I just answered a few questions for a reporter. Here are my answers. Please comment and let me hear your thoughts.
1. What is the advantage of Vlogs?
The advantage of vlogs is that in addition to putting video up on a web page you get all of the benefits of blogging. Blogging allows you to have a conversation with your site visitors through comments. Other bloggers can link to your video via the permalink feature of the blog post and your videos can be automatically delivered via subscription.
Even more than that there's a whole video blogging community. Once you watch a few blogs and leave a few comments you'll see what I mean.
What drove you to start vlogging?
I just started as a technical chalenge to see if I could get video into my blog.
2. What was the idea behind Rocketboom and how was it founded? It seems to be one of the most popular blogs?
3. Are you aware and involved in the Vloggies coming up on November 4th?
Yes. It's a good excuse for a bunch of vloggers to get together and have some fun.
4. Are Vlogs throwing us into a convergence of all media?
Vlogs are showing big media that viewers want to do more than sit back and watch. Vlogging made it easier for us to share videos. the exciting thing is that this video can come from expansive video camera, point and shoot digital cameras, or cell phones. Now that a lot of people are walking around with video production devices, you are going to see a lot more video being shared.
5. Will they same struggle between print journalism and blogs develop between television journalism and Vlogs?
I think the forward thinking tv journalists will enlist vloggers to help them tell stories. Whether it's a call to help contribute to the making of a story or a call to send in comments and follow up, the tv journalists that embrace the will open up a whole new world of news distribution.
6. What do you hope to accomplish with sayittokate.com?
To get CBS news to pay attention to what is going on. When they talk about free speech, that means to me that there are no gatekeepers. Say It To Katie is an example of what CBS could do to open up the news to participation from viewers. Let's see what people have to say. Allow us to comment on each others videos. Choose some to air on TV.
Say It To Katie shows CBS News a path to the future of participatory journalism. It can start with people sharing their personal views. Who know s where if could lead.
It starts a conversation.
7. Vlogs seem to have scooped mainstream media often. Do you think they will replace television journalism? Will there be a cooperation?
Vlogs will not replace TV journalism. We need big, well funded companies that can afford to assign reporters to do a lot of research into stories.
I think vloggers would be happy to cooperate with mainstream media. The questions that need to be addressed are would the vloggers be compensated? Would vloggers be able to post their submissions on their own blogs as well as having the content on Tv?
8. Some Vloggers have said that vlogs are the democratization of the media? What do you think?
In Ad Age October 12thm Beth Comstock of NBC is quoted :
"NBC Universal digital czar Beth Comstock on surviving and thriving in the new media revolution: "Content is still king, but the monarchy has been overthrown. YouTube, MySpace, iTunes -- it's the invasion of the pronouns in a world all about me."via
She goes on to say:
"The consumer-led republic is replacing the monarchy of major media. Consumers are in more control than ever," said Ms. Comstock, NBC Universal's president-digital media and market development. "What's changing is the very definition of the consumer. Increasingly, consumers might be called small media -- just about anyone can now create and deliver content."
9. Convergent techologies such as vlogs are one of few ways to reach elusive yet powerful 16-24 audience? Do you think Vlogs will eventually replace regular television?
No. I love TV. Why would vlogs replace TV? Vlogs are just a distribution method for video. The content can be anything. It can even be TV. Vlogs are now an alternative distribution mechanism for TV. Look at iTunes. You can get TV there. I watched a few pilot episodes before they were aired on TV via iTunes for free. Brilliant.
10. Vlogs have been around a while but they seem to be exploding now, what do you attribute this recent development to?
Vlogs are getting more coverage in the media. They are also becoming easier to find. More hardware devices are coming out that allow viewing of vlogs, both on TV and on portable devices.
Jeff Pulver has http://network2.tv/ a directory of Internet TV shows. Now that he has shows listed there, including mine, he's developing a list of the best shows based on visitor click throughs. It's a start. Blip.tv has a directory of recently uploaded videos. Mefeedia http://mefeedia.com/ helps you find new videos and recently added a recommended feature. http://mefeedia.com/recommendations/
I do a show called Vlog Soup http://stevegarfield.blogs.com/vlogsoup/ which is a clip show of recent video blogs that I like and want others to see. You are going to see more shows like this.
I use a few different desktop video aggregators like FireAnt and Democracy. I'd like to have some type of mechanism where I could click a link and rate videos I'm watching and have that rating be posted on my own site and also shared with a standardized and shared ratings system where this type of feedback could be collated.
Go over here to see some of my favorite vlogs and links to directories of vlogs and resources on starting a vlog:
11. How can you make money on a vlog? Is it attracting a lot of Advertising? Will it?
Here's an interview I was on this morning on WBUR in Boston:
You can make money in a number of ways.
Take Rocketboom for example, they are very popular and can get high advertising rates for inserting post-roll video adds that they create.
Ze Frank uses Revver and gets paid if people click the video ad at the end of his show. Other sites such as Blip.tv are starting to experiment with allowing video producers to insert ads with their videos.
You can also put text ads on the blog. Those are ok, but what if all your viewers subscribe via RSS and never see your web page unless they go there to add a comment?
Although I experiment with these methods, the way I make money from my blog is by consulting jobs I get based on my visibility in the field. I've consulted with companies who are interested in getting my perspective on their plans to enter the video blogging space. I also work with companies to advice them on user interface issues to make sure their video sites have all the features that both producers and consumers like to have. I've also set up video blogs such as It's Jerry Time and Boston City Councillor John Tobin's Video blog.
12. There is a fear that vlogs will be an easy medium for spam using vlog tags? Do you think this is one of the bigger problems with vlogs?
I've started to see some vlogs use links to my vlog and others which results in people finding those spam vogs instead of mine. I think it's a lame way to get hits especially since the person searching for my vlog isn't interested in the spam content that they find when they get there. So in fact the spamming will make someone less likely to look at the spam content.
13. Last but not least, what is the next big thing in the vlogosphere or vlogging world?
I wish I could tell you what the next big thing will be. We've started to see some interest from Hollywood. The thing we need to be careful of is that we don't let Hollywood turn vlogs into TV shows. Although some vogs are just TV shows on the web, there is so much more that TV can learn from what we've been doing over the past few years.
Connecting to an audience, collaborating with viewers, having a conversation about episodes.
Battlestar Gallactica seems to be on the leading edge with special web videos that enhance the story, and podcasts that give commentary on episodes...
There's a wide range of content in video blogs, from moments captured to highly edited pieces. I think we'll see more of both.
It's going to be easier to share video from the street with cellphones like the Nokia N93 that I've been evaluating. It's got built in WiFi along with email and an application called Lifeblog which allows y ou to shoot video and post it to your vlog with just a few keystrokes.
And it's high quality 640 x 480 30 fps video too. That is a future that I couldn't even see a few months ago but it's here now.
14. You seem to use tho Nokia N93 often to capture video. Once you capture the video on your phone, what is the process to post it to your vlog?
My process if to use Bluetooth to load it onto my MacBook Pro. Then I can optionally edit it in QuickTime, iMovie or Final Cut Pro, and then I post it to blip.tv, which automatically cross posts it to my video blog.
I could directly upload it via the Lifeblog application on the N93, but TypePad tech support has not been able to diagnose a hosting error on their side.