I think getting proper Youtube support would help a lot when explaining how to perform certain things. Like:

  • the proper squatting technique,
  • how to perform a cartwheel with no hands,
  • how to run properly,
  • small stretching exercises,
  • how to maintain balance with yoga.

Well basically the list goes on! So can we also be blessed and get this feature turned on?

+1 upvote, I think Video Embed feature is crucial and a must unless SE people have to limit their resource for this QA site. I'd like to add a rule if there is lack of text description, users can flag that QA then moderator can disable the video. We learned by ourselves how to do correct body weight exercises form by videos perfectly although we have to search them manually,we believe we can do more efficiently if SE people support this feature. One alternative is we can just provide a text link to a video at its original site, so we can still watch it. – Arie Jul 16 '11 at 0:58

4 Answers 4

This isn't meant to be a "yes" or "no" answer, only a concern.

My fear about videos as answers is that videos are not index-able. When a video becomes a substitute for a well-written answer, that answer no longer provides a point of entry for people searching for that information. Every visual cue that supplants an equivalent piece of text is that much less content that can be searched on the site.

Videos are, essentially, a black box to the Internet — they break many of the major mechanisms that make the Internet work. It's a growing problem that will have to be solved someday but we're not there, yet. There's simply no way to visualize and find "where's that exercise where I saw that guy do that thing with his leg?"

Text is the primary means of communicating what we have here to the outside world. For every answer that is done "in video," that information becomes obscured behind a black curtain; One less opportunity for people to find the text that describes the solution.

I would treat every video without an accompanying explanation as a comment. So I totally agree, no description == no video. But with strict enforcement this wouldn't be a problem? – Ivo Flipse Apr 1 '11 at 21:36
@Ivo Flipse: It's not necessarily a problem. Only a concern; One that could be mitigated by community self-moderation and vetting. Video, in my opinion, is purely a supplement to a "real" answer, to be treated much like an external link. It adds to the answer but, without supporting text, it is simply less helpful to the system. – Robert Cartaino Apr 1 '11 at 22:11
@Ivo - The concern that I have is that 'strict enforcement' doesn't really fall into the guidelines and principles in A Theory Of Moderation. Additionally, both concerns most likely apply to Screenshots in Posts as well, both in terms of moderation as well as in indexing content. – jmort253 Apr 2 '11 at 5:52
@ivo I think it's best to focus on text for now, perhaps with some diagram images – Jeff Atwood May 5 '11 at 6:36
What about for something that isn't easily describeable? For example, what's proper form for a squat? It's not as easy to answer with a photo. Text accompanied by video would be helpful. – chrisjlee Jul 7 '11 at 2:51

I don't want to add videos to the site.

I read at about 300 words per minute [WPM], and skim much faster than that. Videos run closer to 100-150 WPM. It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video doesn't multiply that by the number of frames. Diagrams/pictures and supporting text will be more searchable and faster to view/evaluate.

Additionally, I don't have the ability to listen to a video in many contexts. Other times (on reduced bandwidth/capped connections, mobile devices, etc.) I can't view the video at all.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with supporting an answer with a video. However, the answer must be able to stand on its own without the video.

You do understand that if a video is readily available, but an alternative is not, users would be forced to either make the diagram themselves or leave it out entirely. I agree though that the answer must stand on its own without video – Ivo Flipse May 26 '11 at 20:30
@Ivo - Yes, I understand that! It's very easy to take a few screenshots of the video at certain points and MS-paint in some freehanded red circles: Instant diagrams! If creation of a diagram is a barrier to answering, then the answer was probably along the lines of "Hey, I remember a video on this over here" and should be a comment instead. – Kevin Vermeer May 26 '11 at 20:36

For the purpose of Fitness StackExchange, many times professionals have answered a question very well and very succinctly--but it's in video. Like it or not, that's the way a number fitness pros communicate.

I am all for adding supporting text and summarizing highlights--just like we need to do for any link. We already moderate for links as answers, and I don't see how an embedded video would be any different than that.

As to @KevinVermeer's concerns, the number of places and devices that can't play video is forever shrinking. Most cell service in places where people have enough discretionary income to have a gym membership has 3G or better connectivity in 2015.

I will say that this answer: http://fitness.stackexchange.com/a/26173/879 would look better with the YouTube freeze frame inviting the user to play the video in the context of Fitness.StackExchange.Com rather than getting lost in the sea of "ooh, cat videos!" that are constantly suggested to you on YouTube. That's my opinion. It's been 4 years since this question was originally asked, and I think it's worth revisiting.


I'd personally love to have embedded video, but I realise the concerns about video-only answers.

I think video should be basically treated as links and pictures - really helpful, but they aren't to carry the answer.

E.g. a "how to squat" answer - ideally I'd want a full description of all the steps in text, maybe even a diagram showing A to G, then at the bottom of the question there's an embedded video visually showing the movements. It's the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. This way video is a benefit to those who can play it, and not a cost to those who can't.

SE does need to stay up to date with modern Web trends, it's just about doing it in a fitting way.


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