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Video Blogging: Keep It Short And Simple

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I struggle to make a coherent sentence in my blog writing and have since I started doing it a year or two ago. To combat this issue I figured I would join the likes of Jay Smooth who runs the popular hip-hop video blog known as Ill Doctrine and become a video blogger myself. Having done it for a week or two, there’s one thing that I do know.

It ain’t easy.

When people who read blogs find an entry, they want to read it fast in a Reader’s Digest sort of way. The same thing goes for getting a camera and putting your mug up on the screen. You don’t have to look cute to do it, but you do have to say what you have to say in five minutes or less.

When I sat in front of the camera for my first entry it was a very relaxing experience. I made all of these deep, intricate pronouncements about various things. Then after I finished recording the first entry, I went into the Windows Movie Maker program to capture the video.

God, was that painful.

There were long pauses, “umming”, and me just looking blankly into the camera. I didn’t do that just one or two times. I found throughout the whole video capture that I was doing that a lot. It’s a miracle I passed any of my speech classes in my earlier college career.

My first thought was to simply upload what was captured unedited to YouTube (which I use a lot). I’ve seen other vloggers on there and not every one of them went to the extent of editing out those flubs. After all, it’s not meant to be a news report.

In saying that, I went back to Jay Smooth’s videos again – they are heavily edited.

It’s not that he’s trying to censor what he is saying. Smooth is merely trying to cut the fat out — all the pauses, the brain farts, and the excess blabbing that parades through a lot of video blogging. Remembering this, I went back into Windows Movie Maker and began to edit out a lot of my own mistakes.

When I saw the final result, I was amazed at how I sounded. I was sounding like I had an actual brewing thought with no wandering or nonsensical wording. I still need to work on my voice. I sound like a damn textbook.

There are two other things to consider when you video blog. As with any regular blog post, you have to really concentrate on your titles and your tags – especially in places like YouTube. You also should check your lighting by filming a couple of seconds on your camera and then playing that back. The lighting on the monitor screen doesn’t always reflect what you end up with when you port the footage over to your computer.

Another problem, one that I am working out myself, is finding some music. I like how Jay Smooth has a track playing in the background. I don’t exactly know if he acquired it himself or if he got approval from an artist to use an instrumental version in the background. I would appreciate if readers could direct me to a site that had an instrumental track – or share thoughts about whether or not music should be added when it’s merely a person speaking into the camera.

I don’t exactly expect to get Chris Crocker’s kind of fame – I leave my crying out of the public view. I’m doing this more to become some sort of video journalist. Will I actually make it? I don’t know. I’ll have fun trying though.

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About Matthew Milam

  • Nice article.
    Thanks for sharing the info

  • Good tips, will try to follow those.