Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The New Minstrels?

Ever since my first post, I have been thinking about whether the advent of broadly available and viewable video makes all of us New Minstrels. That is, will we start to tell all of our stories in the form of video? If a picture is worth a thousand words what is a video worth?

Certainly, the popularity of YouTube and One True Media speaks to the fact that many of us find video an intriguing form of communication. And at the recent D: All Things Digital conference I heard Al Gore talk about the new television network Current which employs a lot of viewer-generated content to fill its airtime.

The interesting question is: will we all come to use video as a substitute for the written word? I ask the question because we at Roeder-Johnson believe in the written word a lot: it is a fast and very portable way of communicating anything from a simple to complex concept. Certainly, quite often a graphic can help in that written communication. But there's nothing like a short blurb or press release to make a short, clear point. And to be easily distributed and read.

Can video accomplish the same thing? Sometimes, I suppose, it can do even more. Rather than explaining, it can show a new idea. But, just as words can be complex to use to create pictures, a video can be hard to create and may be tough to use to communicate complex and new ideas.

Over the next few years, we will all learn how to use video. Certainly, now that the tools and distribution are so accessible -- both from a technology and cost standpoint, we can all try it out. And, presumably, when we look back five years from now, we will all have a clearer idea of where we can use video and where old-fashion written words will work better.


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