In the past if you wanted to be a video editor you also needed to be a camera operator, and to be a camera operator you needed to be a video editor. By knowing both skills you shot good material because you knew how hard bad material was to use. As a result of this videos were worth watching with all of our attention.
In recent years, there has been a move towards multimedia editing, where you don’t expect people to watch the video while sitting in front of a TV. You expect them to be looking at a mobile phone while commuting, or scrolling through a social media feed. Job offers reflect this. You often see jobs that required perfect spelling and grammar, Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. The need for an editor to be a camera operator is gone. We have gone from videos being made by camera operators and video editors who love their medium, to graphists, who overlay graphics over video. They’re making slideshows, rather than video content.
Today I started to watch a video about desertification and the graphics were so huge and prominent that I lost interest after just two shots. They are not using video appropriately. Videos should not be optimised for social media. They should be made interesting to view.
I spend hours a week watching videos on YouTube where the use of graphics is minimal or even non-existent. I watch hiking and camping documentaries that are half an hour to an hour long with minimal music and minimal graphics.
For a long time, there was the notion that content should be 1 to three minutes long for people to watch the entire thing. I think that this view is now wrong. I believe that with the coming of age of YouTube content creators, so the desire for longer form content has grown.
Tik Tok and User Generated Spam
For a while I really liked TikTok during this pandemic and then I fell out of love with it for two reasons. The first of these reasons is that it forces you onto the For You Page so you end up watching and following strangers, whom you will never interact with and the second is that everyone uses the same song, does the same action, but in their own individual way. This could be seen as fun, and many do, but for me this is User Generated Spam.
Over a decade ago we had Qik, We had Seesmic, we had Livestation and plenty of other video sharing apps, some of them live, others pre-recorded, and others for multi-camera streaming. TikTok had great potential to be a Seesmic style channel. We could have logged in, recorded a video, and had someone comment or respond. It could have been a way of conversing people with our voices. Instead, it is a talent show. There is little to no engagement. We don’t talk. We don’t get to know others. Furthermore, we’re just eyeballs looking at mediocre content, when we could do something more interesting.
I considered unfollowing plenty of accounts, but this takes time. I also considered that I could follow accounts that create original content. Paradoxically, TikTok gave me just the video to illustrate the point I am making. 😉
There are examples where the footage is interesting, for example the video above, but also the video below that shows the flooding in Cressier from a few days ago.
A cat going up a screw.
And why you hide cars underground when a storm is coming
I have shared some curiousities that keep me using TikTok rather than the stuff that makes me want to forget about the network. I wanted to stop using the network because a person’s message was always the same. In another situation, it’s because I got tired of the same songs. In at least two cases, I disliked phrases that I heard over and over.
What I describe here is due to the algorithms that push certain content that it thinks we want to see. In so doing, it often stops us from seeing other content, and it fails to account for our change in mood or interest from one session to the next. I believe that it is for this reason that trolls emerge. Algorithms force people to see content that they do not want to see and eventually they become negative, and take it out on the user whose video they are seeing.
This undermines the community that could emerge if we see the posts from the people we follow first, rather than the For You Page spam.
I am currently trying to write one post a day, so some days may be more inspired than others.