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Thoughts On Video Commenting

scoble Earlier today news leaked out that the comment management system Disqus (background here) has enabled video commenting on sites that use the service through a partnership with Seesmic. Basically this means that people can post video comments in addition to regular old text comments in response to articles, blog posts, etc. You can see it in action here. Seesmic had previously released a plugin that enables video commenting on WordPress blogs, and plans to release a plugin for Typepad and Movable Type as well.

When I first saw video commenting on blogs “in the wild” a few months back, I thought it was a novel idea . At this point though, I find them mostly annoying for a few reasons:

  • When I’m using the web, I’m not always in a position where I can watch a video.  Sometimes I’m listening to music.  Sometimes I’m in a public place.  Sometimes I’m on a mobile phone. If part of the conversation is taking place via video, I will often miss it.  Many others will as well.
  • It is much quicker for me to read a comment than to watch it.
  • The use of video in commenting is usually unnecessary – in most cases the same point could be made just as well through text commenting.
  • Video comments disrupt the flow of text comments.

Beyond the initial gee whiz moment, I don’t see how the value video commenting provides the end user in most cases. For me, the rise of video commenting is largely a case of people using video for using video’s sake.

If video commenting takes off and becomes ubiquitous in the coming years, I think the best practice will be to separate video comments from regular text ones, as YouTube does with video responses. This will allow people to have the latest toy on their site without disrupting the experience of people just interested in text comments.