Jean Dublog

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Is Video Better?

Just a reminder, CM, that I'll be traveling on business and unable to blog the rest of the week. Glad it wasn't last week, or I would have missed all the fun in the church of blog. But, while I feel bad about the time away, I was able to take in a few vlogs before I go.

I'm struggling with my thoughts about some of them, so let me start with the easier to digest. Rocketboom is pretty cool, an entertaining and slick video blog. It's regular as clockwork, five days a week, which almost makes it more of a professional production, but certainly less so than Wonkette. If it is slick, the folks at Rocketboom nonetheless seem proud of the fact that they're doing their thing on the cheap, not the work of dozens. Instead, it is the voice of basically two people, Andrew Baron and Amanda Congdon.

They describe their product as a mix of "information and commentary from top news stories to quirky Internet culture," a description I'd agree with. Sometimes video oddities already on the web seem to inspire a particular vlog; sometimes they do original video of interesting local color like the Brooklyn Brewery. Other times they offer up a creatively written, but flat video work, on an issue like the environment in Sept. 9th's "young republican" piece. In most cases, however, the video seems like the impetus for the piece and the end product is very entertaining. There is a political message behind some pieces, but the messges seem to be delivered with more artistry than we've seen in text-based political blogs.

The other vlogs I visited all seem to be more personal. In fact, I could find little of the polemic stuff that we've read in so many other blogs -- though admittedly I'm pressed for time in this search. It does make me wonder, however, if the availability, or lack thereof, of video around subjects like politics and religion limit the ability of vloggers to overtly tackle some subjects. Exits and Entrances, for example, seems to be consumed by this young woman's quest for a job -- except, jarringly, when a friend has video available from Sudan. Or, perhaps it's just that the quest for an interesting, artistic visual product in many cases takes priority over message development.

In any event, so many other vlogs seem to be the result of the artistic expression of young people consumed by the issues they face in their daily lives. Carl Weaver, for example, seems hellbent on examining the banal. I was tempted at first to describe him as dreadfully dull, but a very dry wit does emerge from time to time.

One mildly interesting piece I found was in Annieisms, specifically Annie's April "video conversation" about why she vlogs. Apparently vlogs are perfect for young people with short attention spans, that's certainly appealing to her. She also is really revved by comments and by the sense of community she enjoys with other vloggers. But, while immediacy seems important to vloggers, as it is to bloggers, it seems as though many have trouble producing enough video to vlog extremely often. So it seems the limits of time and technology trumps ideals in the vlogosphere.


  • Dreadfully dull? Such kind words.

    By Blogger Carl Weaver, at 5:50 PM  

  • Admittedly not. But first impressions are often not final or accurate.Besides, you're a blogger, you can handle it.

    By Blogger John, at 6:11 PM  

  • Yeah, I can handle it. I am impressed that whatever I am doing on my blog can be referred to as remarkable, whether positively or negatively.

    My previous comment was half in jest to see what folks would write. I've suffered worse comments!

    By Blogger Carl Weaver, at 5:15 PM  

  • Good luck wherever it is you're going. We'll miss you in class.

    By Blogger Brett, at 8:55 AM  

  • Meant to write you a note sooner about this but, better late then never, eh?
    Thanks for taking the time to watch some of the videos on my site. I think you were on the right track to notice the 'jarring' contrast in the content. Even the title ' exits and entrances' refers to contrasts - onstage and back stage - on/off - I/O
    etc.. I am an artist and I use the blog as my studio space (a physical space in NYC would be far to expensive!). In this way I am able to make small video sketches and play with justaposition and context, interact with an audience and build on my ideas from there.
    The videos about me looking for a job were made in a typically, blogg-ish (author-centric) way. I spoke directly to the camera, telling you (the vlogesphere community, my parents, random visitors) about my life at that moment. Honest and factual, and yet still a performance. In contrast I posted a series of videos about the civil wars in Sudan - they were made from personal experience of a friend of mine. He (also an artist), on the otherside of the world, working to save lifes, save a people, too tired stressed to express his feelings, and I in New York, concerned with next months rent.
    It about perspective.
    Hope that gives you a little more fodder for your blogging explorations. Beyond thats, there's plenty of text and video on my site about Why, What and How I vlog.

    By Blogger Mica, at 7:41 AM  

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