WordPress TV Launches — The Appeal of Video Continues to Expand

WordPress TV launched this week (go to http://WordPress.tv to view it). The concept of WordPress TV is similar to Adobe TV — it’s a multimedia site loaded with a ton of video tutorials and other video content, only WordPress TV is more user generated. Here’s a video introducing WordPress TV:

On WordPress TV, the quality of the videos varies, since many of them are recorded at Wordcamps around the world. Additionally, you can recommend videos to be added. For example, you can record a video tutorial on some aspect of WordPress, post it on your blog, and then suggest the link to WordPress TV through the site’s contact information. I assume the WordPress TV site managers pull in your video from wherever you’re hosting it.

I am tremendously excited about WordPress TV. This is the age of video, in my opinion. The days where technical writers simply wrote manuals are diminishing. A good majority of the people find video instruction more appealing, more engaging, and more attractive than written documentation. I find that video is more fun to create as well.

I also think the predominance of user-generated content is lowering the expected professional standards of video. Like the web, users care more about relevant business content  than correct grammar (not to diminish the value of grammar, surely). But if you’re struggling to learn how to fix your stylesheet to wrap text around images in your posts, do you care if the video tutorial relays the information with impeccably smooth transitions and trained voice talent? Sure it makes the video a little better. But you’re mainly interested in finding the solution to your problem. If the video provides that relevancy and solves your problem, you’ll forgive the unpolished voice and the lack of cool effects.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for The 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.

9 thoughts on “WordPress TV Launches — The Appeal of Video Continues to Expand

  1. Karen

    This is very interesting, and as a WordPress fan, I know I will visit the site and look for help and inspiration.

    However, many people can’t use this site if there are no captions. Deaf and HOH (hard-of-hearing). While people rush to play with new toys, they often forget to check whether everyone can play along!
    From the US numbers in this link http://gri.gallaudet.edu/Demographics/deaf-US.php, there is bound to be more than a handful who would not LIKE captioning, they would NEED it.

    This is a great opportunity for those preparing videos to consider writing the captioning as well.

    Of course, if people starting using Sign in their videos, the tables might be turned. ;-)

    Sorry, Tom, I understand your enthusiasm for videos and a new direction for technical communication, but there are strings attached and we mustn’t forget those strings!

    For some inspiration with Signed videos, visit D-Pan: http://www.d-pan.com/index.html and watch their interpretations of “Beautiful” and “Waiting on the World to Change”. I’ve been so inspired that I have downloaded some applications for my iPhone to teach myself ASL Sign, well aware that is just one of many flavors of Sign.

  2. Tom

    I know that accessibility is important, but I doubt that captions will catch on with WordPress TV, since it mostly consists of user-generated content. Larger organizations are more sensitive and aware of deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but from a hobbyist’s perspective, it’s hard enough to make a video, let alone caption it. Still, I agree that in an ideal world, all the videos would have captions.

    Thanks for commenting. By the way, for some reason your comment had to be approved. Not sure why. Maybe it was the presence of two links that triggered the filter.

  3. Neticule

    Awesome! I love video tutorials, Its much easier to follow along by listening and watching than checking a written tutorial every 10 seconds.

  4. Dubai website

    Very excited to see WordPress do this. The tutorials will really provide a lot of value to the public! Makes it even more of an inclusive hub to learn and grow with the entire wordpress/automatic community.

  5. Online Printing

    I’m glad to see it happen. I know WordPress has been wanting to do this for at least two years so it’s good to see they’ve taken the time to work it out first – fingers crossed it’ll be a great resource

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