May 10, 2013

"I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said."

"Am I wasting my time doing this kind of thing?" say I, in the comments to a post embedding a clip from a Bloggingheads episode I did with Bob Wright. I thought it was a pretty juicy segment, with lots of topics you'd be interested in hearing us talk about, but the comments — maybe because they are the earliest comments — don't riff on what we said and in some cases present ideas as if they were not in the video when they are.

Am I wasting my time doing Bloggingheads?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

108 comments:

Diego de la Vega said...

I liked your vlogs much better.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I don't watch because that Bob Wright guy always has such a smug, arrogant look on his face that I don't really want to hear what he says about anything. That's probably entirely unfair, but oh well, my time is precious and I don't have to spend it on him. Also, I almost always read around other people and I don't want audio.

traditionalguy said...

What's not to like. It is uncensored reality TV with two interesting people.

Thanks for doing it.

Lyssa said...

I hate internet video. Usually, I'm sneaking in little bits and pieces of reading (work breaks, while my husband's watching TV, while waiting in line), and it's just not convenient to watch/listen to something then. Plus, watching something that's not visually compelling without doing something makes me restless. I don't understand the point of video for these things.

Henry said...

Transcripts would really be nice. Pretty much all video is too long.

Andy R. said...

I think your mistake was in over-estimating the people who comment here. Obviously, the comments from people who hang out here will be terrible and contain the basic incompetency that you noted in your post.

Bob Ellison said...

Your general attitude on the blog seems to be "I'm interested in but don't worry about what readers want to see". That works because it's sincere.

But yes, these blah-blah bi-fold talking-head boredom-festivals are a waste of time.

Jay said...

The "blogging heads" includes too much cross talk, repeating yourselves, and rambling.

MadisonMan said...

Love them. Sometimes I don't have time to watch, but they are very interesting.

Leland said...

I skip all the Bob Wright vlog's and most of the other ones. As the first option notes (and I voted), there just too long and require me to listen. I'm often in areas where reading is easy but listening is not.

I also avoid the comment sections, as I have nothing to note. You are getting a number of regulars, who seem to treat all comment sections as open threads.

Shouting Thomas said...

Enduring Wright's whiny voice is beyond human endurance.

Bob Ellison said...

Uh, there should be no hyphen in "boredom festivals". Sorry; can't help editing.

TosaGuy said...

We read faster then we listen.

rcommal said...

I picked the fourth option. I like Bloggingheads. That said, I usually download them as podcasts and listen to them as podcasts so I'm not captive to a screen. (I generally will watch if one of the participants is new and I haven't yet seen how he or she interacts with the camera. Obviously, that's not the case here!!)

TosaGuy said...

We all have only so much time to waste at work, it can be wasted much more productively if one doesn't watch videos.

Sorun said...

Shocking poll result: Some people like them, some people don't.

rcommal said...

I am certain I have watched--mostly listened to--every Bloggingheads you've ever done from the very start, and countless others as well.

Shanna said...

It is rare that I watch these things. I'm like lyssa, I usually am just reading bits on breaks and I don't really want to or have time to commit to watching long internet videos. If I'm going to watch something that long it's probably going to be tv.

I like my news/commentary in written form. I have watched short clips on occasion though. Do them if you enjoy doing them.

bagoh20 said...

I didn't comment at all on that, because I didn't want to without watching, and I wasn't motivated to watch becuase.

1) Video is for entertainment. Talking heads are not entertaining. I'd rather read interesting ideas.
2)I know that Bob Wright will not change my mind on anything. He's not good or open enough. Althouse, you do change my mind sometimes, but I know you will be spending the video making him look stupid, and that isn't going to change my mind for sure.

Shanna said...

I usually download them as podcasts

Oh! I didn't know they had podcasts. I am far more likely to listen to something in podcast form, although I mostly listen to history podcasts...

Steve Koch said...

I can barely stand to watch any political talking heads.

I just have no patience waiting for people to say something that I could read in 1/10 the time.

I've watched a few times, but after less than a minute, I always leave. Why am I looking at these folks? Put it in writing!

Paddy O said...

I'd watch if you put it behind a paywall. I just don't feel the present version is sophisticated enough for my refined tastes in social and political commentary.

bagoh20 said...

