What Is Video Blogging?

Karen Frazier
Video blogging takes blogs to the next level.

Many bloggers are seeking new ways to communicate online. Video blogging may provide the ideal method of communication for you because the videos give your blog's followers a media-rich experience while allowing you the ability to express your thoughts and ideas in an entertaining format.

Definition of Video blogging

A video blog, sometimes known as a vlog, is a regularly updated website that uses embedded videos instead of text to communicate with visitors. Many video blogs let visitors subscribe through an RSS reader or video aggregator so they are automatically alerted when new content is posted.

Many people believe that vlogs are a natural extension of the video diaries that gained popularity in the 1980s when video cameras first became widely available. Today, however, cell phones with cameras allow bloggers to post their content almost instantaneously. This makes video blogging a popular choice for people who want to cover topics related to current events.

The best way to answer the question "What is video blogging?" is to review examples of vlogs covering a variety of subjects by visiting the following links:

How to Start a Video blog

Creating a video blog takes some technical skills, a PC or a Mac computer, a video camera and software to help you upload video footage. If you're making a video blog for business or promotional purposes, it helps to outline the video blog content as you would a PowerPoint presentation or another business presentation so that you can stay on topic and on message. Use this as your "script" to produce the video blog. Even personal video blogs benefit from a short, informal outline so that the blogger remains focused on the topic.

Record your video, and be sure the final clip is approximately 1 to 3 minutes long. That's a good length of time for online videos. Anything longer and you risk losing viewer interest, and anything shorter is probably too short to be of interest.

Video clips may be added to most major blogging platforms such as Blogger. If you need a video upload editor, Creative Commons offers a free shareware software to upload video clips to most blogging sites.

For more tips on starting a video blog, please visit PC magazine where the Cranky Geeks demonstrate (in a video blog clip, of course) how to start a video blog. Social Media Examiner also provides a simple list of steps to starting a video blog.

Video blogging as a Promotional Medium

While many vlogs are started by individuals who simply want a fun way to connect with others who share similar interests, other video blogs are intended to promote specific products and/or services. One example of this phenomenon is the lonelygirl15 web-based video series that initially appeared as a video blog on YouTube. Although lonelygirl15 was originally thought to be a real teenage girl sharing her thoughts and feelings with the world, she was later revealed to be American-New Zealand actress Jessica Rose. The series was the result of a collaborative effort between several individuals hoping to score a movie deal from the free publicity: Miles Beckett, a surgical residency dropout turned filmmaker; Ramesh Flinders, a screenwriter and filmmaker from Marin County, California; and Greg Goodfried, a former attorney with Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, LLP. Although no movie has been made yet, a spin-off show called KateModern premiered in July 2007 and Jessica Rose was offered a role starring on the ABC Family show Greek on the basis of her lonelygirl15 performance.

Is Video blogging Right for Me?

Video blogging is a great choice for many different types of bloggers. For example:

  • You don't feel comfortable with your writing skills, but you still believe what you have to say will be of interest to others.
  • You want to take advantage of how the informal approach of video blogging can help you build more of a personal connection with your blog's readers.
  • Your topic is something that lends itself well to live demonstrations, such as crafts or cooking.
  • Your topic requires rapid updates, such as a blog devoted to covering political news.
  • Of course, video blogging does have some disadvantages as well. For example:
  • Visitors who are not familiar with the latest computer technology may have trouble navigating your blog.
  • People who have slower Internet connections may find your blog frustrating if they are unable to play the videos within a reasonable time frame.
  • Some people dislike video blogs because it's hard to reference older posts, since they can't easily be printed out.

If you'd like to try video blogging, but want to avoid some of the potential drawbacks associated with this medium, one option to consider is combining videos with traditional blog posts. Your blog does not have to be all text or all video; it's perfectly acceptable to experiment until you find a balance that works well for your topic and the needs of your visitors.

Video blogging offers people who dislike writing to express themselves through a blog without crafting text. Many people prefer watching a video clip to reading blog text. Video blogs offer another window into events, people and ideas, providing a platform for anyone to creatively express their opinions.

What Is Video Blogging?