awesome!

    Ahem. Two minute flash video with music, death, and a kitty.

    Even more awesome!

    Erm, another flash video with music, star-crossed love, and a cat.

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