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Alternablog: Videocast

This post has been submitted by regular contributor – Aaron Brazell

The past few weeks, I’ve been running a mini-series about different kinds of blogging. The first entry in the series was about moblogging and the use of mobile technology to update and post to a blog. Last week, we talked about a topic that is a bit more known and understood – Podcasting. The last kind of alternablog I’d like to tackle is the videocast.

Darren recently has experimented with the videocast as an alternate form of blogging and I’ve been running weekly videocasts in a “school” of sorts on American NFL football over at Squib Kick. I’ve only been doing the videocasts for a few weeks so I can’t report on the overall net effect on traffic, revenue etc., but I digress.

Videocasting offer some unique benefits in that it gives the viewer the chance to see, and not just hear or read, the blogger. Especially with more complex and in depth topics, this is particularly useful. I’ve found that, in my NFL videos, I have tools at my disposal that are not easily available in other forms of blogging. For instance, I can use the white board to diagram plays, defensive formations and more. In conventional blogging, it’s possible to draw up graphics that diagram things drawn on a white board, but its more difficult and time consuming.

Other bloggers are naturals in front of people. They do well on their text blogs, but come alive in front of the camera. For viewers, these kinds of bloggers really capture their attention and make viewing a pleasure.

In order to videocast, a blogger needs to have a way of hosting videos. Services like YouTube and blip.tv offer free hosting services and YouTube even provides the code to post the content inline in a blog entry. If the blogger has robust server specs (lots of disk space and lots of bandwidth), videocasts can be kept in house.

One thing I should note is that in my casual viewing of videos on the internet, including vidcasts, anything over 5 minutes in length is dangerous in losing a viewers attention. You should try to keep the videos short, concise and pay special focus on enunciation and clarity in speech. I don’t particularly like to hear myself speak publically so I often have to re-record my vidcasts to clean up my act.

Videocasts are fun and entertaining, both to the viewer and to the blogger. They provide a human face to the blog and a means for readers to interact in a more personal way.

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Comments

  1. Aaron,

    Great stuff. I’m definitely playing with my new HandyCam in anticipation of becoming a cyber star. I don’t have any of the requisite good looks, or charm, but that never stopped me before.

    I think this video thing is really taking off ;)

    Darren McLaughlin

  2. grant says:

    Videocast is such a cumbersome term.

    I prefer vlogs.

  3. vlog works! :)

  4. Dan says:

    Aaron – I’d love to hear what you and other bloggers would like to see in a video hosting service…

    We’re actually trying to put one together (I better not link it again cause I don’t want to spam… I did in a comment on Darren’s post on the subject). – and would like to appeal to the market of bloggers out there that are just discovering the idea of using video in their blogs.

    But what features would you guys like to see?

  5. Mike says:

    I am going to buy a video camera this weekend!