To blog or to vlog, that is the question.

17Dec09

Somewhat recently (I’m trying to catch-up on my blogging) Socialmedia.biz posted this article about why Cisco thinks vlogging is better than blogging.

I can see Cisco’s point. Video is definitely more impactful, it allows you to connect with an individual face-to-face, there is an authenticity to it. There are definitely multiple benefits to vlogging.

There are also some downsides though…

Video editing – Video editing is easy, but at the same time it’s not. It can take a bit to get the hang of. What I’ve found is when starting out is just go down & dirty so to speak, meaning don’t put a whole lot of effort into the video production, focus on the content of the video & people will come if it’s valuable. There are small things to consider, like setting up the shot properly so you don’t have plants sprouting from your head or if the person wears glasses, you want to minimize glare. Also remember to just keep rolling, you can edit out all those parts you don’t want, but if you miss a moment of brilliance on camera, you’ve lost it for the most part.

Comfort – Some people are just not comfortable in front of the camera (I happen to be one of them most of time), so it can take a few rounds before someone relaxes into it. I’d suggest just start by desensitizing your subject a bit, run a bunch of text videos, do 2 or three takes each of smaller videos. Really play up to the ease & comfort.

The “Show” – When some people step in front of the camera, they put on what I have always called “the show”. This kind of relates to the part I mentioned about comfort, but some people start doing the opposite and try to be overly professional or overly promotional. I always try to press upon the people I shoot that they should speak from the heart and really be authentic. Video is a medium where you need to be speaking to your audience, not at them.

Wonder why though I do a fair amount of video for work, I don’t really do it personally?

Well…

1. I hate the way I look on camera – I took an Acting for the Camera class my senior year in college, let’s just say I erased that tape right after the semester was done.

2. I’m much more comfortable behind the camera – Don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but I studied Directing in college, so for me the natural place is working with people, trying to coax out of them the best response possible.

3. It should be a two person thing – I’ve realized that if you can get the right set-up & keep it consistent, vlogging by yourself works, BUT I’ve always found the best videos are created when there is one person in front of the camera and one behind. It produces this natural conversational tone that is hard to replicate on your own and it’s also hard not to look awkward when shooting yourself. Usually the angle is off, or there is something in the background you don’t notice, or you aren’t looking directly at the camera b/c you’re trying to read your notes, etc.

For me, blogging works best. Though I do need to play around a bit more with video.

My Question – To blog or to vlog, which one works best for you?

Sidenote: I’ve got one little complaint about the article, they mentioned how Cisco was a PC friendly environment and therefore had employees use Windows Movie Maker to edit videos, which I totally understand, but I’ve used both Windows Movie Maker and iMovie HD since I run PC at home (for now) and Mac at work (what a godsend). In my experience WMM doesn’t compare to iMovie HD in terms of ease-of-use, output quality and over-all functionality. I’ve found iMovie HD to be WAY more powerful, produce a better product (both in quality & editing features) and be far less of a headache, all while doing it faster. Though I’m slowly trying to become a full Mac convert, I’ve been a PC user most of my life. All the little headaches I experienced have started to melt away the deeper I become involved with Mac. Anyways, enough pro-Mac propaganda from me.

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