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Oct 9, 2009 06:12 PM


This is not directed at Chow but a pet peeve of mine across the web regarding kitchen tips and recipes.

Why can't there be a text summary? In terms of recipes, why not the text recipe?

This video of de-seeding pomegranates ... why not just say "Cut in half and whack hard with a spoon"

That can't be any more work than the current teaser text "Getting seeds out of pomegranates can be a messy prospect. Wrap yourself in protective clothing and get banging."

Not all of us have connections that play videos quickly. Even if I had the optimal setting, when I'm looking at a recipe, I want to print it out if I decide to make it.

Also, the format Chow is using for videos isn't one that replays quickly Hitting replay is still stop and go for me ... a few unintelligible words and stop and go pictures. Some formats are like that the first time thru, but hitting replay allows the video to run smoothly.

It is fine to observe the technique, but, IMO, it should be a supplement rather than the main event. I have yet to watch a video of a recipe on the web. I just bypass it. I am not writing down the recipe when the same thing can be found elsewhere and can be printed.

I stopped clicking on the Supertaster feature the week it only had videos. Why do I need to watch a slow video about potato chips or whatever when the text is easier and quicker to deal with .There is no value added there.

Also, some of us are at work or places where listening to sound is not a prudent choice.

I am looking forward to the day the web uses videos effectively. A picture may SOMETIMES be worth a thousand words ... but not always.

It is just as annoying as those news teasers on TV ... "City falls into the sea after earthquake ... news at 11". Seriously ... just tell me what city and if it is a big enough deal, I'll watch.

I guess I don't understand why any buisness would choose to write off some customers when being inclusive of everyone doesn't seem like a big thing.

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  1. Hi rworange,

    Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your connection and the replaying controls. That's frustrating. I'm hoping that video players, and the flash technology in general, will grow more sophisticated over time and work more precisely, so that there aren't such gaps in service and view-ability.

    I can't speak to food video in general, but I can speak to CHOW video for some of your other points. We work really hard to make the videos as recipe-free as possible; that is, we try to make them conceptual, so that people can remember what they've seen, and not be dependent on a recipe to help them execute. That's why the "You're Doing It All Wrong" series is the way it is. Sometimes we fall short of this goal but it is definitely what we're after.

    Also, we totally understand that some people don't like or aren't able to watch video because they are at work. We've tried writing longer and more useful summary paragraphs with our CHOW Tips to help those people out. If they continue to be interested, perhaps they might decide check out the tips later when at home or when they have more time. Plus our videos have a chance to reach places that other CHOW stories can't--through YouTube, itunes, broadcast, and even in grocery stores and at gas stations. It is great to try to spread good information through all of these channels, and reach new viewers and readers.

    The last thing I'd say is that video works really well when the content is best suited to be seen in a video format. Our Obsessives series could not be done in any other way--seeing into the lives of people intricately involved with food is not something that translates as a written story, or not as well at least. Video does serve a purpose, and our aim at CHOW is to set the bar high on using video effectively. When James Norton goes to the Minnesota State Fair, and you can see Supertaster flying through the air in a gondola--well, that's when video works well for the Supertaster column.

    In general, I want to say to people who are skeptical of video that I understand its limitations, but hope that you can also see its possibilities, and if you give some of our videos a chance with an open mind, you might enjoy them more than you think!

    Meredith, video producer for CHOW