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ProBlogger Vidcast

After my previous post on video on blogs I thought I should put my money where my mouth is and do one myself.

It should be noted that what follows was a spur of the moment recording and that technically it will leave a lot to be desired. Content wise I talked about my move to publish full feeds and add feedburner ads to them (a double up I know for my email newsletter list).

Also – I’m aware that the video and audio become out of sync more and more as it goes along. I’m unsure why this is as when I uploaded the video it wasn’t like this. I’m pretty sure most of you will be pretty frustrated with it by the end – sorry but something happened at the YouTube end I suspect. This was my second attempt to upload it, the first one was still ‘processing’ my upload 5 hours after it completed uploading and kept telling me it would only take a few minutes longer. Oh well – it’s a start.

I’d be interested in feedback – more on the medium than the message.

Update: The irony is that in the video I talk about my lower traffic to this blog after moving to full feeds but that producing a vidcast that can’t be viewed from within the feed has actually caused a surge in traffic an comments on the blog. Using media like video could well be a strategy for getting actual eyeballs on your blog if you’re publishing full feeds.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. i hate you tube!

    it stops then it works then it stops…. arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!

    you should try dailymotion.

  2. Carlos says:

    We get to hear your Aussie accent. Cool, Mate!

  3. A.H says:

    Gandon: that’s probably your connection speed =p

    Nice first vidcast Darren, i’m pretty sure you can get better with time if you continue doing this =)

    A.H

  4. Ahhhh, thats aweomse. I might have to do this. Though I won’t pronounce inventory inventree. :D

  5. Nick says:

    I like the vidblog for the most part. The most surprising thing was hearing you talk. I mean, I knew you were from Australia but the voice I got in my head from reading was always without an accent. I guess that may seem odd, but it’s neither bad nor good.

    On the plus side, you’re a great talker and the video lets you deliver your message while taking advantage of that. The only negative, I think, is that it takes much longer for me to watch that video than to read a post of the same length. Also, you may be less likely to generate clicks on your ads because people will be watching the video instead of clicking away to an advertiser, but hey, I’m no expert like you.

  6. Dee says:

    You should do all your update like this Darren. Vid rocks, Youtube sucks.

  7. Anne Walk says:

    hi Darren,

    I enjoyed your vidcast very much. it makes you more of a person..which should help with keeping people at the site, I think.

    I’m curious as to why you chose YouTube when there are countless numbers of video hosting services out there. Is it because it’s the most known?

    I use blip.tv and enjoy it for the quality of the image, the speed and ease of upload and the ability to post video in quicktime format, allowing videos to be read on media aggregators such as itunes, fireANT, Mefeedia, Democracy Player, etc. You can’t do that with YouTube.

    There is a list of 35 or so free video hosting sites offering a variety of features at testinggrounds.loadedpun.com. You might want to check it out.

    Keep up the video. it’s very engaging :)

    Anne

  8. Steve says:

    Hey I loved the accent as well. Kind of threw me for a loopty-loop…

    I think it is a good idea if done like once a week or something. I wouldn’t totally switch to it. Nick had a good point about people not clicking on the ads because they are watching.

    But, I think it adds spice to the meat and potatoes. (Meat would be written content)

    And yes, you are a great speaker, especially with your accent and your first go at it. Awesome!
    Steve

  9. Tim King says:

    Hi, Darren. The quality seemed okay to me. I personally prefer text posts, however, as I can skim or read them as appropriate. Text posts offer me a variety of speeds and depths with which I can engage with the content. Audio and video offer me just one: Play. As a result, if I’m in a hurry or have only a passing interest in a the post’s subject, I may still click through to and quickly read a text post. A similar video or audio post I would probably skip. Only if I were very interested in the subject would I spend the time on it.

    Another disadvantage of audio and video posts is that they are not indexed by search engines.

    For these reasons and others, when I publish episodes of my podcast, I offer the content in both MP3 and text format. I’ve actually found that certain subjects get more MP3 hits and others get more text hits. Still others get search-engine hits that then result in MP3 downloads. So there are lots of possibilities there.

    Take care,
    -TimK

  10. Steve says:

    Another factor I wanted to mention real quick, (and not to job on the negative boat here) is that I have a bunch of friends who read blogs at work… lunch break and other short breaks throughout the day. In my personal experience they have not been able to listen until they get home in the privacy of their own home.

    People at work may want to just read through the stuff at their own speed and it is quiet. So it may leave out a group of people who have to wait until much later to get the scoup.

    But I do see an advantage and it is not to gain directly from the actual video but to add spice and personality to your blog. Doing something like this every week or every other week would be a good way to reel people in and listen to your accent… :o) and not make your readers feel pressured for time to listen every day.

    Thanks for listening…
    Steve

  11. Chris Pund says:

    Very nicely done. I enjoyed hearing the accent!

