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Blogosphere Trends – What Bloggers Are Writing About This Week

This column is written by Kimberly Turner from Regator (a great tool that gathers and organizes the world’s best blog posts). – Darren

Welcome back, my blogtastic friends! As you may have gathered by now: Every week, we use Regator‘s blog trends to show you what the blogosphere has been writing about during the previous seven days (click any trend to see posts about that story) and I give you a few blogging tips to go along with the trends. Speaking of which, I just finished watching the first, second, and third groups of videos that Darren gathered from readers who had tips to share, and I’m both impressed and inspired.

That’s why I thought we’d use this week’s trends to talk a bit about videos in posts, namely why and when to use video. The “Tips From Our Readers” video series as well as Darren’s weekly video posts are effective because they not only convey information but also use video to strengthen the community and to help readers connect with Darren on a more personal level. Building community and helping readers connect with you as a blogger are two ways of ensuring repeat visitors and higher traffic. Let’s take a look at this week’s trends and how a few specific blogs used video to add to these stories:

  1. Gulf of Mexico/Deepwater Horizon – In “Video of Oil Rig and Fire Rescues” The Lede features five separate videos of the oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico. These videos are used to convey the drama of the event and play into the human fascination with disasters. In general, don’t write about a tornado if you have video of it. Don’t describe an explosion if you can show it.
  2. Goldman SachsThe Consumerist‘s “Senator to Goldman Sachs: ‘Why Did You Push a S#!tty Deal?” uses video to show rather than tell readers about this altercation. Using video this way is a good alternative to transcribing long passages of quotes and also provides readers with nuances such as body language, facial expressions, and linguistic quirks that can be important in circumstances such as this.
  3. Kentucky Derby – Videos can be used to add humor to your blog. In “The Late Movies: Horse Racing Hijinks,” Mental Floss does this by providing a series of videos showing commentators struggling with unusual horse names during the Derby. (The Aaaaarrrr! video is priceless, but makes another point because the 1:34 second video only gets going after the 50-second mark. Don’t be afraid to edit videos down to the relevant bits. The internet has a short attention span.)
  4. Gordon Brown – Gordon Brown’s recent gaffe, in which he insulted a woman while his microphone was unintentionally on, is a perfect opportunity to use video to illustrate a controversial moment. The author of Britannica Blog‘s “Bigotgate and the End of Gordon Brown” recognized this and inserted video proof of the incident. Covering stories such as this one without video simply feels incomplete.
  5. Born Free – Rather than simply showing M.I.A.’s controversial banned-on-YouTube new video for “Born Free,” The Daily Swarm used it, along with other recent music videos, to highlight a trend in its post “Why the Event Video Is Back.” If you’re handy with video editing, you can also create videos that demonstrate trends by showing that multiple people taking part in a particular activity, wearing a particular fashion, or using a particular phrase, for example.
  6. Times Square – When timeliness matters, you might be able to cover a breaking story more quickly for your readers by posting video of a press conference than by writing your own analysis. Towleroad’s “Car Bomb Scare Shuts Down Times Square” quickly summed up the story with quotes from major news outlets and video of the mayor’s press conference. You can go this route to keep your readers informed then go back and write a more detailed post later.
  7. Bret MichaelsTV Squad uses video to provide additional commentary and opinion on Bret Michael’s medical condition from a public figure in “Did Trump Inadvertently Spoil ‘The Celebrity Apprentice?’” Using video in this way helps add additional voices and color to the post.
  8. Stephen Hawking – Video can also be used to add pop culture references to your posts. In “Stephen Hawking: ‘Don’t Talk to Aliens,’The Seminal uses amusing video clips from movies to indicate that Hawking thinks aliens are more like the crazy attack aliens from Independence Day than friendly E.T.s from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  9. Arizona Immigration Law – Liberal U.S. political blog Crooks and Liars uses video of protests against Arizona’s new immigration law to support its viewpoints and take readers to the scene of a story in “Tens of Thousands March in Major Cities for Immigration Reform.” Taking your own video at a drama-filled event gives your readers inside access and puts them in the moment.
  10. Sandra Bullock – In “Sandra Bullock Paparazzi Feeding Frenzy Videos: Pure Chaos,” Gawker used video when words might’ve fallen short. The scene is so chaotic and overwhelming that video was, very likely, the best way to quickly communicate the situation.

Do you use video for any of the reasons mentioned here (to build community, to convey drama, to show rather than tell, to add humor, to illustrate controversy or chaos, to show a trend, to cover breaking news quickly, to add voices and commentary, to add pop culture references, or to take readers to the scene)? How have you used videos on your blog? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of Regator.com and Regator for iPhone as well as an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

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Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    Soon you’ll see a LOT of bloggers blogging about Hostgator and a handful of other Hosting Companies being down for the score today :)

    Anyways great information, though I don’t understand Stephen Hawkings…and I’m glad your blog isn’t offline like mine :(

  2. J.D. Meier says:

    It’s tough sometimes to know which lens to look through, when figuring out the bigger picture.

    I like the distinction between fads and trends (where fads are the flavor of the day, while trends are longer lasting.)

