Vlogging the future? Are bloggers photogenic enough?

June 12, 2006 – 7:08 am

by Darren

Bloggers are readying an all out assault on traditional media, and you can’t help but take notice. We may be at the beginning of a true revolution, an intersection at the crossroads of history when “things really change”. Outstanding blogger Robert Scoble is bullish on Vlogging as he heads out of his much-chronicled career at Microsoft and goes it alone on the entrepreneurial path. You have a lot of intellectual capital entering the video casting arena and it’s no surprise, because the nascent industry is akin to early radio and television, but with an egalitarianism that is unmatched.

The media is affordable enough to make a go of it for many startups. The actual process of broadcasting to an internet audience is bother easier and cheaper than ever before. Bandwidth costs most likely will continue to fall for the forseeable future and gains in market share mean costs “per user” will go down over time as well. If you build a realistic infrastructure, vlogging is an affordable alternative to off-line advertisting.

I can imagine no reason why companies won’t embrace vlogging whole-heartedly. Heavy advertisers love the advantages that video advertising offers them, so expect them to be willing to pay good money for ads. The only problem I see for vloggers is achieving the requisite professionalism to achieve maximum penetration.

Several of the vlogs or videocasts Scobe linked to in his post had 1) low production values - including hissing and background noise - 2) poor wardrobe and unprofessional delivery. Just because everyone has the ability to record video of themselves, will not automatically make everyone qualified to do so. As more and more traditional media companies enter the online sphere, the competition will eliminate the amateur style vloggers. Anyone heading further into the realm of vlogging will basically be required to amass some very specific entertainment industry standards, particularly in the realm of delivery. Talking to people in crowds at trade shows with the inherent background noise isn’t going to propel vlogging to the next level.

Do you vlog? Do you watch vlogs? Which are your favorites?

  1. 6 Responses to “Vlogging the future? Are bloggers photogenic enough?”

  2. Hey Darren, I do a not-too-frequent “vblog” capturing bits of my life in China. Can’t say I think much about wardrobe or anything like that - but I do try to make the production on it at least reasonable to watch. I’m working with a really low end camera (actually just my Canon A620 7.1mp digital camera and a 512 MB SD card that fills faster than I wish it did), so things are limited… but it’s still fun to do.

    My opinion about vblogging is about the same as what it is about blogging. You don’t need to be a professional, and if it becomes too professional, it loses the essence of what it is. If we want polished articles, we’ll read The Times, and if we want big budget real-life video, we’ll watch documentaries and the likes. This is a way for the every-person to express themselves. It’s a self-pruning and self-entertaining endeavor.

    By The Humanaught on Jun 12, 2006

  3. Humanaught,

    You’re being too modest. Your production looked excellent to me. You made judicious use of cross-fading, titles, etc. You also picked an interesting subject matter. To see the little Chinese kids enthusiastically exercising let’s us all know there’s a bunch of fat kids in North America who will have a tough time finding jobs in the global economy :)

    I agree that this is a chance for people to regain power in a sense that’s been long lost in the traditional media. The more tools in the hand of the common person, especially video tools, the better.

    By Darren on Jun 12, 2006

  4. Humanaught,

    While I wouldn’t say you’re latest vlogg was excellent, it certainly could have been. I could tell instantly by the poor picture quality that you were using a crap camera. I actually lost interest half way through, you could have cut all the bad camera shakes and movement which would make for a more clean shorter.

    Also with all the children dancing I’m sure there was potential for some amazing shots.

    And Darren, any plans for vloggs from you’re good self?

    By quinny on Jun 12, 2006

  5. Quinny,

    Yes, I have plans in their earliest stages. I’ve been goofing around with my HandyCam for a while now and I agree there’s some basic steps:

    1) Buy a tripod. It’s almost impossible to keep a small hand-sized camera steady.
    2) Try to find something interesting in your shot. As Quinny said, panning the crowd and picking one kid who was dancing goofy might have added to the dramatic or comedic effect.

    The ability to pan in and do close-ups is huge too, I think.

    By Darren on Jun 12, 2006

  6. it’s important not to over use zooms, it can look awful and NEVER use digital zoom!

    also if you’re camera can, White Balance for every lighting change.

    By quinny on Jun 12, 2006

  7. I have just started vlogging.

    I have been waiting for this moment for over 15 years… (the time when cameras were cheap, editing software was free and the internet was fast enough). I just happened to buy a new digital camera and saw that it could capture video, and now I am vlogging.

    I think that if the production values get too good, then it is not vlogging, it is a web-based TV show or something.

    My thoughts are about vlogging… Yes, I would like to make money, but how? I guess it is the numbers thing. (leaving comments is a good way to bring traffic to your site!) Rocketboom makes $85,000 a week in advertizing (Acording to Scoble)… I watch Rocketboom, but where are the ads? There are none that I see, but they still make money.

    I am not going to quit my day job, but I am going to see if vlogging makes me any money… Hey, I even have t-shirts.

    I also like vlogging because the community is small. There are millions of bloggers, but there are really only about 10,000 vloggers. Getting in on the ground floor is easier than becoming a Johnny Come Lately..

    Just my thoughts..

    By Greg on Jun 13, 2006

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