I think you should still have them. I do watch them sometimes. I like when you pick out the best parts. I do watch video online a lot, but When I sit down to Althouse I'm prepared to read more than watch.

Henry said...

When I saw "all video is too long." I mean all. I actually find the core group of Althouse, Wright, Loury, and McWhorter to be interesting, thoughtful talkers. But it's still takes too much time to get to the heart of the argument.

All video is too long. Movies are too long. Commercials are too long. News programs are unbearable. Edit! Edit! Edit! Even sports events are too long. Except maybe horse races. The Kentucky Derby is about right.

Amy said...

TL DW

CEO-MMP said...

I don't watch them. I don't usually enjoy that sort of thing. Nothing personal.

If you like doing them keep doing them!

And since I don't watch them I don't bother to comment. Since that wouldn't be fair to all the people who did watch and want to comment.

ricpic said...

Althouse pearls strewn before swine. Not me! You others, you, you're swine.

madAsHell said...

I know that Bob is tall, but then I dropped off. Watching the video makes me feel like a peeping Tom. I don't like to watch the evening news, or reality TV either.

bagoh20 said...

I like the ones with just pretty girls. I have no idea what Bob is wearing below the waste, but he's not fooling me.

Dante said...


My earliest introduction to you was via a blogging head post. But, I don't have the time to watch these things at present.

Also, I can't stand listening to Wright. Yes, he's clever, but he is such an Ass, and so full of himself, it is painful to watch and listen to. I think he didn't get spanked enough as a kid.

Finally, I used to listen to Lowry/McWhorter diablogs, but since Lowry flipped to an Obama lover, and McWhorter, last I checked, is back on board with AA, I don't have much reason to listen to them.

bagoh20 said...

"The Kentucky Derby is about right."

Maybe just the last 1/10 of a second. That's the best part, and all I need to understand the entire thesis with 100% accuracy.

rcommal said...

Shanna: in my case, I subscribe to the Bloggingheads podcast version through iTunes (it's free) and have for years. That way they download automatically and I can load them onto whatever or I can stream them through speakers if I'm doing laundry or cleaning or exercising or whatever.

Dante said...

diablogs : diavlogs?

rhhardin said...

I watch the Althouse bloggingheads..

The lack of comments "on topic" just means that we come to learn by talking, not by listening.

There are a thousand takeoff points.

Lem said...

I watched this morning but now im on the road.

rcommal said...

I think there is also an iPad app, but I haven't gotten around to downloading that.

Lem said...

The answer is the 4th from the top down. They are good and add variety. Dont listen to nay sayers.

cold pizza said...

I prefer participating rather than spectatoring. -CP

DADvocate said...

When I read, I can read faster than a videotaped discussion goes. I can scan the conversation for specific points, even search for a word. I can easily temporarily stop, back up and restart. I can easily skip over the drivel I'm not interested in. I don't have to wear headphones/ear buds and worry about attacks from killer dog packs.

Gov98 said...

I can read in about 4 minutes what takes me 30 minutes to watch. I don't mind Bob Wright, just no time to watch.

Shanna said...

I'm doing laundry or cleaning or exercising or whatever.

That's what I do too. I have the app on my phone. I don't generally listen to anything political, though.

Marshal said...

The poll should separate the length / transcript / interlocutor questions since the responses would imply different solutions. I suppose this says the only solution you're willing to undertake is not to do them at all, but maybe another solution would be less onerous than you think.

rhhardin said...

Think of yourselves as the first two commenters.

DoneGoneGalt said...

It is nice to occasionally see the reality of how you speak and interact but anything more than 5 minutes of video is inconvenient with my connection. I would prefer a transcript to read. I did not vote and if I don't watch, I don't comment.

betamax3000 said...

I watch them with the sound off.

edutcher said...

My option:

No, just slice them into smaller pieces.

An hour plus is a little long to sit in front of a computer.

Andy R. said...

I think your mistake was in over-estimating the people who comment here. Obviously, the comments from people who hang out here will be terrible and contain the basic incompetency that you noted in your post.

