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What is Vlogging?

Michael Anissimov
Updated May 16, 2024
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Vlogging, short for "video blogging", is blogging through the medium of video. A blog is any web page updated on a regular basis with discrete entries, often delivered to a viewer who has subscribed to the blog and reads it using a third-party interface, or RSS aggregator, rather than visiting the website directly. An RSS aggregator allows the reader to consolidate multiple blog feeds into a single personalized web page.

A blog that primarily uses video to distribute its insight or message is called a vlog. Not many vlogs currently exist, but many trend watchers say that it's only a matter of time until the rich, personal medium of video begins to replace static text and images. The widespread adoption of broadband technology and the falling cost of bandwidth is another factor that will make widespread video distribution possible.

RSS enclosures allow a blogger to insert media into a blog post and have it distributed to the aggregators of those subscribed to the blog. Most frequently, this is used to distribute images alongside text, but it can also be used to distribute video alongside text and images. With the release of the video iPod in 2005, there is now a convenient and popular mobile medium for video, opening the door for the era of the vlog. A viewer watching a vlog stream might be compared to a television viewer, but the content creation is highly distributed rather than centralized, and the viewer would have access to thousands or even millions of channels rather than just a few dozen or hundred.

The first known videoblog entry was on November 27, 2000. Although the early 2000s were marked by attempts to create videoblogs, vlogging didn't truly emerge until 2004, when small communities of vloggers began to pop up and big media started to notice vlogging, with articles in the New York Times and other publications. Vlogging is still small today, but online video is starting to take off, with websites like Google Video and YouTube offering free storage space.

One of the key problems with vlogging is that there exists no unified standard for metadata, that is, tagging videos themselves with data that shows what they're about. Search engine technology is not sufficiently advanced that a search engine "spider" can watch a blog, tell what it's about, and index it accordingly. Before vlogging becomes mainstream, something along these lines may need to happen. Tagging is one possibility, but it requires special effort.

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Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated EasyTechJunkie contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.
Discussion Comments
By NathanG — On Jun 10, 2011

@BabaB - I think that one of the best vlog ideas is to use it as a form of video marketing-and why not? Video marketing has begun to take the marketing world by storm. YouTube logs hundreds of millions of visitors each month, and some marketers have latched onto YouTube-and sites like it-to start promoting their business.

They do this by setting up channels on YouTube and creating content. The content does not have to be traditional marketing pieces; actually they prefer that it’s not, because online video-like vlogging-lends itself more to personal narrative type pieces than overt advertising.

Our small business has started a channel on YouTube and created marketing pieces. We are about to do some video blogging so I am eager to see the response we'll get. Mostly, I think it will help us build rapport with customers and help pre-sell our products.

By strawCake — On Jun 10, 2011

@SZapper - I have actually come across an musician that uses her youtube channel to promote herself vlog style. Her name is Nikki Jean and she's based out of Philadelphia.

She posts short videos about all sort of things like music, what happened to her that day, and her future plans. I think her youtube channel has really helped her get a following because you can see how personable she is in her videos.

I guess Nikki Jean's youtube channel was the first vlog I ever came across. I still follow it regularly!

By SZapper — On Jun 10, 2011

It seems to me that youtube channels are basically vlogs. A lot of people set up youtube channels and then update them regularly with short videos the same way people update blogs with posts.

Youtube channels may not be in the exact same format as a traditional blog but I think they are similar. A lot of musical artists use social media to promote themselves and I think a free vlog could also be a really good medium for this type of thing.

By PinkLady4 — On Jun 10, 2011

@BabaB - The way I understand it, vlogging isn't necessarily an action video. It is a blogger who is using video to get his or her message across instead of the standard written blog.

The blogger is actually speaking his message on a video rather than having followers read it. That way, his or her readers can see body language and facial expressions that make the encounter more real and personal.

By BabaB — On Jun 10, 2011

It sounds like vlogging is a new and exciting area of online communication. I think some kinds of blogs could use vlogging effectively. For example, how-to videos or incidences that have a clear beginning and end.

For other subject matter, I think the written form of blogging would be better. For example, subjects that are subjective or philosophical are better understood by the written word.

Vlogging is in its infancy, but it is sure to take off when technology catches up with the idea.

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated EasyTechJunkie contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology,...
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