The state of video journalism on Ars Technica—and its future

Enlarge / Watch the birdie! (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Ars Technica will soon be celebrating its 20th birthday—an eternity online. In those two decades, we've experimented with different formats of reporting and blogging, with each experiment aimed at better serving our readers. It has been a fun and wild ride: those 20 years have spanned some of the most turbulent and fast-paced years in the entire history of tech. We've witnessed the death of dial-up Internet access, the transformation of Apple from a punchline to one of the most valuable companies on earth, the end of the megahertz wars, and the rise of the smartphone. We've watched the online media landscape evolve, too, and that's why we are eager to tell you about our plans for video.

Video is not really new to Ars (remember data bears, anybody?), but most of our past efforts have been ad hoc, infrequent, and noticeably below the grade established by our written content (and sometimes they've just been very, very silly). We are now laying the groundwork for a bolder, more central video unit within Ars, capable of turning out video that truly improves upon the Ars experience as a whole, from the professionalism of the cut to the importance of the topics covered. In the past couple of months, many have noticed that our on-site video skillz were getting sincere. Next week, you'll know it! There's more detail on next week's big debut below, but first we want to share some thoughts on video and the mission here at Ars.

Tools for the job

In 2018, you're going to see much more video on the Ars front page—at least one or two videos per week. Some videos will be secondary to the stories they're attached to, while some will be the story. In situations where the video is the primary focus of the story, you'll notice a big "play" button on that article's listing image on the Ars homepage. We want to make sure that the medium is serving the message and that when we put in the time and effort to produce a video, it's because that video needed to be made to deliver what we had to say (in our judgement, of course).

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