  12. Declan says:

    Vidcasts can work quite well for visual type learners. I have a tendency to lean towards auditory so prefer podcasts. With podcasts they can go off on interesting tangents that perhaps a scripted videocast is restricted by. Go for it – use whatever media is available to you.

  13. Darren Rowse says:

    feel free to suggest alternatives to YouTube – not very happy with their service so far. Thanks for the feedback so far.

    Was audio and video out of sync for everyone else?

  14. stuart says:

    Video slipped out of sync for a while then came back together again. Good idea, good accent ;-)

  15. Steve Weber says:

    I enjoyed seeing the vidcast, very well done. I think it’s an excellent idea to do something like this from time to time to establish a closer, more intimate connection with your readers. I think every blogger who’s serious about connecting with readers should think about doing it, and I will too.

  16. sg GOD says:

    Good day mate! Great to see and hear you for the first time. First, the quality of the picture is great. But the audio and video are out of sync. yup, as people told in their earlier posts, text content will workout more.(still lot of people like to read the novels than seeing the same one in movies). But for sure, a videocast a week or ever other week will really add spice to the meat. will look forward to see from you. cheers!

  17. Darren Rowse says:

    hehe – the accent thing is very amusing.

    You do know it’s y’all who have the accents!

  18. 45n5 says:

    Voice and Video don’t match for me. Sorry don’t know an alternative.

    Bandwidth speed test says “3.5 megabits per second” so it’s probably not my connection causing the problem.

    Enjoyed the vidcast and love the idea!

    If you were going to do them regularly a download link or seperate rss would be appreciated for the video ipodders.

  19. i must notice that i have a 16G high speed connection is that not enough ?

    with dailymotion no problem!

  20. Seige says:

    It’s good to put a voice (and face) to the person behind this blog. It’s a good move! Glad to hear you talk.

  21. Hey Daza,
    Your all into experiementing and finding the best tool for bloggers and so forth. I really strongly suggest you go have a look at VideoEgg. It doesn’t have the same hype as You Tube but I think the quality and the upload experience are just outstanding.

    Molly

  22. Swade says:

    Don’t know if it’s been an issue for anyone else, but the size of the window housing the YouTube screen has actually pushed it down so it’s below your sidebar. I’m using a 1024×768 resolution, so it likely wouldn’t be an issue for those on a bigger res. As it is on mine, though, it makes for a messier presentation.

    But the vid itself was a good start, Darren.

  23. Stuart says:

    What accent?

    I didn’t hear any accent :)

  24. brem says:

    Come on… we want to hear some thick accent!

  25. Elke says:

    Well, for me, YouTube looked and sounded just fine! I for one, love watching the cast, cause I can read your post first then view, or vice versa. Length of it was perfect and it gave me some ideas for my blog. And for full feeds, I prefer because it’s one less thing for me to click on if I want to read moer. And don’t worry about the no shave, you still looked cute… :)

  26. Martin says:

    hehe – the accent thing is very amusing.
    You do know it’s y’all who have the accents!

    Zing! ;-)

    Seems every 10th post or so you should slip in that you’re an Aussie, or … how about slipping in some Aussie slang into every post.

    Oh and btw the way, ‘carn the pies for ’06 – were you one of 91,000 at the ‘G on Tuesday? Carlton v Collingwood Round 6, May 7 MCG. You there?, drop me a line – an invitation for a quarter of coffee and talk is there as we watch the pies march on ;-)

    Note: the last paragraph would absolutely make no sense to 99% of your readers. :-)

  27. Cary says:

    Hey Darren, I really enjoyed the vid. It definitely adds an entirely new dimension to ProBlogger, and I think you should keep it up… maybe once a month as a way to put more of a face (and voice!) to ProBlogger.

    Good job. YouTube worked fine on this end.

  28. Nick Aziz says:

    And what happens when someone makes an RSS reader that can play videos? In my view, RSS should be for keeping updated on the latest content, not getting special rights to ad-free content.

  29. 45n5 says:

    There are lots of video RSS readers, here is a popular one:

    FireAnt

  30. soloride says:

    After watching your video post it did make me feel like I had met you. On my blog video is essential because its about my documentary, but I think that to much video on your blog could degrade it. I could see how some would rather read text on your blog because of sound being a problem. I think having a video post once in a while will really enhance your relationship with your readers. I have enjoyed reading your blog for the last couple of months. Take care.

  31. Darren Rowse says:

    Martin – yep I was at the game on Tuesday – twas a good one. I tipped the pies but was going for the dons (wife’s team).

    Hopefully the Blues will step up and tack on the Tigers tonight.

