Making the Move to Video

Filed as Guides on March 18, 2009 10:12 am

When people ask me what the future holds for blogging, I tend to avoid making “on the record” predictions just because, well, I tend to be wildly off target! But I keep coming back to the idea that video will play a huge part …

With that in mind I have been doing a lot of experimentation with video. I did a video post on my blog (“The Art of Getting Things Wrong“, which is highly relevant to this discussion, heh), a video interview and signed up to Seesmic (I recommend it, very cool service).

My biggest realization?

It’s not the technology that is hard, it is the actual act of being on camera.

This is been a real struggle for me. People I talk to seem to share the same discomfort.

I thought it would be the software, gadgets, cinematography that would be the learning curve but it seems with the modern tools that is all largely taken care of or easy to fix (not that I am there yet). But alas as soon as I saw myself grinning out from my monitor I knew what the big speed bump was going to be. Me.

Some people seem naturals on camera, Gary Vaynerchuck is famously and contagiously passionate and it really works. Loren Feldman has his own style which, love it or hate it, really works for him. Michael Martine does some great work with just a simple Flip cam.

All I can think is it just takes a lot of practice. So I am going to aim to throw up some video using Seesmic and other platforms as and when I can and just get over it through sheer stubbornness :) You can join me and share the misery if you like?

Are you moving to video? Please share your experiences in the comments …

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  1. By Gareth Crew posted on March 18, 2009 at 10:28 am
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    I’ve only been videoed once for something, and found it a bit of a nightmare. It’s the thought of everything that you do being recorded and played back in gory detail. I will definitely be making the move more into video but hopefully will be taking vids of far more interesting people than me – so can see them squirm and not mine.

    The only other time really I’ve been involved in hearing myself speak is as a commentator for a motorcycle race; I’ve done it a couple of times. The first I had headphones on and could hear the feed – it was absolutely awful, the next time I just gobbed off into a microphone – a lot better!

    I think if you try not to think about it and try not to see/hear yourself, it comes off better – in my limited experience!

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  2. By Jim Kukral posted on March 18, 2009 at 10:30 am
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    I tried this experiment over a year ago and it was great. I still do video a lot. My advice to anyone is to try it. It forces you to learn how to do it all, and it makes you think differently in terms of blogging. It’s good for you.

    Also check out my free toolkit at http://www.onlinevideotoolkit.com to learn how to do video.

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  3. By Dan Thornton posted on March 18, 2009 at 10:38 am
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    I realised something similar, having tipped Seesmic as the next big thing – actually it’s services like Qik which will drive video by turning every mobile phone into a live streaming device. That allows people to video others, capture events and news etc, without having to become a presenter.

    I’ve had the dubious pleasure of presenting a daily videocast with professional production for a major publication (Look for the earliest MCN Daily shows on Youtube), and although I had a bit of an understanding of what was required, it still took a fair bit of practice to start looking even a little less wooden (luckily the two presenters who took over from me seemed to understand that more quickly than I did)

    Video is definitely important to understand and use where relevant – I’m aiming to spend a lot more time learning and playing with audio and video in the future, especially as the tools are becoming so much easier to use – instant podcasting via the iPhone for example, Qik video, Seesmic, 12seconds etc. But just as journalists are slowly discovering – these are complimentary mediums – sometimes something works in print, sometimes audio or video, or sometimes it’s about displaying data effectively

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  4. By Michael Martine posted on March 18, 2009 at 10:48 am
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    You’ve got me sandwiched in between some pretty big names, there, but I appreciate the nod.

    I’ve been a teacher of software classes for over eight years, so I’ve had a fair bit of practice with the whole presenting/public speaking thing.

    If you want to use a hosted service for video, I recommend you check out Viddler. That’s who I use (I cross-post to YouTube for reach, however) and they have some great features.

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  5. By Bill Vick posted on March 18, 2009 at 11:12 am
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    I totally agree that the next big thing will be blogs combed with video. I started a blog, which became a podcast, which is now a Vlog. I conduct video interviews with people around the world, record them using Skype video (which works flawlessly provided both sides have a good camera and connection) and so far have conducted over 130 video interviews. The average one is 10 minutes and I try to keep them under 10 minutes so I can get greater exposure by using YouTube in addition to my own site. My videos are streamed from Blip.tv and although I think Seesmic is a very cool service I’ve had problems with Flash and my Mac not working together as advertised. I have the flash problem using my video camera on any number of other sites as well.

