Did video kill the connectivity platform?

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Image courtesy of Pixabay

I always look forward to Jane Hart’s Top 100 tools; I like to see what new tools people are using and how they use them. It’s a bit different this year with a more diverse number of tools. That’s one reason I want to get a user group together to test out some of the new tools.

What surprised me was my immediate negative reaction to noticing the number 1 tool this year. When I saw it was YouTube I immediately felt disappointment and a little bit of anger and couldn’t quite work out why. A day later, I think this is down to a few reasons…

Firstly, it seems that Twitter is no longer king. I love the way Twitter connects people and the fact that Twitter is no longer top of the shop made me wonder if there’s a movement away from connectivity. Is it sounding a bell for connecting platforms in general, a reaction against Twitter, or have people just had enough of social? I’m not THAT surprised that Twitter has lost it’s top spot as it seems to be struggling to understand its place and the way it has been adopted as a primary tool for reporting current events has turned it into something which I’m not entirely comfortable with.

The shift to a content hosted platform concerns me. I noted that YouTube needs to be used with care as there’s a lot of content on there; 300 hours of video uploaded every minute means it’s almost impossible to find stuff which meets the demands of being new, relevant and of the right quality all at the same time. I understand that the cream generally rises, but that can take time and to the person searching for the right video, to fix an issue right now, a problem. Search for ‘Excel dates’ to understand how to format them in cells for example and you’re faced with over 60 thousand results. If the average user rarely scrolls past the top 4 or 5, how many videos will they watch from the 20 presented to them on the first page of results?

Lastly, have you ever left a comment on a YouTube video? Below the line is a dangerous place as anyone who has seen Adam Buxton’s Bug will confirm. I’ve found few comments sections on YouTube as places for informed and objective debate and so can’t describe YouTube as a social tool if people feel less inclined to comment, interact and discuss.

Am I wrong? Does a shift to a video platform represent a move from networks and communities? Is it representative of higher expectations and ease of content distribution? Let me know in the comments and if you’re interested in joining a focus group to test out some of the tools on Jane’s list.

5 thoughts on “Did video kill the connectivity platform?

  1. The thing with YOU TUBE is that you can utilise it everywhere. Twitter is not for everyone (social media isn’t for everyone). It is also very anonymous. No one needs to know that is where you went to learn something. Twitter, face book etc… leave that little finger print and some may feel that is a compromise to their own personal development. Youtube, immediately support at least two learning styles. is instant and not a link to somewhere else. I often quote twitter as a great place to go and find learning/knowledge, however, have to confess, I am more inclined to don my earphones in the office and type you tube.com………


  2. As you say, Twitter has been struggling to define itself and also it has been heavily criticised for the amount of abuse on it, so its slide down the rankings does not necessarily indicate a move away from connectivity in general. Your idea of a focus group is a great idea and may shed more light on this, and I would be happy to participate.

    While a hit parade of learning tools is useful, I would like to be interested in how we can put together a good toolbox covering learning for: how to, why to, general skills, specific tasks, networking, collaboration, sharing,mentoring…


  3. Echoing some of your, Craig and Roger’s thoughts, for many people Social Media is still a case of ‘Here there be dragons’ whilst the notion of an instructional video has been around for a long time. The fact that Twitter is still unsure of its purpose doesn’t help this and several people I spoke to recently, about social media in general, saw it as becoming more of a news tool than having any potential for learning.

    A recent (totally unscientific) poll of an on-site office (35 people) shows that approx 75% have used a video to learn, whereas only 45% use social media and a paltry 15% of those use twitter.

    I do agree that any move away from a social connection when learning is a loss and the comments section of YouTube is not for the feint of heart.

    As always, happy to help and be part of your focus group.


  4. It is no surprise that “You tube” is the first among the lot. Largely people are more satisfied with instant gratification and the amount of live content and variety in ‘You tube”. I agree that “You Tube” has lot of mixed content and has quality compromised. But that’s what the crowd wants, in all its ingenuity and authenticity and with all its flaws. The content is visual and “You believe what you see”. I have searched myself for You tube’s content many times before buying a electronic gadget. Automobile reviews is another example. People just want to see and feel.

    Twitter on the other hand is good but it is more useful in a flash mob kind of an event. Instant hot news and the likes. In a football stadium etc. Used by celebrities with many followers.
    As far as your questions are concerned, I do not see it as a move towards video content. It is just that people use it for a certain purpose at a certain time. All kinds of social networks have their importance. People want variety all the time.
    You can include me in your tool testing.
    Your article was good. Good analysis. Cheers, Ramkumar


  5. I think Youtube was always bound to surpass a social network because a) video consumption is growing exponentially and b) how can a social network deliver as much quantity and variety of learning resources as a content platform powered by users? Twitter is probably still a better place to have a conversation (and Youtube comments are horrific as you noted), but it is limited in it’s ability to provide actual learning resources, other than links to content platforms etc. So I think they are actually complimentary and which one appears at the top of the list is less important. Twitter has more competition from other conversation channels these days, so people may be communicating on FB, WhatsApp, SnapChat etc, whereas YT is still at the top of the video pyramid for now.


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