In the last year or so there has been a changing in the way information (or misinformation) is presented on the internet. The internet used to be so slow that we used Usenet because it was text based and therefore “fast” ie “still really slow”. Then mp3 allowed us to compress audio and pass it around. A couple of years ago we lived in the age of the infographic, the massive image containing all of the Earth’s information in a visual form. Now, HD video streams so fast you can pretty much share anything. This has changed the way in which people present information.
You’ve probably all seen it on Facebook and twitter. Sites like Upworthy are turning it into a cliche.
Catchy title that ends with no information but has been designed to evoke intrigue.
It is purely designed to increase the flow of traffic to the site, raise statistics and drive rankings. You click the link and what do you find? Still no information but a linked youtube clip containing the information you seek. Great, we can all stream it on fibre optic or 4G to our heart’s content. Only we can’t…
I spend most of my social media time in public places whilst I’m waiting. Waiting on a bus. Waiting in a waiting room. Waiting in a cafe. Waiting in the church. Waiting in someone’s office whilst they are on the telephone. Waiting for someone to make a cup of tea. Sometimes I’m in bed, waiting to fall asleep. In 90% of the situations I’m surfing through content, I’m not in a situation where I’m able to watch a video. That means that 90% of the time, sites like Upworthy are wasting my time. Unfortunately you have to click the link to find that out.
Video is good. Video gets information out there at high speed. I use video a lot to develop my skills as a guitarist and I generate a lot of video content for The Rock Mass. But that’s not my complaint. It is the manipulative titling and lack of multimedia. Sites like Big Bible usually put “VIDEO: Check out This Cool Whatever” so you know what to expect.