I acknowledge that I'm a dinosaur, and therefore supposed to think things like this, but...I find many vloggers intensely annoying sometimes. Not all of them, but even some of the allegedly good ones. Random examples from the last two camera vids I started watching:
Random vlogger 1 explains Fuji sensors: "...X-Trans sensors. That's that magic Fuji technology in there, that honeycomb technology some people refer to it as, where it just delivers a lot of goodness in those sensors is what [sic] people love the X series. Something to be aware of with the X-T100 is, it does not have an X-Trans sensor. So it doesn't have the same sensor as the X-T20. It's got a...downgraded sensor if you will. Still a very good sensor, still 24 megapixels, just not an X-Trans. So just be aware, I think the X-T100 is going to be a great offering, I think it's going to sell well. Be aware if you're buying that, to realize that you're not getting the X-Trans sensor."
No magic Fuji technology in X-T100. Got it.
Random vlogger 2 explains Leica lens names: "...Now, if you don't know what 'Summilux' means, Summilux is basically just Leica's top series lens, so it would be like a gold ring from Nikon, or like a red ring from Canon lenses, or a G Master from Sony lenses, but, it's just their sharpest lens. It also has to do with the amount of light that comes through the lens, so a Summilux is anywhere from 1.4 to 1.8, and then ƒ/2 to ƒ/2.8 I think is Summicron, and then, you know, any aperture wider open than 1.4 is what's called Noctilux, and that's just the most light that comes through the lens. Some people would argue that's the top-of-the-line Leica lens, just because it's the most expensive series of lenses, but they're super soft, and you have to really love that look, so I wouldn't say that they're the sharpest lenses that Leica makes, even though they're the most expensive lenses that Leica makes. The Summilux, on the other hand, is the sharpest lens that Leica makes for their cameras."
Got it. Summilux = sharpest.
Anyway, you can see why people much prefer video reviews to written ones. They're just so much easier to understand. Without all that, you know, hard reading.
And I have a question. Why are they eternally addressing me as "you guys"? Do they think I'm sitting here in the company of my betatted friend-posse or something? That we go everywhere all joined at the hips? That, as we're being so addressed, we're all gathered around my computer, eyes eagerly glued to the screen as one of us surfs Web flotsam? (Or are we making these decisions in near-synchrony, like the movements of a school of small fish or a flock of sparrows?) Or, perhaps I'm supposed to imagine all the other singular, individual audience members out there in the world somewhere, sitting glumly in their mothers' basements at their spaceship-cockpit computer gaming stations, alone, watching along with me, and I'm meant to identify with them strongly enough to consider myself part of a group with them? Shudder.
There's only one of me here. I'm not a "you guys," I'm just a...guy. Singular. One. One guy. That's the extent of it in my household. I take no responsibility for, and claim no solidarity with, anyone anywhere else who might be wasting their time in the same manner and at exactly the same time as I am. Any chance vlogging (and video ads) will outgrow the brainless prattling about "you guys" any time soon?
Speaking of brainless prattle, I turned on X-M Radio the other day to find a dj gushing about "all the iconic Saturday-morning cartoon theme music." Really?I know it's old hat to complain about the overuse of the word "iconic," but the complaining has not seemed to have much effect yet.
I thought maybe we could all just calm down for a moment to recall that the original meaning of the term icon was "a representation of a sacred personage—Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, or angel—that was itself venerated as sacred."
Considering that etymology, the theme music to "Scooby Doo" does not quite rise to the adjective in my opinion, I'm sorry.
Just as soon as everyone on YouTube drops "you guys," maybe we can all replace the word iconic with the word familiar. I've been quietly doing this substitution in my head for a week or so now, and I haven't yet encountered a single instance where it doesn't work perfectly well, or well enough. "Familiar theme music from Saturday morning cartoons," for example, parses just fine and actually sounds like someone reasonable is talking.
Whenever you hear the word "iconic," substitute "familiar" to yourself and see if it's an improvement. Let me know if you encounter a phrase out there in the wild where it doesn't work at all—I'd be curious as to just what that would be.
If I knew what noise dinosaurs made, I'd make it right now! Somewhere between a harrumph, a whinny and a "nay," I'd guess. :-)
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Jim Kofron: "Mike, that was an iconic rant...."
Ernie Van Veen: "Every time I hear 'you guys' in a video or podcast, I immediately think, 'who me?' in the familiar voice of Scooby Doo."
Joe: "I'm literally sick to death of all this constant misuse of language!"
Mike replies: Saw what you did there.
David Saxe: "'Vlogging' can be a bit weird at times. One of the things that annoys me most is how they seem so 'peppy' and excited to to see me even though they can't. If someone greeted me on the street like that, I would be very concerned."
toto: "One good thing about some vloggers' vlogs is that your [sic] spared from having to decipher there [sic] poor spelling."
Mike replies: I resemble that remark!
Mani Sitaraman: "Video reviews and vlogging are a form of sequential access data storage, which is the least efficient way to store information for retrieval. It is exactly akin to an old cassette or reel-to-reel tape, where you had to wind the tape, tediously, to find the beginning of a particular song. And if there were no index numbers to indicate where the song began, good luck. Written reviews are much better, and a form of semi-sequential access. The eye can scan rapidly at random for key words, and then begin reading words (and thus absorbing information) in sequence, in sentence form, from the point where you perceive a keyword of interest to you. Videos are a truly terrible way of doing equipment reviews, unless the process of reviewing itself is a story that needs to be told in sequence. Top Gear automobile reviews are a good example. There has to be a strong reason to use a video as a narrative medium, and a natural fit. And that fit happens when there is an unavoidably sequential narrative to the material. Step-by-step instructions are well suited, but an equipment review is usually not."
Mike replies: Very well said Mani. (Wish I'd written that.)
Henry Petroski's fascinating but extraordinarily in-depth book The Book on the Bookshelf documents the change from scrolls, which have the same problem as videos, to books with "leaves" (pages). I lived with a guy on a farm in Vermont who had all his music on reel-to-reel tapes—many albums per tape. About the only option was to start one and let it run—which provided all the freedom of choice of listening to the radio.