What is Vlogging and Vlog

What is a vlog?

A video blog or video log, sometimes shortened to vlog, is a form of blog for which the medium is video. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts. This process is known as vlogging. The vlog category is popular on the video-sharing platform YouTube.

In recent years, “vlogging” has spawned a large community on social media, becoming one of the most popular forms of digital entertainment. It is popularly believed that, alongside being entertaining, vlogs can deliver deep context through imagery as opposed to written blogs.

Video logs (vlogs) also often take advantage of web syndication to allow for the distribution of video over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for automatic aggregation and playback on mobile devices and personal computers (see video podcast).

There are several platforms where you can create a vlogging channel and publish video content. The most viewed and successful vlogs are YouTube channels, but there are other platforms where you can publish like Instagram and Twitch.

While the vlog format is a video and the publishing medium is the web, the rest is limited only by your imagination. Your vlog can be instructional or performance art, documentary, or comedy in style. It can include nothing but video or video plus text, images, and other fun features that help you get your point across and entertain. It can be shot in one take or expertly edited.

When Did Vlogging Start?

People typically associate vlogging with YouTube, but the concept of a “vlog” has been around for a long time. The first “video blog” can be traced back to the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until YouTube came around that the idea of vlogging stuck.

As we’ve previously mentioned, a vlog is just a blog in video form, but vlogging is sort of a separate beast. You could go on a trip to the zoo, record a bunch of videos all day, and edit them together into a single “vlog” titled “Day at the Zoo.” Are you now a vlogger? Technically, but not quite.

Vlogging has become a subgenre on YouTube. Even the person we mentioned above who creates fashion vlogs wouldn’t necessarily be considered a “vlogger.” The term has evolved to mean something more specific.

Nowadays, a “vlogger” is considered to be someone who creates personal videos that feature themselves and their life as the main subject. These types of videos are also typically released on a strict schedule, sometimes even every day of the week.

The benefits of vlogging for growing an audience

If you already have a blog or a podcast (perhaps even both), a vlog could open you up to a whole new audience. People like to consume content in different ways and just as some prefer to read or listen to stories or advice, others prefer to watch it.

More people are watching

YouTube is becoming a main source of entertainment with more and more people choosing to watch YouTube videos over traditional television or even Netflix. On YouTube most of the time we’re not seeing actors, but real people and their real lives, making the content much more relatable.

Build personal connection

It’s much easier to build a personal connection with your audience through vlogging than it is through writing or podcasting. There is something meaningful about seeing someone speak to you, even if it is through video! When you vlog, you’re letting someone in to see a little piece of your life or thoughts.

Build audience loyalty

If you’ve already built an audience elsewhere, vlogging will help you build loyalty by connecting with them on a more personal level. And if you’re brand new to the content game, vlogging on YouTube is a great place to start as the platform is also the world’s second-largest search engine.

Over one billion hours of video are watched daily on YouTube. That means you’ll be uploading your content to a place where people are already looking for it.

I will note here that the one downside to building a following on YouTube is that, unlike with your website or email list, you don’t have ownership of your audience. The only way to deliver content to them is by publishing videos or via YouTube’s messaging system, both of which have their flaws.

But this just means that you need to do the work to bring a YouTube subscriber over to your email list. Because of the loyalty, you will build through vlogging, your core audience will follow you to other platforms, so you should think of YouTube subscribers as warm leads for your other projects.

How to create a vlog

You can post your vlog anywhere, but the first step is to know how to make a video.

To do this you will need:

  • an interesting story or topic
  • a recording device, like a webcam or dedicated video camera – you can even use your smartphone!
  • a microphone
  • a good location that is well lit without too much background sound

It is recommended that whatever device you use will produce high-quality content. Bad sound or video quality will only turn people away.

You might also wish to edit your video before you upload it online. Here are some useful apps to help you edit your film or add music, titles, credits or logos, and much more:

  • for iPhone or MAC, you can use iMovie
  • for Android, you can use PowerDirector,
  • PC you can use free software like Windows Movie Maker

We will be sharing more vlogging tips and some of our favorite vloggers in our next post.

Uses of Vlog

Impressions

Vlogs have made it possible to learn about a Vlogger’s persona, culture, and impressions using non-verbal hints. Researchers have conducted experiments using crowdsourcing for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to determine what kind of personality traits the Vlogger might have. Many Vlogs have been personified by five big personality traits as Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience.

Along with Mechanical Turk, researchers also looked at the cues that take place within Vlogs. Vlogs can be broken down into their elements considering that there are a lot of factors that play in the creation of one such as placement of the camera, lighting, location, amount of time spent looking at the camera, pitch, delivery, and amount of the interactions.

Using this information and crowdsourcing, results have revealed that the highest rate in personality research was Agreeableness which makes Vlogging a great place to form Agreeable impressions. However, more non-verbal hints are more noticeable in other form traits such as Extraversion. Regardless, Personality impressions have made a more interesting Vlog viewing experience.

Education

Vlogging has been experimented with school systems to determine if it is a reliable platform to deliver higher educational practices to students. Researchers have done an experiment that placed 42 college freshmen into a control and experimental group of 21 each.

Oral proficiency exams were given to all students to reflect their current speech skills, after a year of teachings based on each of the group’s preferences. The control group was instructed to work with their standard writing skills and create their blogs, while the Experimental group tested their skills with online interaction.

Scores for both groups had increased after both tests, however, the experimental group had outperformed the control group due to the improvement of speech proficiency that came as a result of a more interactive learning environment between teachers and classmates. The control group claimed that not using video blogs “lowered their confidence” in their speaking proficiency.

Health

Vlogging has been recently used in research to study how the platform can create a helpful community around people who suffer from chronic illnesses to inform viewers and create closure. Researchers conducted experiments for Vloggers suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that investigated the relationship between Vloggers and their commentators.

A sample of 72 Vlogs was taken from 36 YouTubers for analysis with 24 for each of the three mental illnesses. The majority of Vloggers have posted Vlogs as a way to reflect on and share their stories to inform viewers about the process and the emotional impact.

The study has resulted in the creation of many ad hoc small groups that share personal characteristics and create an online community that expands over time to get more and more viewers involved in creating a supportive community that gives Vloggers the support that they need.

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