    I’d encourage any blogger looking at the long term to consider doing something with video. I’d be happy to answer any questions if I can.

    Bill
    Skype: BigBiller

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  6. By Chris Garrett posted on March 18, 2009 at 11:34 am
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    @Gareth – Don’t chicken out, I am sure you would do great :)

    @Dan – Qik is great, and it works well on my n95 – in fact n95 is pretty good flip replacement ;) Definitely not abandoning text, but I feel video is as you say going to be crucial

    @Michael – Credit where it is due, I love your videos :)

    @Bill – How do you grab the skype video? Screen capture? Interesting you mention Blip.TV, that looks very good service. Would very much like to hear any tips you have :)

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  7. By Steen Seo Öhman posted on March 18, 2009 at 12:03 pm
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    I have seen myself on video several times, and I hate it every time. The sound is the worst part, and even the picture … is somewhat wrong.

    Initially I was quite unsecure about my performance as a speaker, and was judging myself very hard. My performance was much better than expected when I saw the video, and the content and presentation was quite good. But the sound and seeing myself.I don’t think I will ever get used to that.

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  8. By Joe posted on March 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm
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    Hey Chris,
    I know what you are saying about being comfortable (or lack thereof) on camera.
    I’ve been testing doing vids for a Weekend Wrap-up on my Blog for around 9 weeks and every time it seems to take 15-20 takes before I get even close to something usable.
    Oh well, it seems to be the future of blogging as much as any plugin, so maybe with time we’ll get used to it.
    And if we’re really lucky, people will actually like them. ;-)

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  9. By Bill Vick posted on March 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm
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    I’d like to answer the question on grabbing Skype video as well as to correct my Vlog URL. The link shown here is the correct one, not the one in my previous post.

    Chris, to answer your question, I’m Macintosh based but have a long history with PC’s as well. Capturing video on Skype using a Mac is truly a no brainer. Just use the Ecamm.com application, Call Recorder. You can seamlessly capture either side, both sides, picture in picture, just audio and more on Skype in a variety of formats. Really a very powerful app. Similar programs, such as Pamela work on the PC but I have no hands on experience with them.

    Blip.tv is a super service. Not only do they convert my .mov files to Flash but MP3 and M4V as well so I can address any web, iPhone or smartphone viewer. On my blog I deliver both video and MP3 content for each interview.

    For screen capture I use either ScreenFlow or iShowU HD.

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  10. By Joe posted on March 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm
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    @Bill,
    I’ve tried Pamela for Skype for Viderviews and it has too many problems to be useful. It would be nice if they would make a workable version someday.
    Sorry if that sounds like a complaint here, but that is MY opinion.

    Reply

  11. By Bruce Barber posted on March 18, 2009 at 2:06 pm
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    Hi Chris,

    Recently, while on Fred Wilson’s blog (“AVC”), I noticed an option to leave a video comment via Disqus. I tried it – and had a BALL!

    Then, Facebook started offering the ability to publish video, and I had fun with that, too.

    Last week, I decided to add a daily videoblog to my own site, “The Real Life Survival Guide”. I created clips with iMovie, published them via YouTube, and embeded the code in that day’s post.

    I don’t know where all of this is going to take me, but people seem to find the new format considerably more engaging than anything I’ve done in the past.

    Stay tuned…

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  12. By Chris Garrett posted on March 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm
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    @Joe – I think it is like anything, practice makes better if not perfect ;)

    @Bill – Funny, I have call recorder on my mac and never tried to record video! Definitely going to check out blip.tv

    @Bruce – You are much quicker at this stuff if you can do it daily – kudos! :)

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  13. By Gargi Nath posted on March 19, 2009 at 9:23 am
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    I have started posting videos on my blog relevant to the topic, i am not sure what effect it will have on bringing traffic to my blog as i have done it recently.

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  14. By Andrew Mooers posted on March 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm
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    Have over 350 videos on just you tube alone. We do real estate productions and many community videos to show folks the area of Maine we live in. They are not hard and you have just have to jump in..get started and they will get easier, better. They do not have to be 40 million dollar Hollywood productions..just helpful, genuine, one on one person. Imagine talking to just one person, think of what you would want to know on the subect…and have fun!

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