I’ve been recording a quite a few videos lately for showing off new features in Visual Studio and Web Essentials. Some videos also shows prototypes of what is coming down the line. The question is  whether or not videos are the right format for this.

Personally, I prefer short demo videos over written articles or blog posts. There’s just something about seeing how a feature works instead of reading about it. However, there are situations where watching videos aren’t an option. For instance when on the bus with no headphones. Written articles works better for me in those situations.

I like doing videos and I’m considering doing more of them on a regular basis. The question is, are videos worthwhile or is a blog post better?

Check out my Youtube channel to get an idea of how I’d like to do the videos going forward.


Comment by Weijie JIN

For new feature introduction, I prefer short videos. For technical explanation, configuration and trouble shooting, I think blog post is a better choice since it's more search engine friendly.



Comment by Shane Church

I generally prefer blog posts over videos. I can gather and process a lot more information by reading than by watching videos and it is also far easier to reference a written article later for a reminder when needed.

Comment by Samiullah Khan

Agree with [b]@Weijie JIN[/b]

Comment by Matthew Whetton

I'm normally in an environment where it is difficult to watch videos so I generally prefer blog posts. That said, I watched your short video about JavaScript intellisense on Friday and I think the video demonstrated how cool the feature is much better than a blog post would do.

Maybe if the videos had subtitles or didn't require sound... That would be perfect!

Comment by John Grant

Text books and blogs are essential but videos and podcasts are becoming important. Longer conversational style videos/podcasts can often shed light and different perspectives more readily. They are also more convenient to consume. Most days I try and get through several videos/podcasts at my desk. So I'd say try to do both. If not, for Web Essentials I'd prefer video demos.

John Grant
Comment by Matthew Krizanac

Nailed it.

Not just the search engine, but, sometimes I only want to re-reference a small chunk of the content. Pretty hard to do that in a video. A lot of times, I'll send an email with an interesting chunk of the information in the body of the email referencing the full article. With a video it turns into, "Pay close attention to 12:36 through 13:04 in this hour long video".

Feature introduction, videos rule the day though.

Matthew Krizanac
Comment by Hans Schenker

Youtube is channel where you reach much more people than with your blog. You also have the possibility to reach out to people which are not visiting Microsoft blogs!

Hans Schenker
Comment by Eric

Videos can't be nicely indexed and searched unless you really work hard on on the meta-data. I suggest posting videos as part of blog posts.

Comment by Sam

I vastly prefer blog posts (with step by step pictures). Videos are time consuming to watch, often difficult to remember, and even harder to reference back to.

Comment by Kijana Woodard

Text wins over video. I can easily scan text to pick out relevant information.

Transcripts would make video better. :-]

Comment by Robert Oschler

How about YouTube videos with jump links? You could have a link at the start of the video to a Table of Contents that occupies the last 5 or 10 seconds of the video. The TOC has clickable buttons that take you to each salient segment of the video (easy to do with YouTube's annotation features). Add the idea for sub-titles given in the comments earlier and you have the best of both worlds.