    One source of trends I like to use is Jim Carroll. He bubbles up the big stuff that seems to permeate in a rising way.

  3. Robby G says:

    Nice info! Wish Dr. HST was still alive to cover the Kentucky Derby and end up making another Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or something alike.
    @Aaron: why is your blog offline? I’m with Host Gator as well…

  4. David Walker says:

    Great post Kimberly! Video posts are a great way to connect and build community. They reach out to people so much more than the written words because it allows the readers to connect with the person better. It’s easier to trust someone who you can see.
    There are many ways that you can use video posts to inspire people. They are even better when they are only a small part of a post!

  5. Sweet links!… I have an animation series, it’s starting to get traction with over 100,000 views so far!… :]

  6. Joel says:

    I don’t use video that often, but when I do, it’s to explain something where words fail. It used to be that blogging and online news was a lot like print journalism. Not so anymore. I like using good videos to illustrate concepts that may be unfamiliar to my readers.

    I’m also a YouTube nerd, so I love sharing all of the cool tidbits I find.

  7. John Gay says:

    Hey Darren,
    Another great post, I love reading the ‘Blogashpere Trends’ Post you publish.

    And Gordan Brown, well I do think the whole situation was blown way out of proportion, but don’t get be wrong I am not saying it was acceptable.
    Great information here.

  8. As usual, it’s more and more critical to use celebrity/news relevancy in your daily posts so that the reader will have a reference.

    As scary as it may be that people are more worried about Brett Michaels than making a living, if you can incorporate pop culture into your posts, then your customers will keep on reading.

    People like entertainment much more than being TOLD what to do, especially to buy.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  9. Kimberly says:

    @Aaron Stephen Hawkings made some statements about the nature of alien life and also has a new documentary debuting this week.

  10. David says:

    Goldman took my time to, I’ve made a Q&A about Goldman’s Lawsuit so people can understand what’s going:

    http://economylessons.blogspot.com/2010/04/secs-lawsuit-against-goldman-sachs-what.html

    Also, no doubt that Arizona is taking place at others blogs…

  11. Joshua Noerr says:

    This is one of my favorite things on this site! The Arizona Immigration laws are catching huge heat, and there is some great analysis in the blogosphere right now. Thanks for the weekly update!

  12. Aaron T says:

    @Robby: Didn’t you hear? Theplanet (a massive hosting…thing) went offline, taking the servers of Hostgator, Site5, and a bunch of other hohsting companies with it. It happened earlier this morning and has since then been resolved.

    @Kimberly…I heard about that on Discovery channel…though I don’t really care to watch it…

  13. Mike says:

    Thanks, video content is on a lot of peoples’ minds right now

    To add to this discussion, I recently recorded a quick 4 minute audio clip answering the question: “Will video content replace written content on the web?”

    In it I answer 3 specific questions:

    1. Is written content taking a back-seat to online videos?

    2. Will written content play a smaller role in the future of the Internet?

    3. What does the increase in online video mean to article writers (or bloggers for that matter)?

    You don’t have to listen to it, but it does make an interesting point about why bloggers (and article writers) are in the best position to take advantage of the latest video trends

    Darren, maybe you won’t include my link here. But in case you can, here is a link to the audio recording: http://www.articlemarketingmaverick.com/will-video-content-replace-written-articles-on-the-web/

  14. Excellent and resourceful post. Loved every bit of it. Darren, you are the best. Keep the posts coming.

  15. Ankush says:

    This week i wrote on money form blog on : http://ankushwood.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-make-money-online-from-blog.html

    My next post in this week will be : problogger vs john chow!

  16. I am usually concentrating on my 2 blogs so often that I don’t really pay much attention to what is going on in the blogosphere. Except for here on ProBlogger!

    Between social media, blogging, and my family I don’t have time for too much else. Even though I would like to.

    Anyone else feel the same way?

    Thanks,
    Brian M. Connole
    http://www.i-blogger.info

  17. chandan says:

    I was running my blog on blogspot and that time I did not make video blogging, but now I have changed my blog to wordpress and now think for fully customize my blog by integrating lots of thing on my blog.

  18. Fungeezer says:

    I appreciate this post. For one thing, I signed up for regator. I have had a couple different blogs over the last few years, but nothing seemed to draw much traffic. I have used video and podcasting to a limited degree and plan to use much more of it.

  19. Julius says:

    I’d like to add that we should provide closed captions in our videos. People who can’t hear the video’s audio would deeply appreciate this feature.

  20. Steve says:

    Hey Kimberly,

    Yes, I’ve used video on my blog for over a year and it’s been a great tool for me. I get a lot of great feedback and it’s also helped me get new coaching clients.

    One client specifically mentioned that she felt that I was at her level when she was watching me on video – and because of feeling this connection, she signed up for coaching with me.

    Video is definitely the way to go,

  21. Hey Kimberly,

    Thanks for the great post and some really interesting links :) I’ve only read a few, but bookmarked the others, just thought I’d say thanks first!

  22. Phillip Gibb says:

    hmmm, none of the topics I would blog about. maybe I need another blog where I can :)

  23. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It¡¯s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.