I was asked which format -- video, audio, or books -- is best or most desired for instructional material. This was my reply, slightly edited for use in the Lucky Mojo Forum.
To me as, both as a learner and as a teacher, the best choice between video, audio, or books depends on the type of data and the complexity, whether it is a mental pursuit, a hobby, requires hand-eye coordination, includes many numbers or numbered steps, whether there are non-hierarchically arrayed alternative methodologies or points of view, and how exacting my memory of adherence to the structure of the information must be for me to benefit from it. Basically --
* Video is great for history and for hand-eye instructions --
In a historical video i get the broad outline, memorize the visual images, remember key terms and names, and i can later look up any details i forget. Video is also good for hand-eye tasks such as playing a musical instrument, as it combines audio (what the music should sound like) with video (what your hands should be doing to produce the sound). Editing video to make updates or corrections is relatively time-consuming and expensive (especially if sets are involved or much time has passed between shoots), but that would only rarely have an impact on the video presentation of historical subjects that are fixed in time.
* Audio is great for interviews and opinions --
Audio holds attention and carries emotion just as well as video does, but i best appreciate it if the presentation is something i need not check again for accuracy or data-points, because audio is the least accessible in terms of check-backs. Audio is also special in that i can enjoy and absorb it while doing other tasks; for instance, i am listening to National Public Radio news while typing this message. Audio is, by the way, fairly easy to edit with updates or corrections, if needed or desired. It can also be enhanced with a written transcription more easily than video can, since the material is spoken, not shown. The Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour radio show is not transcribed, but its chat-log is captured, and contains links to further web sites that explain the topics in more detail. Other broadcasts on the LMC Radio Network are also available for replay and may contain chat-logs as well.
* Books are best for instructions --
Text works especially well if the material is organized with step-by-step protocols or with bullet-pointed lists of variant choices. Books can be checked again and again until the text is memorized, and if the material can be reduced to small blocks (like cooking recipes or folk magic spells), printed books are the most convenient memory-adjuncts, as they permit the the user to refer back to any page when needed. Text is also the most easily edited to make corrections and updates, if needed or desired. Adding illustrations to text can enhance its usefulness, if needed. Lucky Mojo Publishing distributes simple, inexpensive, fact-packed spell-books on hoodoo, spirituality, and world-wide folk magic under the imprints of the Lucky Mojo Curio Co. (LMCCo.), Missionary Independent Spiritual Church (MISC), and the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology (YIPPIE).