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In a climate crisis, text should be default option for communication

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By Gerry McGovern. Published 22/08/21. Permalink.

Video is harder to control than text. It’s harder to browse, to navigate, to search, to pause. Text gives you more of an ability to go at your own pace and to take just what you need. When you need a very specific piece of information, video is a real pain.

It’s also time consuming and expensive to create video. There is, of course, a place for it, but it’s frustrating to hear nonsense like “people are visual”, “nobody reads” etc. etc. when text is such a flexible, efficient and incredibly sophisticated means of communication.

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Miraz
Miraz

@leonp That brought to mind how immediately after 9/11 news sites went more or less text only for a while. It was the only way to successfully deliver news to millions of people with way less Internet capacity than we have now. [As I write this, I find it...

leonp
leonp

@Miraz I seem to remember no internet being available at all on the day – at work we watched the coverage on TV (and I worked at a telecoms company), and then when I got the tube home everyone was reading a copy of The Evening Standard – in...

Miraz
Miraz

@leonp Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we watched on TV and listened to the radio. Even back then I didn't bother with newspapers. I must have been doing something on the Internet though to recall the text-only approach.

JMaxB
JMaxB

@Miraz different times. I was working on the computer, with my yahoo! home page open -- at the time that was the best all-around portal to the internet (different times #1). I had to place a phone order (different times #2) to a company in minnesota. while we were...

Miraz
Miraz

@JMaxB Do you realise that was a mere 20 years ago (next month). Life is now different in so many ways we wouldn't have imagined.

jayeless
jayeless

@leonp I'll always prefer text! Like you say, it's searchable, easily quotable, uses less bandwidth, you can go at your own pace, etc. I'm sure that the so-called "pivot to video" had more to do with advertisers than actual user preferences.

leonp
leonp

@jayeless Yes, I think that’s true. It’s also popular because a video is a shiny thing that you can point to and say here’s something we produced.