Says the ninny who Occupied Hotlanta and reduces all disagreement with him to the words "bigot" and "dumb".

ndspinelli said...

Annie, By editing it down to 15 minutes you did your due diligence. Like yourself, I would be pissed if folks didn't watch it after editing the raw footage. I honestly do "feel your pain."

Oso Negro said...

Like Lyssa, I really don't care to watch internet videos. I would probably read a transcript, but I look at the 75 minute run time and think....nope.

dreams said...

I prefer to read, its faster and I don't have to listen to an irritating liberal.

tim maguire said...

If it's more than 3 minutes, I'm probably not watching. If there are more than 50 comments, I'm probably not commenting. So if it's more than 3 minutes AND I have something I want to say, then I'm probably commenting without watching.

tim maguire said...

Edit: ...because at this blog, if I take the time to watch, there will probably be 50 comments by the time I'm done.

Aridog said...

None of the choices fit my attitude. I'm leery of even commenting on this one.

I'd not watch or listen to Robert Wright for any reason. Just to see if he's changed at all I watched the first minute or so...nope, still a smug dismissive asshole, rolling his eyes up as Althouse makes germane topical remarks, which he does not answer.

Just re-watch those first minutes Althouse and you will have your answer why I don't watch Wright, however presented. You are cogent, he's blathering.

Wright has every right to be who and what he is...and I have every right to ignore him at every opportunity. I have the same attitude about Alan Combs of Fox News Channel....just his face prompts a grab for the remote...Click! Honestly they and their ilk [the yeah, but crowd] bore me...and have never said a single thing I found enlightening. The eye rolling up indicates they are not listening or considering the other person's words, but instead preparing what they plan to say next.

We have a few of Wright's type within the commenters here, and I do ignore them most of the time. They are certainly free to do the same for me. I doubt either of us would select to listen to each other voluntarily....but we are blessed with scroll keys, unlike a video.

For the most part, however, I gladly read the commenters, including the hosts, who can teach me something, change my mind, express an opposing opinion, etc...without shrill ad hominem crap, or demagoguery. Lord knows I don't always agree, but I can read & listen. But guys like Robert Wright...listening is punishment, not to mention well over half of anything he utters is vacant of substance.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Watching such exchanges is beneficial to a point, but the investment of time by the watcher is excessive. A transcript can be scanned for essences, skipping irrelevancies.

Enduring the whole discussion is much like receiving a photograph through a dial-up connection - there's useful work which can be done while the bits and bytes trickle in.

Paco Wové said...

I never watch or listen to this kind of thing. You think the pearls of wisdom that fall from your lips are worth that much of my time? Pffft. Not bloody likely.

Carol said...

ehh, video is so old school. Text is the new hotness.

Hunter said...

I'll echo some of what others have said.
1) Video commentary is more time efficient for the producers (Althouse and Wright) and less time-efficient for the consumers (blog readers and commenters). If there were an automated tool for producing transcripts then we could have a win-win for both.
2) I've greatly enjoyed the A&W videos on the few times I've had time to watch them.
3) The A&W videos have a LOT more value than the typical talking heads exchanges on cable news. That's a pretty low bar, I realize.

Aridog said...

Repeating what some others have said, by all means don't eliminate them because some of us don't watch them. Others may find the videos interesting.

As for germane comments, they are what they are, and they are prompted by the content .... which gets me, for my part only, back to Mr Wright...I cannot imagine ever gleaning anything from him worth the time to do so. So, until you asked this...I had nothing to say...for a blabber mouth like me that's uncommon.

CEO-MMP said...

Although now I'm tempted to watch just to see how bad this guy really is.

DADvocate said...

Like yourself, I would be pissed if folks didn't watch it after editing the raw footage.

Really? What obligation does anyone have to watch, or read, something just because you spend time on it?

If you really believe this, you're obligated to watch my son's high school football highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68V2cdCBmug

I spent many hours videotaping and editing it. It's only 4 minutes and 41 seconds, plus you get to see a big guy knock around some other guys. That's more fun than watching/listening to some intellectual discussion.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I'm afraid the 'we have our own, the, set of facts, thank you' attitude of the left as evidenced by the Benghazi affair just makes listening except in very high decibel affairs not something you may want to interrupt the quiet with.

