A Note on Videos vs. Printed Content on this site

Last year I started a YouTube channel for this site, and have made about 75 videos since then. Many of the videos actually cover topics that I’ve already covered here in written form in the past (e.g., the 10 largest Amish communities; Amish children & discipline, etc.) as well as some new topics.

I have heard from some who like the videos, and from some who prefer printed content. I can understand both points of view (for me, my first preference is reading printed content, though watching videos has grown on me).

I started making videos in an effort to reach people who prefer videos as well (there are a lot of them). It’s simply expanding the formats Amish America covers (which also helps me keep the lights on ūüôā ).

So in many cases, I’m essentially converting existing articles and posts into video format.

But when I share a video here as a post, I have also been trying to add some written content to those posts when I can. Or, a link back to the original article that the video is based on – keeping in mind people who prefer reading.

So I am aware that not everyone likes to watch videos. But I hope you don’t mind that I am also doing this new-for-me challenge (each video is a lot of work – equal to about 3-10 blog posts – but it has been a fun and stimulating experience). After years of only writing, it is a nice change of pace.

You can think of them as just an additional piece of content – or in some cases as a previous article that has been transformed into video content. And of course I won’t be offended if you just skip the video posts.

Do I plan to keep writing traditional posts?

I’m still posting regular written posts, and I don’t plan to change that. I still post more traditional written posts than videos (by a 3-to-1, or 4-to-1 ratio), and that’s what I plan to continue to do.

I won’t make videos forever, but I do plan to make 100 of them, and then re-evaluate how things look as far as work required and how successful the channel is at that point – in deciding if and how to continue with making videos. But, regardless of how that plays out, I’m not planning to stop what I’ve been doing with this site for 15 years now.

I appreciate everyone’s feedback on this and of course I appreciate all of you as readers here.

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    24 Comments

    1. Diane Paulson

      Videos!

      I love the videos and much prefer them to written articles. Please continue. Good stuff!!

      1. Sounds good Diane, thanks for letting know. Lately I’m trying to answer some common questions, like on bathrooms or what Amish call us. Also plan to do an Amish Valentine’s video, at least a short one, keep the holiday theme going. Suggestions always welcome

    2. Randy A

      I like both

      I enjoy both formats. Watching a video presents a different perspective than the written text and vice versa. Keep up the good work.

      1. Happy to hear that Randy, thanks.

    3. David Stear

      I like both, but written text has the edge over videos for me

      I enjoy all the emails I get from Amish America, especially the houses for sale with pictures. I admire the Amish for holding at arm’s length much of what the rest of American society thinks is essential: television, radio, computers, cars and electric gadgetry in general. Their way of life can be harder due to more things having to be done by hand and I don’t necessarily get into the religious part of it, but much of their way of life makes sense–my thoughts fly to their marriage customs and how low cost it is compared to the insane amounts of money spent on marriages in “mainstream” American society. The same goes for funerals as well, I’m sure the cost of Amish funerals is well below that of an “average American”. Anyway, I hope I will be able to continue seeing both formats in the future. Thanks for all your efforts.

      1. Thank you David. Great points and on marriage costs in particular. Maybe this is off but I have understood that from a social perspective, spending a lot of money on a wedding and inviting many guests to witness it (thereby increasing costs of modern weddings) traditionally helps to strengthen the bond. Eg, the wedding in some sense is very “public” within your familial and social circles rather than something done off in private and thus in some sense harder to undo. That and I guess it’s a chance to demonstrate status in a materialistic society. Amish on the other hand also have a lot of attendees witnessing the new bond – probably many more on average than the typical English wedding – but with relatively less extravagance.

    4. Alberta Wells

      Very interesting..

      I read all about the Amish. If you post a video, I will watch it. It is all very interesting to me. I love the video’s of their homes up for sale, which I think is amazing.To be truthful, it has made me throw some things out…lol, not needed..(As I have gotten older, clutter appears)..The video’s of the stores I find extremely interesting, as you tell where it is..I may want to visit that store..But if you stop making the video’s that is ok, I will still read your articles..Just a big Thank You here.

    5. Debbie

      videos vs. written content

      I also enjoy both your written and video content. I like the videos for a more pictures/visual option (and I also like hearing you speaking!). I like the written content so I can go back and reread something. I also like the comments more on the written features. Your most current videos have been really made well. Thanks Eric!!

      1. Thank you Debbie, great feedback. I do have kind of an older style comment system here (no “like” button, etc) but I kind of like it. I think this comment format might encourage longer comments (but I’m not sure). I do think the Youtube comments are geared for I think faster and shorter messages (though have gotten some pretty substantial and information-packed comments there too).

