QUILTS FOR KATRINA
WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE A GOOD VLOGGER
6 September 2005
"Vlogging" is the new buzz word within the journaling community. I sometimes am amazed at the explosion of technology since I set up my first modem, logged into the UC Davis library computer and asked myself "Ok--what do I do now"? There was no "world wide web," with photos and graphics. Just a black screen with yellow letters and complicated DOS commands to learn.
Along came Mosaic and the World Wide Web, a dazzling display of color and text and photos and a world of possibilities and things to learn
Since that time, I've learned about forums and chat rooms and instant messaging and webcams. I've started a journal (when nobody had ever used the term "blog") and then I started a complementary "blog" because a simple journal wasn't enough.
Now comes "vlogging."
For those who have not heard the term, "vlogging" is short for video-blogging and there are a growing number of sites where you can post videos, which range from abominable to excellent, and many of which are outright copyright violations, as people share their favorite TV or movie clips.
Over on YouTube people are mostly posting home movies and stolen video material. The advantage of YouTube is that there is no real "downloading," because it operates on a flash system, so the movies begin streaming as soon as you click on them. I liked this because, for example, I could post that long video of Paul singing David's Song and people didn't have to wait 20 minutes for the large file to download. Of course, if your computer doesn't have the proper software, this doesn't work.
But on sites like OurMedia and BlipTV you get generally better quality, the trade-off being that the movies don't start instantly. Then there's Vimeo, which is more on a par with YouTube, but only allows 8 mg per week to be posted. Most of my movies are larger than that.
The best video are the independent people who are really serious vloggers. Rocketboom is a news program featuring newscaster Amanda Congdon. It posts nearly every day and is excellent--it even has reporters in the field who post video from other parts of the country.
Steve Garfield posts regular entries, including a weekly sit-com starring himself and his wife. There's a guy who is publishing Minnesota Stories, another guy who is filming himself eating foreign foods (he's currently looking for Vegemite stories), a guy who studied video in school and is getting into the whole vlogging scene, a woman who is filming herself going, day by day, through "This Book Can Change Your Life," and another woman who is walking Los Angeles and getting comments from people she meets en route. There's even a series of workshops set up around the country to teach people how to vlog. And on, and on, and on... The variety is limitless.
I've started posting videos each day. They aren't as bad as some I've seen, and definitely not nearly as good as the ones that I follow regularly, but no matter how good my filming and editing techniques become, I will never be a real "vlogger."
Vloggers fall into two groups. They are either those folks who get up close and personal and who spill their guts about their lives, their fears, anxieties. their hopes and dreams and their frustrations in front of the camera and then post it on line. Or they are those who are real Internet reporters, the people who are unconstrained and uncensored by anything, who can publish anything that they feel is interesting and newsworthy. It is the bloggers and vloggers who are giving us the full story of the mess in the aftermath of Kristina (e.g., the passionate speech by rapper Kayne West during the concert for Kristina, which was cut off and then cut from the feed to the West Coast. Thanks to bloggers, the film clip has spread across the whole world, despite the attempted censorship)
I will never fit into either group because I'm a stealth photographer. I'm too embarrassed to go up and point a camera in someone's face and start a conversation (though if I can point the camera at someone from behind a potted palm, I will certainly do it!). I'm a hit-and-run reporter, who is too nervous about whipping out my camera in front of everyone and filming something (unless, of course, they are friends or relatives who have watched me doing this all of my life).
Likewise, I'll never be the kind of person who tells all my deepest and darkest secrets to a camera lens. I might write it all out and post it here, but there is a huge leap (for me) from writing and speaking. Besides, I don't exactly have the kind of face that the camera loves and I've spent most of my life trying NOT to be photographed.
So much as I'd like to think that I am part of the vlogging community, I never will be. I will sit on the outskirts, post film of the various dogs that come in and out of my life, occasionally post something I've actually given some thought to (like yesterday's Love and Remembrance, which I actually went out yesterday and took specifically for a vlog entry), or allow people to participate in my life in some way through what amount to home movies.
I'll never be the person walking down the street filming herself and then stopping a stranger to ask his/her impression of current events.
I do admire those who have no fear, who are comfortable with the camera, and from whom I'm able to get a whole new view of their world.
(But I just figured out the up side of vlogging vs. blogging. With blogging, you have to know how to spell. With vlogging, you only have to know the meaning of the words you use. I just saw a blogger who wrote, in an e-mail, "You are knieve." He meant naive and I'm sure if he had filmed his response, nobody would know that he doesn't know how to spell!!!)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
No, these aren't our new foster dogs;