Saturday, September 23, 2006

Vlogging democratizes and extends citizen media

The small media revolution started with blogs and podcasts and further continues with the currently exponentiating vlogs.

Programming is now fully democratized; people can create whatever programming they think is interesting, relevant, entertaining, creative, has a message, etc. and distribute it for free on the Internet (courtesy of broadband) to affinity audiences who find the posts by interest linkage not mass-marketing. In addition to superstore vlog aggregators Blip TV, YouTube, Dave TV, Current TV, etc., special interest content development and aggregation new media companies are already emerging such as Have Money Will Vlog. Foundation grant funding for digital media community projects is also available. As with blogging and podcasting, monetization models remain hazy; advertising models are still grappling with blogs, (Google take note) unobtrusive effective video-based advertising is still pre-infancy.

With vlogging, the viewer creates the programming; life-chronicling (life-blogging, my life in bits (overall description, microsoft), etc.), interesting, entertaining, relevant programming for friends, family, employers, special interest groups, documentaries and broad political, economic and social statements. Like the rise of political blogs, vlogs will likely have an important irreversible role in the 2008 US presidential elections. At first blush, vlogging, like blogging, might seem egotistical however it is really about creativity, expression, storytelling and agenda accomplishing.

With video capture as a standard feature of today's mobile devices, we can all be citizen journalists anywhere anytime, which means we must expect that others are doing so of us and makes us wonder what obligations and costs, as in Josh Wolf's case, this new power confers. Vlogging is just like blogging and podcasting only even easier to create and more accessible to both creators and viewers.

One result of the explosion in citizen media is that the world is increasingly balkanized into media zones by age tier:
Group 1: newspaper, standard TV, radio and written correspondence
Group 2: traditional Internet news sites (, Google news), Tivo-controlled TV and user-driven XMSR and Sirius satellite radio and email
Group 3: Blogging, vlogging, commenting, linking, aggregation readers, in-game and in-world chat, texting and mobile platform domination

Group 2 "decides" whether to blog or vlog, Group 3 just does. The medium is the message: popular media is finally popular. Vlogging is about the fun, challenge and responsibility of making media. Vlogging, blogging and podcasting are all open platforms. Everyone needs to explore for themselves how they want to experience and create on that platform. Your message is your content in that medium.

-Vlog pioneer Ryanne Hodson's comprehensive free tutorials:
-There are many convenient vlog readers (which are also blog readers), particularly FireAnt and open source Get Democracy, which can be used to search, subscribe and manage vlogs.
-There are a wide variety of vlogging techniques including: traditional video capture and editing, photo-casting - snapshots linked with or without audio using tools like FilmLoop, Slide and BubbleShare, screen-casting for machinima, and good ol' Flickr for quick visual images.