Vlogging: The Future or a Passing Fad?
The New York Times has an interesting recent article on “vlogging,” a term for video blogging:
Amanda Congdon is a big star on really small screens – like the 4½-inch window she appears in on computer monitors every weekday morning or the 2½ inches she has to work with on the new video iPod. Ms. Congdon, you see, is the anchor of a daily, three-minute, mock TV news report shot on a camcorder, edited on a laptop and posted on a blog called Rocketboom, which now reaches more than 100,000 fans a day.
In terms of subject matter, Rocketboom is actually quite a standard – one might even say traditional – Web log: Ms. Congdon comments on intriguing items she, and the site’s producer, Andrew Baron, have found on the Web, and includes links to them which appear just below clear, smooth-playing video. The items tend to be developments in Internet culture (robots and flash mobs, say, or flash mobs of robots) with a sprinkling of left-leaning political commentary (Ms. Congdon announced the posting of Representative Tom DeLay’s mug shot while wearing a party hat and blowing a noisemaker) and samples of Web video from around the world. . . .
In case you’re wondering, it has occurred to Mr. Baron and Ms. Congdon that they just might be sitting on a gold mine. At a cost of about $20 an episode, they reach an audience that some days is roughly comparable in size to that of, say, CNN’s late, unlamented “Crossfire” political debate show. They have no background in business, but Jeff Jarvis, who tracks developments in technology and culture on his blog, BuzzMachine.com (and who has served as a consultant to The New York Times on Web matters), pointed out to them that they might be able to charge $8,000 for an interactive ad at the end of the show, which would bring in about $2 million annually.
Is vlogging the television equivalent to blogging? Will vlogs have the impact that blogs are having? One can imagine that some vloggers may become celebrities — perhaps the next John Stewart. On the flipside, one can imagine vlogging as just a passing fad, something that will not take off as vigorously as blogging. Video is still not as easy to search and stumble upon as text on the Internet; nor is vlogging as interactive as blogging. But all that might change. What will vlogging become?