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.