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Video blogs

Do you watch video blogs?

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I’m curious to know what readers think of video blogs. Personally I think that a blog needs to have written content and that video can be complimentary to the written content.   What do you think? Would you watch/subscribe to a video only blog?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Karen Templeton
    May 11, 2009 @ 08:35:25

    I will occasionally watch a video embedded within a written blog, but I can generally read much more quickly than a video can give me the info — one reason why I prefer written news stories to video. So I’d probably avoid video blogs, for the most part.

  2. cursingmama
    May 11, 2009 @ 08:49:29

    I think video blogs are the definition of Not Work Safe. I can read just about anything I want during my break(s) but to watch something? That is asking for trouble.

  3. Leah Braemel
    May 11, 2009 @ 09:15:41

    I will but only on occasion. And if the person doesn’t have something interesting to say fairly quickly the screen gets closed (hmm, sounds like writing, doesn’t it?) Oh, and ones that have your favorite music playing in the background? Turn it down. Or better, turn it off. It’s too hard to hear you and that ticks me off. Same goes for most of the television stations these days who have the music blaring over the announcers.

  4. tricia
    May 11, 2009 @ 09:35:59

    I think a lot of bloggers’ personalities don’t necessarily translate well to video. Someone who’s sharpened his/her writing voice isn’t always great off the cuff. The blog community will generally be supportive of these kinds of things, though, and then the blogger won’t necessarily hear the truth. All bad, and kinda embarrassing.

    A video blog kind of defeats me when I want to zip through my (almost 100 on a weekday) updated blogs through Google Reader. Unless the video blog happens to be the last thing on my list and I’ve got ten minutes ahead of me, I’m almost never going to watch it… unless…. there’s something I really, really, really want to hear about. Say a specific controversy comes up, and I want to hear your astute legal take on it, Jane. If you only do a video blog on this controversy, I’m likely to watch it, but I’d be annoyed at having to do so. My information retention is about a thousand times better when I read something instead of just listening to it. (Now, if you put some main-idea captions on the screen during the blog, that would help my retention. But that’s a lot of trouble.)

  5. Julieb
    May 11, 2009 @ 09:40:07

    Video blogging works when you add VALUE to your content. For example, if you’re at RWA, there are things you can do better showing on video. If an author is doing a reading, a video or audio is almost essential.

    But video for the sake of doing something shiny? Nope. Case in point: Last night I was having trouble with my sound card. I hit one link expecting to find written instructions and, perhaps, a couple of screen captures that I could print off. Instead, there was a video that started on page load, explaining how to set up the drivers on my sound card. I have no sound, but to get sound I must listen to this presentation, but I have no sound … ::head explodes::

    Just by asking this question, though, you’re showing respect for your readers, so I have high hopes that if you decide to do video blogging, you’ll do it right.

  6. Karen
    May 11, 2009 @ 09:48:48

    I hope you don’t start using video blogs. I read Dear Author on an old computer that won’t run most videos, or I read it at work where video isn’t allowed. I’ve had to give up reading a few blogs because they’ve started using video more often, and I can’t see the videos. I don’t mind occasional videos if they’re really necessary for the story (I can always skip them) but I really appreciate that Dear Author makes its articles available to people with older computers who can’t always run all the bells and whistles.

  7. Jane
    May 11, 2009 @ 09:54:54

    I’m sorry for not clarifying in the post. I’m not interested in doing video blogs for DearAuthor but someone who I am talking to about blogging has a great idea for a video blog and I wasn’t really enthusiastic about the idea. But then I thought, maybe the collective readership has an interest in this and I’m just behind.

  8. K. Z. Snow
    May 11, 2009 @ 10:00:12

    I wouldn’t have the patience for it, unless it were another YouTube — lots of variety, including music and humor.

  9. Julieb
    May 11, 2009 @ 10:02:13

    It depends on the nature of the blog. For example, DIY-type content is generally an excellent use of video. Even in that case I’d want printed instructions. (What? You bring your laptop into the garage and watch an instructional video while you’re using your circular saw? Well, you didn’t need that finger anyway, and sawdust in the keyboard gives it character, right? [grin])

    Some material is perfect for video, but as I said above, video for the sake of having something shiny generally falls flat.

  10. JulieLeto
    May 11, 2009 @ 10:57:55

    I’m addicted to the Sister Salad video blog. They’re the ones who did the “Yo Comments are Whack” video at YouTube, which totally got me hooked. They’re very funny. Quirky. But funny.

