ASCII vs Binary

Ben Metcalfe writes in response to Brad Templeton's post.

At the blogger panel at Fall VON … Vlogger and advocate Dina Kaplan asked bloggers to start vlogging. Its started a minor debate.

My take? Please dont.

Ive written before on what I call the reader-friendly vs. writer-friendly dichotomy. My thesis is that media make choices about where to be on that spectrum, though ideal technology reduces the compromises

Brad actually goes on to advocate podcasting as an acceptable format as it can be listened to whilst jogging, etc. I think hes correct to a degree – podcasting is certainly easier to consume than video/vlogging as it is a multitaskable medium (unlike blogging too). However its still binary – it still requires you to consume at a pace decided by the producer and its far harder to index and search through. Unless it contains a meta-wrapper, there is also no hyperlinking which is arguably one of the greatest keys to the world-wide-webs success.
Its for this reason that Ive been sceptical as to the long-term success of podcasting as an informational medium. And this scepticism certainly extends to vlogging.

My take is that ascii is great but you know what, how bland would the world be if people couldn't express themselves in any form they feel most comfitable? See Ben is taking the reciever (user) point of view and I think thats fine for a lot of people. Even myself, I blog more that I podcast or videocast because I like hyperlinking. But it would be wrong for me to expect everyone to do the same. If podcasting works for you, hey go for it. Yes think about your audience you certainly need to balance that with your own creativity. So in the end I do agree with Ben's final point.

However I think most people would agree that we need to produce work in the format thats right for the content at hand, and for the end consumer whos going to consume it. For the moment at least, I think most people still use the blogosphere more for informational use than they do entertainment and as such that needs to be considered when youre about to produce your next blog/podcast/vlog

Ideally binary searching, scanning, deconstruction would be as easy as acsii but its not at the moment. I think this is mainly a limitation of the tools and services out there. The service and tool creators blame the lack of standards. So the question is where is the microformats of the media? I would have suggested Mpeg4 could have been but its got so screwed up who knows.

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