Planning the Content for Your Videoblog
A videoblog can be many things. It can be a personal diary, done in video. It can be news coverage, political commentary, or artistic expression. It can be a commercial promotional tool. When you create the blog that you’re going to use for your videoblog, think about what your vlog will do or be. It’s okay if you don’t know — you can just think of it as a personal diary of someone learning about and starting a videoblog.
There are many ways to make videoblogs, but in the planning stage, you can either go with a planned videoblog, or an unplanned vlog. An unplanned vlog is like a reality TV show — you set up the camera, put the personalities in front of the lens, and shoot video until you run out of tape, time, or patience. Then you go to the video editing stage where you look through all the video you shot and piece it together to tell the story you want to tell. You might have planned the story in advance, or you might decide on a storyline to fit the footage you have available.
If you make a reality vlog, you don’t have to put as much planning into your vlog before you shoot, but you will need to be more organized and thoughtful about what goes into the video after you’re done. Every second that doesn’t move the storyline forward will end up on the cutting-room floor, so be prepared to edit heavily.
When you create a reality vlog, you should keep an eye out for one thing: scenes and clips that are meaningful. What’s meaningful? Well, if you shoot a day’s worth of video and want to post a vlog called “My Day,” then the five hours you spent vegging out in front of the TV can be distilled into about six seconds of glassy-eyed staring. That filler time doesn’t have much meaning unless you want to post a vlog called “how I watch TV.” However, if your day included a trip to the grocery store, a walk in the park, and climbing on the roof of your house to clean out the gutters, then you have three distinct scenes that you can include in the vlog post. They establish the milestones of your day, and change the setting and action enough that your viewers won’t get too bored.
In addition, your reality vlog might have a plotline. The most common story to tell in a vlog is “this is how I spent my time,” but yours could be something different, more complicated, or more emotionally dramatic. Moments of extreme emotions make good storylines, as long as you stay sensitive to the people involved. You can also evoke positive emotions, by filming the funny moments in your day and posting them, or by touching on your audience’s sensitive side.
A videoblog that has a purpose and a plan takes some time and forethought, but usually results in a more polished, targeted vlog. If you want your videoblog to attract a specific audience, you will need to make and post videos that interest the people you have in mind.
Some examples of videoblogs with a purpose are
- Rocketboom : A daily news show with a humorous slant.
- IceNRye’s Geocaching Videoblog : A long-format videoblog (40-minute episodes) about geocaching and dog training in Canada.
- Cherub : A parody of a popular vampire TV series, and one of the few all-fiction vlogs.
- Crash Test Kitchen : A cooking show.
- Net Video : A vlog from Net Video, a technology TV show from Australia.