    6. Blaise Prentiss

      videos vs. written content

      Erik,

      I really appreciate your efforts in writing and in posting videos. You are wise to continue to do both as different people have their preferences. I have observed generally that younger people like videos over written content. You will probably find that you are reaching a much broader audience with your expansion into video content. Keep up the great work.

      I also conduct a lot of my business with the Amish. I have noticed in many communities a willingness to use email more often. Maybe in your next post on technology, you can comment on this practice. Thanks again.

    7. Connie Fugate

      Videos

      I really enjoy everything you post. It is always so interesting, love the video also.

    8. Greg Stoner

      Love ‚Äėem both

      Many of us are infatuated with the lifestyle of the Amish from the Swartzentruber Amish to the Beachy Amish-Mennonites. You do a fabulous job both with your written articles as well as your videos. Thank you for all of your hard work. It is truly appreciated. We all owe you so much for educating us about the Amish.

      1. Very nice to hear Greg, thank you! I hope it comes through that I enjoy doing this too.

    9. Jim Johnson

      Saw the videos first but I like the printed stuff, too.

      1. Glad to hear it Jim, I was hoping some folks who find the vids would make their way over here and vice versa

    10. Maureen New York

      Videos vs. Printed Content

      Erik,

      I can’t decide – both are terrific learning tools. For the first time, instead of a small picture [printed content[, we get to see and hear you by virtue of the videos.

      I like the feedback from your audience from both videos and the printed site.

      ALL GOOD to me. Thank you!

      1. Thanks Maureen! I’m appreciating this feedback too. It’s good to get a sense from regular readers here that have been around for some time, I value everyone’s comments and suggestions.

    11. A Note on Videos vs. Printed Content

      Hi, Erik,
      I enjoy both. They both have plus and minuses. I was wondering, though, in the videos, if it would be possible to have the date you did the video, either written or verbal.
      Thanks.

      1. Hi Linda thanks for the feedback and glad to hear you like both. So I probably won’t start adding the dates because the upload date is actually already included on each video (when you view it on the Youtube page) and in nearly all cases I upload the same day I complete it (or following day). I may add something like that to the description in special cases, like if I filmed an event or something at a certain specific time and it’s relevant.

    12. Pat Bassett

      I have learned a lot from both the video and printed content. I take Amish shopping and to appointments. Trip to the ER & Mid Wife My great grandparents were Mennonites and I’ve wondered why they left the church. Keep up the good work in helping people understand the Amish

    13. C. J.

      Videos vs. Blog

      Enjoying lots of different views on the subject and appreciate your personal answers. Someone suggested that younger people enjoy videos ~ and older folks ~ like printed!? Wonder if that‚Äôs why I enjoy the print much better, as I have been a ‚Äúsenior‚ÄĚ now for many years! lol
      I too enjoy the info. on Amish homes for sale, where located etc.
      I would love to see an interview/story on how/where they buy and train horses for buggies. Also, if they prefer Standardbred or American Saddlebred, (which I have seen) or if they look FIRST for disposition.
      Thinking that Tennessee Walkers would make the perfect buggy horses, with their smooth gaits, and calm dispositions that many pleasure horses of that breed have and they are nearly ‚Äúbomb proof‚ÄĚ, if you will.
      I have never heard any conversation along those lines!
      I would love a tour of an Amish horse training business, and buggie shops! Also I would also love to see some Quilts for sale in home businesses, and some farm stands, (didn’t get to see any Home bakeries, Amish garden stands, and not many signs along the back roads around in Lancaster Co. for Quilts, when we visited the area The prices of Quilts, Buggies, & Buggie Horses would also be very interesting, from their home businesses!
      As for me, I DO enjoy the print~ but videos are OK too!
      Do you get a commission on how many times videos are watched?.
      Is that how you support youself or what do you do for a living, Erik?
      Would enjoy any follow up on previous stories from time to time, too! Thank you ~ Blessings

    14. Letters and videos

      I’d say that continue posting both so as to keep all the subscribers satisfied and happy I like both and must say that I really enjoy the videos I grew up on a family farm and home was always in conversation around the kitchen table amongst ourselves and there was always friends and neighbors and relatives gathered at our home hope this clarifies why I and probably whole lot of the other subscribers really enjoy the videos it’s like being back around the ol kitchen table in a good ol conversation

    15. Reziac

      I find the printed and video articles intersect well. Sometimes one acts as a heads-up that I’ve missed the other. I’ve passed along links to both, but I think nowadays video has a stronger presence; it’s easier to access on mobile devices that are now more than half the market.