Johanna Lapp said...

Twice I posted comments with questions (once on a Alt/Wright video and once on, I think, on an Alt/Lowry video). Both comments were promptly deleted, so I assumed comments were unwanted.

rhhardin said...

Length: 70 minutes is fine.

The trick is just listen. It's radio.

Even math and physics lectures on youtube work fine that way.

Smilin' Jack said...

""I guess no one actually watches these clips, since not one comment refers to anything we said.""

Well, duh. Only an illiterate would bother watching these things, and illiterates aren't going to write comments, are they? The rest of us get our content ten times as fast and much more conveniently through the marvelous invention known as written language.

Johanna Lapp said...

But I still do watch the videos.

Wright drives me crazy with 10 minutes of exceptions, excuses, apologies, clarifications, prologs, scene-setting, reframings, shading and spinning before he will utter a simple yes or no answer to an Ann question.

MayBee said...

Lyssa:Plus, watching something that's not visually compelling without doing something makes me restless.
----------

I thought I was alone! You put that feeling into words perfectly!

rhhardin said...

I think Wright is one of the more listenable lefties. I don't see the hostility.

He wins battles involving a of sense of humor.

Shanna said...

If you really believe this, you're obligated to watch my son's high school football highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68V2cdCBmug

I will totally watch this. High school football was so much fun. Much better than politics.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

My $0.02

I don't watch because I don't like watching people blah blah blah. Much more efficient to skim read.

But having said that, I hope Althouse does what she wants to do and finds interesting.

One reason I like her blog is because she finds interesting nuggets and makes interesting points. don't tailor the blog to what people want. Do it if you enjoy it. don't do it if you don't.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

My $0.02

I don't watch because I don't like watching people blah blah blah. Much more efficient to skim read.

But having said that, I hope Althouse does what she wants to do and finds interesting.

One reason I like her blog is because she finds interesting nuggets and makes interesting points. don't tailor the blog to what people want. Do it if you enjoy it. don't do it if you don't.

Kirk Parker said...

Transcripts; otherwise no.

And I'm with the commenter who pointed out that option #1 merges several very disparate aspects.

CEO-MMP said...

Wow. I made it through a minute ten of that. Bob Wright is more horrible than advertised.

edutcher said...

FWIW, I did throw this into the previous post:

OK, how about Wright's idiot remark nobody had TV in the 50s?

'52, maybe, but '56?

Kids were watching Davy Crockett and the Lone Ranger by then. Everybody knew what Ike looked like.

And where did Wright get the idea he had a "squeaky" voice?

Jack Kennedy, maybe, but I still remember that staccato baritone of Eisenhower's.

CEO-MMP said...

Yes, ed. I had the same thought so I went to youtube and watched a few Ike speeches just to double check myself.

No squeak for Ike that I heard.

wholelottasplainin' said...

If you go back to old bloggingheads or other such on-line discussions, they most always sound stale and inconsequential .

Which makes me think they are when they are brand new.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

CEO-MMP said...

Yes, ed. I had the same thought so I went to youtube and watched a few Ike speeches just to double check myself.

No squeak for Ike that I heard.


He gave an address to the graduating class at Sandhurst, things the young subaltern needs to understand from the get-go, just before the Normandy landings that is really good stuff - wonderfully delivered.

If he spent 7 years studying dramatics under Douglas MacArthur, he made the most of it.

Lyssa said...

I'll echo the others who say that AA should keep doing them if she likes them - I usually stay out of those threads, anyway, since I don't usually watch.

Shanna, what history podcasts do you like? I'm digging Backstory with the American History Guys, and would love to find some other good ones. I listen whenever I'm driving or doing household stuff.

Shanna said...

Shanna, what history podcasts do you like? I'm digging Backstory with the American History Guys

Ooh! I'll have to check that one out.

I really enjoy Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, but he's also kind of obsessed with all the raping and torture throughout history so be forewarned. But the series on the Mongols was really interesting.

Right now I'm listening to the British History Podcast. I'm up to the dark ages :)

History of Rome is the first one I started listening too but it goes into SO much detail that I have to listen in stages.

Sam L. said...

I am not willing to sit and listen that long, except for music.

