I detect that discussions around the pros and cons of various communication media lately are veering towards video as having the most immediate impact. I don’t doubt that assertion for a minute. But I do have reservations as to the ability of video to convey precise detail. The emotional and affective power of video is indisputable IMHO, but when it comes to detail, it has strict limitations (yes, you can challenge me on that). That’s why, I believe, the printed word (read also ‘displayed’ to embrace digital media) will take some surpassing when it comes to detail – and findability.
Digital text can be indexed fairly painlessly. But video can’t. That point is made well in David Tebbutt’s column in the current issue of IWR (Information World Review, October 2008). Videos – or slidecasts – are great as ‘experiences’, but if you want to refer back to a specific section, you can’t, because there is no way of indexing specific segments and jumping straight to them.
Am I alone in finding this a significant failing in 21st century IT/KO? Are there ways of doing this that I don’t know about? If anyone knows how to do this, please let us know.