Since I discovered weblogs the amount of information streaming my way has increased exponentially. However, RSS feed aggregators have made it a lot easier for me to handle this information stream. Currently I’m subscribed to around 90 RSS feeds.
Early at high school we learned how to quickly read text, how to scan through it and find the data we were looking for. More than ever this skill is proving important today. Considering that there have been days that I went through hundreds of weblogs posts, it’s a vital skill. Text is managable this way.
Then podcasting came around. The next step for weblogging, or so they say. Instead of pieces of text, you now download MP3 files that you can listen to. It’s very nice for when driving to school or even when you’re busy browsing the internet. The trouble is that the amount of audio you’re able to handle is much, much less than text. Currently I’m subscribed to 6 audio feeds and I can barely listen to everything that comes in through those. You can’t quickly scan an audio file to see if it contains anything interesting.
The obvious next step would be video blogging, but that makes things even harder. The first problem is file size. Normal weblogs are just text and can be downloaded quickly (even for people still using 56k6 modems). Podcasting shows usually are longer than half an hour and are around 12–40mb in size. But what about videos? Channel9 puts up videos which are only a couple of minutes long, normally. But what if this thing really takes off and people are going to make 30–60 minute shows? You’d get 300+ mb files. Bandwidth is already a concern for popular podcasting shows right now, I don’t even want to think what it’s going to be like with video blogging.
The second problem with video blogging would be that you need two senses. You’re supposed to listen and watch to it. With reading weblogs I usually have MP3s playing in the background, with podcasting I’m usually driving or getting some work done at the same time, but with video blogging you can’t do anything else (beside maybe drink tea). There’s not a nice place for video blogging as there’s for podcasting and weblogging.