  11. Louisa Edwards
    May 11, 2009 @ 11:43:11

    It can work, but it’s rare. Because you need more than a great idea, you need a great performer, someone comfortable and entertaining in front of the camera. Much harder than it sounds.

  12. Ali
    May 11, 2009 @ 11:58:33

    I’ll watch an occassional video blog, but I’m not too crazy about them.

  13. Mireya
    May 11, 2009 @ 12:10:05

    Video blog = yawn. Don’t think I need to elaborate.

  14. Anastasia
    May 11, 2009 @ 12:42:58

    There’s lots of video-only blogs out there, and I’d say a lot of them are really good. However, they’re not book-focused, and I’m not entirely sure a book-focused video-only blog would hold my attention for long if it didn’t have the right components.

    A book-focused video blog needs to have:

    1. a person behind the camera who isn’t annoying, with lots of enthusiasm and interesting things to say.

    2. decent camera work/lighting/sound/etc. Bad lighting or sound would make me immediately click away from the video, no matter how interesting the person was.

    3. a set topic, so the person isn’t wandering around the place with nothing to say. A video review could feasibly be interesting, for instance.

    4. a good script/editing. It’s okay if the person rambles as long as they cut the worst of it out. Of course, they could get past this by writing something up beforehand and practice saying it until it sounds natural.

    I’d for sure be interested in any vlog that had those things going for it, especially if it was a topic I was interested in with a good person (or team) doing it.

    (Also, btw, it’s pronounced “vuh-log,” like “blog” but with a v in front. Not “vee-log” or anything else. Just fyi. If anyone was wondering. Ahem.)

  15. joanne
    May 11, 2009 @ 12:51:48

    I think a lot of bloggers' personalities don't necessarily translate well to video. Someone who's sharpened his/her writing voice isn't always great off the cuff. The blog community will generally be supportive of these kinds of things, though, and then the blogger won't necessarily hear the truth. All bad, and kinda embarrassing.

    Yeah, what she said.

    They are often just badly done.
    Or have no content worth the time it takes to watch.
    Or made in a way that entertains only the blogger’s friends & family.

    Or the worse, too cute for words.

  16. Carolyn Jewel
    May 11, 2009 @ 13:27:42

    Author Talk is the one I’m thinking of. Does that count? But so far that’s the only one that’s even remotely work the bandwidth issues I have.

  17. Kerry D.
    May 11, 2009 @ 13:48:07

    I’m usually reading my blog feeds while the rest of the family is doing other things around me, so I don’t play videos as the noise disrupts the rest of the family. Sometimes I leave the blog open planning to watch the video later, but I usually never get around to it.

    Besides, I’m so much more a read-focused person than an audio/visual one that I don’t get a lot out of them.

  18. DS
    May 11, 2009 @ 13:58:15

    Often I’m reading blogs while I’ve got half a dozen other windows open, so a video usually gets left for the last– if I remember to look at it.

  19. Gina
    May 11, 2009 @ 14:20:38

    I follow Ill Doctrine, but that’s the only one I’ve ever followed for any extended amount of time. It’s much easier to be a blog personality than a video personality.

  20. Tammy
    May 11, 2009 @ 14:25:58

    I don’t have time to READ a lot of blogs. Watching a video blog has zero appeal for me.

  21. Elly Soar
    May 11, 2009 @ 17:33:19

    I follow Ill Doctrine

    Me too – that’s the only one I watch, but it’s just great and I don’t work as a written blog. I do watch Author Tak of course though!

  22. Jane O
    May 12, 2009 @ 06:00:53

    A video would show me more about the blogger than I really want to know.

  23. Jen
    May 12, 2009 @ 17:54:14

    I cannot stand video blogs. With text, I can read it as closely as I choose to, in the amount of time I am willing to devote. A video blog holds me captive, providing what the author wants when the author wants it. The reader’s needs should be paramount, and vlogs don’t meet my needs.

  24. Kat
    May 14, 2009 @ 21:18:25

    And spare a thought for people who can’t afford/don’t have access to decent broadband speeds.

  25. Venus Vaughn
    May 15, 2009 @ 13:58:37

    There’s room for all kinds of blogs. Some people don’t like to read. Some people’s blog posts contain more pictures than content. Some posts are consistently a page long (guilty) while others are only a short paragraph.

    I don’t like video blogs, but I’m not one to say what anyone else’s content should contain.

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