Lyle said...

Bob Wright made a mistake getting rid of the old forum.

He wanted to have a forum of brilliant getting online to debate, but instead he got a little of that and more of normal folk getting online to debate.

The way he had it originally was much better. He lost most of the forum when he went to kind of comment section he has now. You can't engage in debate very well in such a comment section.

The previous forum was also managed badly because of the bias the moderators had. They were overhanded progressives not open to all forms of debate.

Atlhouse would be the best moderator for Bloggingheads ever.

Lyle said...

Bob Wright made a mistake getting rid of the old forum.

He wanted to have a forum of brilliant getting online to debate, but instead he got a little of that and more of normal folk getting online to debate.

The way he had it originally was much better. He lost most of the forum when he went to kind of comment section he has now. You can't engage in debate very well in such a comment section.

The previous forum was also managed badly because of the bias the moderators had. They were overhanded progressives not open to all forms of debate.

Atlhouse would be the best moderator for Bloggingheads ever.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Shanna and Lyssa--I'm gonna chime in with the Stuff you Missed in History Class podcast. The hosts have changed a lot over time and some are better than others, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Sarah Dowdey and Doublina Chakrabourty (sp?) team. Interesting subjects presented VERY fairly and non Howard-Zinn-ly, which can be hard to find. My kids love listening to them too.

David said...

It is not wasting my time. I am perfectly capable of wasting time without anyone's help.

Revenant said...

I occasionally watch one if it has somebody interesting in it. Bob Wright doesn't qualify.

Shanna said...

I'm gonna chime in with the Stuff you Missed in History Class podcast

I think I used to have that but I may have only listened to one of them and wasn't very drawn in. I'll make a note of those specific hosts.

Titus said...

More tits less talk.

too much noise.

tits do their own talking without actually speaking.

tits.

creeley23 said...

Provide a transcript and maybe I'll pay attention. Video is way too slow and too frustrating to backtrack for quotes.

Plus the few times I have watched BHTV it was never worth the time investment. Bob Wright segments especially. The man is a textbook intellectual fool.

Rabel said...

Listen, Sister, if you want to be successful in the visual arts milieu you have to be willing and able to do the "bodywork."

This has been true at least since Fay Wray went braless for her scenes with the big monkey. Julie Andrews did it, Helen Mirren does it, and millions of men are waiting patiently for Selena Gomez to pop her top.

Also, violence. Go to his house and slap that silly, pencil-neck, girly-man upside the head every time he pretends he hasn't heard any bad news about the Pres.

So, if you want more viewer involvement, go with the flow, roll with the punches, be a team player, and give your fans what they're waiting for.

I'll address the hit generating potential of a strong lesbian undercurrent in a later post.

James said...

I like them. I rarely tune into Wright's conversations unless he is talking to you. But Wright is not a good paring for you. He's uninterested in the things that interest you and he makes no attempt to fake it. And (as you sort of pointed out) if he doesn't have a response to his liking to your point, he sets up a straw-man to argue against instead...or he admits he knows nothing about the issue and has no intention of finding out more about it. And, frankly, you are too nice to pound him hard for being slippery. It's frustrating.

Crunchy Frog said...

My network blocks streaming content. If there's no transcript, there's no way I can participate.

Baron Zemo said...

There many boring things you can find on the internet. Ritmo's posts. Ndspinelli's sex tape. Anything Inga says. Photos of borrowed dogs urinating.

But in all the boringest of boring bores to be found on the internet nothing is more boring than a "Boringheads" with Nile Crane.

ken in sc said...

As I said before, I don't watch videos online. Doing so would use up my megabytes and I would have to pay Verizon extra. When I get close to my limit, I switch to Netzero dial up. Videos don't work on dial up anymore. Back in Windows 95 days, I could watch videos on dial up. It was slow buffering but it did work. Now they have improved things so well, they don't work at all. At one time I could watch porno on dial up. Ain't progress great.

Carl said...

I could only get through the first 6 minutes. The problem here, Althouse, is simple: you were boring. In fact, if you pay attention to the nonverbal cues from Wright -- and it's striking you didn't notice them at the time and adjust -- he's bored, too.

