Are video comments the next stage in blog evolution?

By Mark O’Neill

I’ve been listening to the pros and cons recently about whether video comments should be inserted into blogs. I honestly can’t make my mind up whether or not it’s a good idea. Mashable and Techcrunch have both started doing it, but the general consensus across the web is that video comments are a bad idea and will end up becoming a short-lived fad.

Here are four pros and four cons regarding video comments, just off the top of my head :

Pros :

  • Makes the blog more interactive.
  • You can put a face, voice and personality to the comment.
  • It’s difficult sometimes to work out what tone the person is taking in a text comment. With a video comment, you can see right away if the person is happy, sad, angry, whatever.
  • It helps to build up a more intimate friendly blog community, which in turn helps the blog owner to build up the RSS subscriber base. People with wacky funny personalities will contribute more, people will visit more often to see the wacky funny people do their thing and so on.

Cons :

  • The operator can’t moderate them
  • You can’t leave links to your blog so people may be less inclined to leave a comment.
  • The videos may slow the loading of the page down.
  • Some people might get carried away with the whole thing and rant on and on. Who wants to listen to a ten minute rant?

What do you think about video blog comments? Can you think of another pro or con?

If GAS suddenly decided to introduce video commenting, would it make you more or less inclined to comment on the blog? Would you personally leave a video comment or is the whole thing just a silly fad?

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12 Responses to Are video comments the next stage in blog evolution?

  1. Video comments make a nice extra feature, but they shouldn't and will never replace the oldschool text comments. Commenting with a text message like this is much easier and (!) faster. That's probably the main reason why I wouldn't bother replying in a video message…

  2. Video comments make a nice extra feature, but they shouldn’t and will never replace the oldschool text comments. Commenting with a text message like this is much easier and (!) faster. That’s probably the main reason why I wouldn’t bother replying in a video message…

  3. While videos are cool and I can see your pro's, I know my work doesn't allow video's, so we are forced to use the old method of reading. Our network admin will come over and smack our little hands with rulers if he see's anyone using his bandwidth…

  4. While videos are cool and I can see your pro’s, I know my work doesn’t allow video’s, so we are forced to use the old method of reading. Our network admin will come over and smack our little hands with rulers if he see’s anyone using his bandwidth…

  5. I think of blogs like a newspaper not like a TV or video phone. I think video comments would detract from the reading experience and disrupt the flow of the blog. I'd probably skip most of them.

    Video comments may be removed from the hosting site, leaving strange gaps in the comments. Alternatively, the blog could store all that junk and spend a fortune on storage.

    With that said, I think there are places where this would work really well. I can envision a Vlog that uses it effectively and is willing to accept the cons and work at solving the problems.

  6. I think of blogs like a newspaper not like a TV or video phone. I think video comments would detract from the reading experience and disrupt the flow of the blog. I’d probably skip most of them.

    Video comments may be removed from the hosting site, leaving strange gaps in the comments. Alternatively, the blog could store all that junk and spend a fortune on storage.

    With that said, I think there are places where this would work really well. I can envision a Vlog that uses it effectively and is willing to accept the cons and work at solving the problems.

  7. I think it's pretty daft myself. I can see it being more workable in maybe 5-10 years when recording and uploading videos is near-instant, but if I was reading the comments in a blog post and it contained any video clips, I'd either scroll right by them or go somewhere else, personally.

    Why? You can decide after a sentence if a comment is worth reading. The effort of loading up a video and going through all that seems like something I'd never see myself doing.

    I mean, what kind of person takes the time to record a video comment? No offense to any that do, but really… it'd better be something VERY special!

    Of course, if you're topless in the still I'd probably have a cheeky look… ;)

  8. I think it’s pretty daft myself. I can see it being more workable in maybe 5-10 years when recording and uploading videos is near-instant, but if I was reading the comments in a blog post and it contained any video clips, I’d either scroll right by them or go somewhere else, personally.

    Why? You can decide after a sentence if a comment is worth reading. The effort of loading up a video and going through all that seems like something I’d never see myself doing.

    I mean, what kind of person takes the time to record a video comment? No offense to any that do, but really… it’d better be something VERY special!

    Of course, if you’re topless in the still I’d probably have a cheeky look… ;)

  9. I think video comments are a silly idea. I've always been for the minimalistic approach to things though. Also, the listed pro of putting a face with a name isn't really a pro in my view. It tears away one of the beauties of text-only communication online: people being judged by their words and not their appearance, speech, etc. Also, to be perfectly honest, I'd never watch any of the video comments.

  10. I think video comments are a silly idea. I’ve always been for the minimalistic approach to things though. Also, the listed pro of putting a face with a name isn’t really a pro in my view. It tears away one of the beauties of text-only communication online: people being judged by their words and not their appearance, speech, etc. Also, to be perfectly honest, I’d never watch any of the video comments.

  11. What about spam, porn, offense etc? How do you moderate them? How do you scan through 70 video comments for a comment that catches your eye?

    And what about Generation Y (and Z)? Are they more inclined to leave video comments? As Sheamus said, it's not very workable /now/ as the videos would eat into peoples own bandwidth pretty quickly (something that text comments don't do). But that will change. Generation Y live and breathe video, from their mobile phones and gaming consoles to their generic love of youtube and the latest Grand Theft Auto.

    If the blog software/plugins can get around the spam and moderation issues then I can definately see a future mixing video comments and text comments. I imagine if myspace adds them as well (if they haven't already) and it is adopted by the kids, that will be the true test of the future.

  12. What about spam, porn, offense etc? How do you moderate them? How do you scan through 70 video comments for a comment that catches your eye?

    And what about Generation Y (and Z)? Are they more inclined to leave video comments? As Sheamus said, it’s not very workable /now/ as the videos would eat into peoples own bandwidth pretty quickly (something that text comments don’t do). But that will change. Generation Y live and breathe video, from their mobile phones and gaming consoles to their generic love of youtube and the latest Grand Theft Auto.

    If the blog software/plugins can get around the spam and moderation issues then I can definately see a future mixing video comments and text comments. I imagine if myspace adds them as well (if they haven’t already) and it is adopted by the kids, that will be the true test of the future.