Yeah, it’s time for another rant, albeit a brief one. As the internet becomes more and more about multimedia rather than text, I’m seeing more and more video clips in what would normally be a magazine style article. Something like Huffington Post or New York Times or Newsweek, outlets that we associate as online newspapers or magazines, are embedding videos they themselves create. This is creating a blurrier and blurrier line between what constitutes a reading experience vs. a watching experience. Oftentimes the text you’re reading is little more than a transcript for the video (similar to a Ted talk). Now, this isn’t terrible on its surface, but the annoying aspect is when you are clicking on a news link and think you’ll be reading something and then an embedded video starts auto-playing at the top. Sometimes you just don’t want to watch a video. You want to read. So after you scroll down and are shocked by the audio from the video, you scroll back up and stop the damn thing….but it’s gotten EVEN WORSE. Now after the video finishes (and typically it’s just soundbite sized at a minute or two) it just switches to another video, typically TOTALLY UNRELATED in subjectmatter. In this respect, the web is turning more and more into a sort of 24/7 cable news analog where you’re being compelled to watch a constant stream of video about a whole host of random “newsy” topics. If I want that, I will watch TV news. Until then, I want to exercise some free-will in selecting the news I want to read (or watch) manually.
That is the whole idea of the web. That you BROWSE it. You do not passively sit back and watch it. Oh, I am so done.