The Naked Review. . .

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Can scantily-clad models sell hardware reviews? The website called The Naked Review thinks so.

Other computer hardware websites have certainly had pictures of attractive young women abounding on their site, but this is the first one to have videos of these young women actually reviewing the products.

The general production is pretty amateurish, but after all, Playboy isn’t doing this. You can be very, very forgiving of production lapses under these circumstances. 🙂 For a while, anyway.

Nonetheless, may I make some friendly suggestions to give this site some legs?

Verbal Data In A Visual Medium

First, the obvious. This kind of presentation is rather distracting. Initially, of course, this is likely to be considered by the audience to be a big plus. 🙂

When you have a very fetching young lady in a low-cut negligee talking about RAID, cluster sizes take on a whole new meaning. 🙂

But when she goes on to give DOS format commands, you run into a much bigger problem, even if you’re taking a cold shower while watching. It’s a core problem with any form of video, and it would be still be almost as bad even if C3PO were doing it instead.

Video does certain things better than the written word. It conveys visual information very well. You get a lot more out of watching a woman than reading any description of her.

However, video is a poor, inefficient transmitter of most written information. A page of text can provide far more information than minutes of video, and can be referenced much more easily.

Take that DOS command. If you ever want to use it, you have to get the formula and you have to get it exactly right.

Reading is much easier than verbal transcription. If you have text, you just look it up and copy it. If your source is video, you have to hear the spoken word and transcribe it. This probably means you’ll have to replay the video segment a few times.

Sure, you like to look at pretty women, but you need to get that DOS command correctly, and preferably, quickly.

Fortunately, it’s easy to combine the best of both worlds. Simply provide a text transcript of the video.

Even A Pretty Talking Head Is Still A Talking Head

The models used often stumble when mouthing technical terms. I don’t blame them. If I had to read some of this tongue-twisting jargon material, I’d be stumbling just as much, too.

Again, video is a “light” information technology. Video is a different information technology; you have to emphasize visual, not verbal information.

Let me put it this way, if you want to find out something about Product X, would you rather read an Anand Shimpi article or watch a forty-five minute video of Anand Shimpi reading one of his articles? Would your answer really be any different in the long run if Anand were Ann and she had big . . . .

You might watch an Anand video, but I think it would have to be done quite a bit differently than just article recitation to keep you coming back.

Again, use video for what it is best for, and the written word when it is most advantageous. Lighten up on the verbal jargon, and have the models showing and doing, not talking. Show more than tell.
Put all the nitty-gritty details in as supplements to the transcript.

The Internet Lets You Have It All

Sure, you can get a lot of young men to look at pretty young women talking about anything a handful of times. The problem is keeping them coming back.

Looking good may get people there, but in the long run, you have to develop an audience that keeps coming back for the reviews, not the physical aspects of the women.

You might say, “And all the Playboy subscribers get it for the content, right, Ed.”

And Ed would say, “No, but that’s because they don’t show the same women every month. If they did, pretty soon, all that would be left would be people there for the content.”

I suppose you could have an army of models doing this, but I suspect that’s not going to be the case here. Even with a big budget, that would be hard to do. You’d be running a perpetual Supermodel Tech Boot Camp, and all the graduates would never get a chance to grow into the role before being replaced. People also like likeable personalities in visual media, and a rotating babe door would forfeit that, too.

Look at television news shows. Sure, the presenters are attractive, but I don’t care how stunning the presenter is, if he or she can’t get the sports scores or weather right, or came across as Diva With Major Attitude, she could do this buck naked every night and you’ll still eventually get tired of it.

In the long run, you want to see someone attractive who can also deliver the sports scores and weather and whatever else competently and pleasantly.

Also note that a TV segment doesn’t tell you a whole lot in comparison to a New York Times story on the same subject. The local newscast may mention a new CPU from Intel, but that item doesn’t include talk about trace caches.

The Internet has an inherent advantage over print and video. You can’t build TVs into books, or books into TVs. It’s either/or.

With the Internet, you can have it all. You can have books and TVs together.

Something for current and aspiring websters to think about.

Ed

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