I really liked making this video, but I can’t tell if I should do more. What do you think?

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  1. Erin
    Erin says:

    the dialogue was funny…but the computer voices suck. You should do more videos, with better voiceover.

    • Kay
      Kay says:

      I thought it was funny. I especially like the part where people watching it don’t get the fact that the robotic voices are part of the technology and are, thus, part of what’s funny. This is cutting edgy stuff, P. I think you should do more of it.

    • thatgirlinnewyork
      thatgirlinnewyork says:

      as someone who does voiceover, it’s the deadpan that pays off the dialogue. the resemblance to those other korean info animations is brilliant, on-trend.

  2. thanh
    thanh says:

    the vid is really funny. It’s to the point, and the voice grows on you. I like it. Do more.

  3. Liz
    Liz says:

    The only reason I was able to sit through the painfully slow-speaking, slightly garbled computer voices was because the interaction was kind of funny in an illustrative sort of way.

    Video good, annoying voices bad.

  4. Dan Schawbel
    Dan Schawbel says:

    Great job with this Penelope. I love your cartoon character! The information you conveyed through this medium is great, but next time I hope you do a video of YOU instead.

  5. Dan Schawbel
    Dan Schawbel says:

    Great job with this Penelope. I love your cartoon character! The information you conveyed through this medium is great, but next time I hope you do a video of yourself instead.

  6. Dan
    Dan says:

    I think the xtranormal videos are too constrained by the “wise, weary person talks to incredibly stupid person” format everyone insists on using with them.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth says:

      I think that format is what makes them both profound and funny.

      We don’t tell people in real life how stupid they are when we are experts and they are stupid. There are an infinite number of those scenarios and at various times in our lives we take on both roles. So it’s fun to see the experts generate those videos and to get a perspective on what we’re stupid at that people would not tell us in real life.

      Add the voices and the bad animation and I think it’s really smart and funny stuff.

      Loved Penelope’s.

  7. Wooden U. Lykteneau
    Wooden U. Lykteneau says:

    This is amusing as a one-off, but on a regular basis… without the option of reading? No. I come here to read pithy writing.

  8. LarryT
    LarryT says:

    Is it possible that these two people have aspergers? They have very flat affects and don’t show have emotional clues in their spoken voices.

  9. adam
    adam says:

    This is good I really liked it. Would the voice of the lady be yours? It really is good though.


  10. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Definitely MAKE MORE! Extranormal “wise, weary person talks to incredibly stupid person” is hilarious.

  11. parneet
    parneet says:

    Love it!! At least you’re not talking about “the Ben Barnanke” or iPhones. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, try googling these keywords in YouTube.

    Penelope, when are you going to start using Disqus for comments?

  12. Amanda Hite
    Amanda Hite says:

    No not these kind. But you should definitely write scripts like this and try out other types of video. These video’s are limited on what you can do with the avatar’s expression, tone of voice, body language etc… I hate watching them because they all sound the same and IDK how to say exactly what I mean but they’re just not “real” enough. I enjoyed this one because it was funny and helpful and I could picture you having this conversation with someone. Oh and the avatar doesn’t do you justice. You’re hotter.

  13. alexandra leh
    alexandra leh says:

    except for the content, which had a decent combination of entertainment and edification, the filmmaking is been here, seen this. animation is a good hiding place for those who don’t wish to be on camera, but this particular style (in my opinion) has already (didn’t take long, i know) trended beyond its shelf life. i know, it’s cheap and easy…and it plays that way. but, if you’re sold on the images, then — in keeping with the previous commentary about the annoying robotic voices — do something (as you advise in the piece) different: give your robots your own human voice.

    • thatgirlinnewyork
      thatgirlinnewyork says:

      it simply wouldn’t be as funny/ironic with non-synthetic voices. you can say it’s played out, but if it sparks enough people, so what?

  14. Ben
    Ben says:

    My favorite are the head glances to the camera when the guy says “what’s hubris”? Really funny. Loved the voices especially.

  15. Sara Eileen
    Sara Eileen says:

    Do videos if you love videos! More mediums can make you more interesting.

    But please, not in place of writing. In order to watch this (which I haven’t, and probably won’t since today’s a busy day) I have to find a quiet moment, get my headphones out, make sure none of my coworkers would walk by and see me watching cartoons. I have to go at the pace of the video and wait for the lines to be delivered.

