Speed now & then (Space and time?)

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 13:21:36 CDT 2018

On Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 11:36 AM, Liam Proven via cctalk
<cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> On 29 March 2018 at 21:35, Fred Cisin via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
>> MP4s mean that now, not only does it take MUCH longer to create the
>> document, we can now waste MUCH more of the reader's time!
>> I find it very annoying that when GOOGLE'ing to find a simple answer, many
>> of the first hits are YouTube.
> I got a room full of very surprised looks a couple of years ago,
> interviewing for a tech-writer position, when I said that I hated
> online videos as instructions, finding them far too slow and
> inefficient.

I totally agree.  I read faster than most people talk and I retain
more information.  I'd much rather read 1,000 words than watch a 3
minute video.

> This concept shocked everyone in the room, AFAICT.

Not surprising given how many generations have now grown up watching
TV as their major input mode.

> Then I realised something -- something connected with my career change
> to tech writing.
> A lot of people _can't_ express themselves in text. Some don't care
> and let fly with all their spelling and grammatical errors,
> mostly-missing-and-the-rest-incorrect punctuation etc.

Yes.  People can ramble into a mobile phone and upload to YouTube but
actually _writing_ the same process... not everyone is a writer.

There are times when video instruction makes sense - describing, for
example, a chemical reaction that produces major visible change in a
few moments is better to watch than to try to describe.  The vast
majority of stuff?  Teaching programming?  I don't want to watch 2
hours of someone editing text... give me words and perhaps a
screenshot or two if there's something too complicated to simply write

I've taken several MOOCs.  The only saving grace is the 2X and 4X
buttons on playback.


More information about the cctalk mailing list