As for why that is, it's hard to say, except that you seem a little obsessed on the subject of weight-loss surgery, like you've got this loooong speech you've been writing in your head for a while, and you're using this opportunity to deliver a lengthy monologue.

Fair enough, but it kind of leaves others with little to say in response. You're not really inviting conversation, because your demeanor implies you've got the whole thing sewed up, there aren't any corners where you're persuadable in a contrary direction, or could use some help fleshing out your ideas.

People participate in conversation mostly for the opportunity to have an impact on your mind, not because they're grateful for the opportunity to have their mind changed by you. (They also enjoy mutual bomb-throwing, which is what you get on network TV, but that's probably not your aim at all.) It's OK if persuasion ends up being mutual, but very few once they get out of school are really interested in listening to a lecture.

I would hazard a guess that you are much more interesting when you discuss a subject on which you do not already have a strong and well ramified opinion. Cruel aspect of reality.

ken in sc said...

Actually, this reminds me of a marketing class I took. The professor said that some mass marketers would slowly reduce the active ingredients in their product, like laundry detergent, so that they could introduce a 'new and improved' version by restoring it to it's original strength.

New and improved versions of Windows might be doing this. I know if I keep the automatic updates on my computer slows down more and more.

Ann Althouse said...

"In fact, if you pay attention to the nonverbal cues from Wright -- and it's striking you didn't notice them at the time and adjust -- he's bored, too."

Actually, it would be striking if I did notice, since we are simply talking on the telephone while videoing ourselves separately. I can't see him.

Baron Zemo said...

Lucky you.

DADvocate said...

tits do their own talking without actually speaking.

Amazing how that works.

Synova said...

I actually listened to the last long one (not the shorter clip). It depends on where I am and what I'm doing. The wi-fi at school isn't good enough for me to watch videos, when I'm at my husband's work I can't have videos playing unless I use earphones, so it's usually when I'm at home if I've got nothing else I'm doing and then I'll let stuff play in one window while I surf in another.

As for Christie... I don't think he's going to run for president. I don't think that him losing weight due to surgery is going to send the message that he's healthy. Bottom line, though, I'm just not that interested in him just now.

dunce said...

I went back and watched about 6 minutes to find out what you were talking about and quit a soon as it was clear you could see the problem clearly with socialized health care, that it would inevitably lead to every one paying for other peoples obesity, not just the people that could pay for it out of their own pocket. It is clearly true that being fat will harm your health so it would be hard to argue against. Some people can not control their sexual attraction to children, does that make it a medical problem?

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

"Some people can not control their sexual attraction to children, does that make it a medical problem?"

It probably is. And if there is a medical solution, we should probably do it. However, it would almost certainly be considered cruel and unusual punishment and blocked. (Less cruel and unusual to put sex offenders on lists and encourage them to be hounded and harassed for the rest of their life than to, oh, castrate them. Right?)

Aridog said...

I deleted my comment because it was unnecessary. I just do not see the point of "Talking Heads" now that I know the participants cannot see each other. But that is just me.

harrogate said...

I always watch the videos. Sometimes really interesting exchanges do happen. In this case, as is often the case, some of the most interesting aspects for me involved the questions he asked about your blog and commentariat. And the way you described it. Fascinating spin.

Allan said...

I only am willing to put up with watching the loathsome free-speech hater, Bob Wright, when he has you on, Ann.

rcocean said...

Plenty of people watch the DV and the clips but its hard to listen and then comment. You have to set aside a set time to listen, and of course if listen the whole thing, by the time you get to the 70 minutes you've forgotten 95% of it.

You reach a lot of people at BHTV, but like any TV show you're going to get lots of OT comments and people concentrating on how people look and sound.

rcocean said...

BTW, 90% of BHTV comments have little or nothing to do with what is said in the DV. As far as I can tell, the most prolific commentators at BHTV don't even watch the DV's but respond to other commentators.

Phunctor said...

The interview format evolved to fill the time between commercials. Blog content is different in the relations between the producers, consumers, and payers. It just doesn't fit that well.

Rusty said...

Can you get Hobbs to stand in the background and make faces and gestures and stuff?
That would be truly awesome.
Thanks
Rusty