    Then again, when you post a new blog post all I have to do is pull it up on my RSS reader. No one looks twice at an employee browsing a web page every now and then. I can read at my own pace, and spend 2 minutes or 20 depending upon how busy I am, and how much I care about your topic.

    The “barrier to entry” on consuming videos is a lot higher for me than text. I’m probably not the only one.

    But some people love videos. So you could make videos for them, but please, keep writing for me too?

    • Christina
      Christina says:

      Exactly to everything Sara Eileen said. I almost never watch videos on my work computer, so I probably won’t watch this for a week or two.

      On top of the barrier to entry issue, if I’m in video-watching mode I go directly to youtube though I will sometimes click on friends’ linked videos on facebook. Videos on news sites and blogs are mostly an annoyance, even when they’re good, even if I’m using the computer at home. When I’m in reading mode I don’t like having the pace of a video/having to wait until it’s over to keep scrolling imposed on me.

  16. Marcy
    Marcy says:

    Loved it! I love these xtranormal videos that have been popping up everywhere.

    Yours was well done – keep it up.

  17. adam p
    adam p says:

    How do I unsubscribe from this? I seem to get private messages come through my twitter account and don’t know how to stop them.


  18. Karl Staib - Work Happy Now
    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now says:

    To be honest it was just ok, but I don’t think I’d watch another one. I guess I enjoy your writing too much. I would like to see a live video like you did for Brazen Careerist. That would be a lot more interesting.

  19. J
    J says:

    I’d say this was good, because the dialogue was funny and it worked dead-pan, but loads of similar videos will not be funny.

    The joke can only work once. Maybe twice.

    Unless your videos were dramatically different every time I’d say no to doing this TOO often.

    But once in a while, nice! Thumbs up!

    Ps – I have very conflicted feelings about driving traffic :
    I have a blog where the readership is about 9 people, and I really want high traffic because I am obsessed by stats. I check my stats constantly. (I’m a bit better now, I check it less)

    But I had to shut down 2 blogs because my parents found them when too many people from my home town read it and send them the link.

    They first got mad at some of the content of my posts, then they got mad when I killed it. My dad wouldn’t talk to me.

    So now I obsessively check sitemeter’s location tab to find out who is reading my blog and where they are, and then I get really paranoid that people will find it and know its me, (esp work and home-town) but I am also really really happy when more people are reading it.

    So this is a problem. Maybe I just need an (free) editor who will prevent me from writing dangerous posts?


  20. Julie
    Julie says:

    This is the 2nd xtranormal video I’ve seen today and I’m already sick of the medium. This was funny and had some great points, but it was a tad too long. The computer voices are distracting… you start having side thoughts, like “Does he have an accent or not?” More videos? Sure, but not this kind.

  21. Nora Whalen
    Nora Whalen says:

    Definitely do more! I kept re-watching this one. :) I can’t stop smiling now.

    I love the “don’t start your own company and work for someone that treats you like crap.”

    You are more than welcome to tell me my ideas suck any time. Would love the encouragement. :)

  22. Karen Burgess
    Karen Burgess says:

    I enjoyed the video! The pace was slow, though. Is there a way to make the voices go a bit faster? The content was basic but presented in a fun way. I’d say do it again but not more than 1-2 times/month.

  23. Mark Orlando
    Mark Orlando says:

    The video was okay but the voices were boring. I would have preferred to see you videotaping herslf and talking to the audience. To see the real Penelope is cool.

  24. Lauren Milligan
    Lauren Milligan says:

    Cute gimmick, but please don’t do many of these. I can’t take the slow, monotone speech pattern. The video doesn’t add anything extra that your blogs don’t have. When I read your blogs, I actually hear your voice talking and that was lost with these. There’s actually a bunch of compliments in here, if you read closely…

  25. cynthia
    cynthia says:

    I love this. Have you seen the bear ones “you should be on broadway/you should sing opera”?

  26. Lydia
    Lydia says:

    I would rather sit through a video of you feeding your goats than have to be subjected to that nonsense. Stick to what you do best.

    • Jeff
      Jeff says:

      I agree. Being brutally honest, xtranormal vids have been done better by others, on other topics (deficit, lawyer, internet startup).

      Stick with straight writing. So few are good at that.

  27. Sandy Coury
    Sandy Coury says:

    even with a fast broadband connection, the video loads slowly and in fits and starts.
    please do find a way to use your own great voice!

  28. Jane Eyre
    Jane Eyre says:

    I’m another one of those folks that rarely gets around to watching videos…because I have to do it at home at the end of the day…rather than text, which I can read anytime.

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