A little bit about the thinking behind the choice of videos as the primary communication medium, the level system that accompanies it and my videos.
Video is where it’s at!
The main reason why I have chosen to make this a primarily video based website is because I believe it is the most effective communication there is. Modern cinema has the capacity for you to live an experience with a strength of emotion that can almost compare to living it yourself. All achieved in less than 2 hours in the comfort of a decent chair. I believe video is the central reason why tolerance, understanding and ideas of equality are spreading much more rapidly than in previous generations.
A powerful educational tool
Video also has huge power in the area of education that almost rivals one on one interaction. While the interaction element is missing it does have the advantage that videos can be viewed in the exact way the user needs. Videos can be watched anytime, in manageable chunks, and can be rewinded or replayed multiple times until the person finally understands. This style of learning isn’t limited by a teachers time or patience.
This power is magnified when it incorporates smart graphic design (or info graphics) and best practice explanations. Humans are visually wired to understand and recall images to a much greater and faster degree than any other communication input. A picture says a thousand words so to speak.
Which do you prefer?
When humans process abstract thoughts they almost exclusively use metaphors. If the right metaphor is used we become much more efficient at putting these abstract ideas into a visual context for our brains and greatly enhance the speed of learning and the accuracy of conclusions derived from it. So graphic design is simply a tool for shortcutting this process and ensuring that people are talking from the same and more correct visual metaphor.
When done right is extremely effective
Videos that successfully combine all these elements excite me simply because they are so effective. I have learnt more in some 10 min videos that I have in countless hours of reading on the very same topic. They are almost always more entertaining than in written form too. Reading, especially educational reading, can often be laborious. Video has the potential to not only be effortless but also hugely engaging.
But video is also a very unforgiving medium to create. You only need one element of either visuals, audio, flow, timing and complexity to be not quite right and the whole viewing experience becomes jarring. The degree to which this annoys a person and puts them off is largely linked to the degree of interest a person has. Someone with very limited interest is highly unlikely to get through a 70 min academic style lecture where as person with an intense interest not only will but really enjoy it. The attention of a person with limited interest is only going to be held if the video is very engaging and of very high production values.
If communication is to be effective messages must be tailored to these various interest levels as well as to cultural and religious values.
This is why I have incorporated a level system into my website. Videos are sorted in accordance to length, complexity and production values so that people can find material that they will respond to best.