conversations are much more engaging than monologues. so i've been struggling lately with issues around video use on the web. now i know that it is all the rage and that there is lots of traffic to sites like YouTube and lots of clicks on embedded video in just about every blog, but I still wonder how much people like to watch video online especially if they are trying to learn something and not just be entertained.

i was working on a project recently and had to decide what would constitute a "successful view" for the videos we were using. we played around with a few ideas; percentage viewed, 30 seconds viewed, 1 min viewed, action taken after watching, etc. This conversation went on an on and everyone had an opinion (i'll have to write more on this later) but what struck me was that we were using video to express the brand and explain how the company was different but we didn't even know if people would watch the video.

What makes a video watchable? When is it the right medium for explaining something to a user?

I'm not really a video watching user but i recently watched a video explaining the features of the new Quicken Online and I realize that one tactic that really seems to work is the conversation approach to video. This video would have be completely boring and maybe even hard to follow if it weren't for the two voices having a conversation about the features. One voice would ask questions, questions that I as a user may have and the other voice would answer.

**I am now interrupting this entry for a special message**

(( I was going to ask you if you agreed and link you off to the video, but when I went to grab the link they had change the video to a new one that featured just one voice!!! can you believe it? now i just don't know what to think. did they change because they tested both and the monologue won? or was there another reason.))

**now back to the post**

This method can also work in the old school text medium. read this. i think it works very well. and i agree with commenter Justin that they are cute.

me: so what do you think makes a video successful on the web. particularly when used to explain something? you: (silence) me: well, that is a very interesting perspective.