Two thousand six saw the explosion of video blogging and a mammoth reorganization in its pantheon of stars, with Robert Scoble heading to PodTech to do his own video blog covering the Silicon Valley tech scene and Amanda Congdon ditching Rocketboom to do her own sponsored video blog and pursue big-network deals.
But what’s ahead for video blogs (a.k.a. vlogs) and video bloggers (a.k.a vloggers)? Have video blogs seen their day? Don’t bet on it. The indicators point to an exciting year. Here are five things you can expect from the world of video blogging in 2007.
1. Aiming to take advantage of growing enthusiasm around video blogging and the prospect of fresh angles on the local scene, local and regional media outlets will begin partnering with video blogger citizen journalists. What will this look like? Expect to see video bloggers produce shows consisting of their own compiled material for local cable and TV slots.
Also expect cross-promotional agreements as local cable outlets and TV stations seek to enhance their online presence by partnering with video blogs covering topics of local interest. Local newspapers — pressed on all sides to cut costs and at the same time improve online content — will beef up their websites with video originating on vlogs. Commissioned pieces (the new Pay-Per-Clip) will become commonplace.
2. The push for “professional” video-based reporting on the web will prompt more college and university journalism departments to develop programs teaching video journalism. This will lead to a surge in student and university-based video blogs and side teaching gigs for video bloggers with journalist backgrounds.
3. Corporations will stop producing audio podcasts and pure written blogs and switch to video blogging or hybrid text/video blogs instead. Those still on the fence about blogging will go straight to video-heavy blogs. Creative PR departments will take the lead here, with support employees who already have their own personal vlogs.
The upshot? Prospective employees will have a chance to see what companies are like on the inside before they even apply. The same will go for colleges and universities, who will launch more video-based blogs geared toward student recruiting, offering prospective students a sort of candid virtual visit to the school. Non-profits will launch video blogs promoting fund-raising campaigns and showing work going on in their communities, giving donors a chance to see first-hand where their contributions are going.
4. As the High Definition DVD wars between Blu-Ray and HD DVD continue to rage, videobloggers taking advantage of new high definition Web-based publishing platforms will begin publishing in high definition using ubiquitous formats like QuickTime and Windows Media, beating even local TV outlets to high definition distribution. In addition, new compression algorithms will make it easier to distribute and download the huge files that can accompany high definition video.
5. In general, video bloggers will benefit from an ever-expanding array of options for video editing, publishing video on the web, and growing an audience. Embedded video ads, tools for tagging and coding videos for search engine discovery, and special drives and drive arrays to help store and archive large quantities of video files will make it easier than ever to set up and manage a video blog and then make money at it.