A few weeks ago I attended a Sydney Business Month presentation titled ‘Video Killed the Written Website’. It was run by Claire Stretch, Producer, and Brendon Stretch, Creative Director of Filmstretch. Claire and Brendon specialise in video production. Their presentation was very good and the insights they shared valuable. They shared great ads such as DollarShaveClub.com’s comical ‘Our Blades are F***ing Great’,
Nike’s compelling ‘Find Your Greatness’,
and the odd but attention-holding American DirectTV ad, ‘Don’t Have a Grandson with a Dog Collar’.
They showed us how the art of film has evolved over time, and just how much can be going on behind the scenes of films. Just check out the final scene of Hugo to get an idea:
By the end of the session we had an understanding of how much work is involved in all phases of video creation and digital post-production.
I’m not here to argue that video isn’t brilliant – when executed well. In an age of digital ADD, video is critical in engaging audiences. From advertisements to film, video educates, entertains, enlightens, informs and moves us in ways that a page of words cannot.
There are people (like me), however, who still enjoy reading a well-written article. Sometimes when I follow the link on a tweet I’m disappointed that I’m being taken to a video instead of a concise and smart piece of writing. I like the puns, the innuendo, the big words, the flow. I value the effort that has gone into creating a piece that makes me laugh, cry, learn, or just keeps me glued to the screen.
Sometimes, Internet services aren’t always fast enough for video. Also, not everyone has mastered the art of video, or has the budget to do it well. Great words coupled with relevant images or infographics can capture attention and inform adequately in many situations.
The crux: In many instances, video isn’t an option and many people still appreciate clever, entertaining and/or compelling written content that has been carefully crafted.
Yes – crappy written content is most certainly dead, but excellent, relevant, timely, useful written content is not.
Some pieces of writing that have held my attention lately:
This simple yet warming blog post about rice on The Patterned Plate
This recent post by a straight man about how he was ‘defriended’ over the wedding of his gay brother
Aleksandar Hemon’s gripping and devastating piece about his daughter’s plight with a brain tumour on The New Yorker