Just recently YouTube celebrated its fifth anniversary and looking back how they have grown, the stats are thrilling: they now have more than 2,000,000,000 visits a day, users upload 24hrs of video every minute and it’s the 3rd most visited website.
Hulu (a web site that offers video streaming of programs, films and other video content) has grown in one year from 5.5 million visits a day to about 8.3 million visits today. That might not be a big number you might say, but the service it’s only available in the US.
On another scale, but closer to where I live, all TV channels in Spain are moving to provide their contents in the form of video streaming to users whenever and wherever they want.
All the above probes that video is finally becoming a technology that the user population is adopting as a way to communicate better and richer. Companies like Cisco have advocated that video will be/is the new revolution that will both allow people to better collaborate as well as increase the network traffic and requirements of the underlying technologies and equipment.
Even though I fully agree with the above statement, I’m also taking it with a pinch of salt as there are a few things I believe need to be taken into account for that to happen.
Video is a phenomenal communication channel because it allows us to capture elements of a communication that are usually not there with other means like email or a voice call. I’m sure you know that, on any conversation, 70% of the information is in the context while only 30% is in the message itself. What that means is that whenever we’re using video, we have to take into account how the other elements affect the message or the information we’re trying to transmit. Is the posture of the main communicator the adequate? Is the background set so that it doesn’t distract the audience? How’s the lighting and the overall quality of the image? Are the gestures and body language giving a different message than what’s being said?
More often that not, I’ve seen videos posted on websites aimed to enrich the message given but effectively discouraging me from watching them because some or all of the mentioned aspects were not considered. There is a fine line between a fresh, cool video that someone takes and uploads with no editing and a painful experience of getting a fuzzy headache because the camera seems to stand on top of a laundry machine.
So, as with anything that has the power to do more, there comes the responsibility to do it properly. Video can and will change the way we communicate but it does require a little extra effort from our side to make the whole experience a good one so….Lights, Camera….ACTION!