  32. Martin says:

    Darren,
    Sure was, even got to high-five Eddie McEverywhere minutes after the siren ;-)

  33. Darren Rowse says:

    hope you washed well when you go home…

  34. Martin says:

    still scrubbing away three days later…

    Hey, what you got againt our Prez? :-) Just because he’s got the combined ego of every A, B, C & Z-List blogger out there and then some doesn’t mean … oh! For some reason I’ve got this urge to wash my hands again.. ;-)

    Blues by 3 goals. Fev to bust some packs…

  35. Stuart says:

    Pardon me – but while you blokes were freezing your whatsits off at the footie I was walking on the beach and splashing in the water – and the boss just told me that we can do it all again tomorrow too :)

  36. Martin & Darren – Eddie is alright. We need to watch out for him cause I recon he is one that understands where things are going. I expect them to be the first local station to provide support for the iPod with some of their content.

    Molly
    http://afl.mollyzine.com

  37. Martin says:

    Phillip – I’m only semi-half serious with the Eddie jibes. As a lifelong magpie you gotta love what he’s done with the club. Actually met him on a few occasions at functions and he’s very personable and has a real business head. – I wouldn’t give a high-five to any bozo :-)

    BTW, looked at your AFL site – very interesting, expect to see me around often. I’m always trying to brainstorm some sort of idea to merge internet, blogging and footy into a viable online business. If I can do that I’ll be a happy man.

    Stuart – That’s the thing with us Melbourne born-and-breds … we’re used to the cold – the cold and footy go hand-in-hand. And by boss, you mean yourself, eh :-)

  38. Paul -V- says:

    I like it. I hope you do more of these.

  39. Brent says:

    Hey Darren, I noticed from the video down your posts were pushed down to the end of your sidebar on your front page. I am using IE 7 BETA 2 so I’m sure that is the problem.

    I just wanted to let your know that encase Microsoft doesn’t fix this bug by the time they release the final version. There are ways to fix this in your CSS code.

  40. Paul says:

    I enjoyed the video (it makes the experience more personal seeing you there talking than reading your posts). The only issue I have is that I had to watch the duration of the video because we have severe bandwidth limitations here in South Africa so that becomes a factor for me.

    I am sure this wouldn’t be an issue for most of your subscribers who probably don’t have capped bandwidth at high prices.

    Have you thought about a podcast? Perhaps a video podcast in tandem with an audio one?

  41. Jon Heizer says:

    It was interesting to watch. I have heard you interviewed on podcasts before so the voice was not a shock. The video did get out of sync a lot.

    I also agree with a few people above that you were a bit stuck watching it. I ended up treating it more like a podcast after about 3 minutes and popped open another FF tab to continue reading your other new articles while it played in the background.

    Overall, it was nice to see a different form of content delivery being tested. The down fall for me was it was over a previously discussed topic so I lost interest after a few minutes. Feel free to try it again and hopefully the video comes out better next time.

  42. John Hamman says:

    I find that I only look at the video breifly then listen to the rest without watching.

    Oh, And Darren, is that the same green shirt you allways seem to be wearing in your pictures?

  43. Martin says:

    good work for first try!

  44. I liked that vid,but i would not see this as a daily podcast,because it would cost more time…and It is actually easier for some to understand the text at the blog then to hear you talk,as not all have english as the native language.
    Still it’s good for some little updates.Was very interesting to hear you and see you talk. Keep up the good work.

  45. Matt says:

    Great idea Darren, very cool to see. I look forward to more.

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet or not, but you ask for an alternative to YouTube.

    Why not try, http://video.google.com … I thought you would have tried it being a google man! lol

  46. Jason says:

    Hmmm… Video killed the radio star…
    I wonder what this will do to some bloggers……

  47. Sonya says:

    I’m watching this from Hokkaido, Japan and it’s perfectly fine! Love it! Once a week with highlight or featured topics will be good. It kind of reliefs the eyes from intense reading on the net and it’s nice to see a real person talking face-to-face (although I agree with Jon that after a couple minutes I started treating it like a podcast, but then I did return again).

    Another example is Astrocenter.com, which also offers a vidcast on weekly hosroscope, quite amusing sometimes.

    Hatena.ne.jp in Japan has also just started to podcast their weekly newsletters and I find it quite helpful coz I can listen to the highlihgts of their new functions / offers and the go back to the email and click through to the parts I want to learn more about. I think having vidcast / podcast as a supplement to text will improve overall effectiveness in getting the messages across to the audience.

    Good job! Thanks again. Really enjoy your blog.

  48. Great job on the vidpost. I was really engaged to it. I think that has to do with the feeling of more personal interaction – or at least something new, and similar to a video conference (I pay a lot of attention to vid-conferences when I chat with friends). I think you have something good here.

  49. jon mills says:

    Darren, Try Vlogit from Serious Magic.. I bought it and its very good you can use with playstream or you can save as flash, quicktime ,windows etc.. and up to another place.. its only $49

  50. Darren,
    I enjoyed the vidcast. It was an interesting addition to the blog. I think a weekly vidcast would be a very effective medium to use. As many said, it was nice to be able to finally put a voice with your content.

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