Why I started vlogging

This week I answered my question of “How would a web developer vlog?” I posted two vlogs on my new YouTube channel!

When I posed the question I already had an idea of what I wanted my vlog to look like. I was in NYC at the time and there’s an energy in that city that seems to fuel ideas and the desire to share. I enjoy watching vlogs of people either traveling to or living in cities that are interesting to me. NYC, Berlin, or London all look great on video and are interesting to see.

I want to tell stories with the backdrop of whatever city my family is living in at the time without the emphasis being on travel or tourism. There are enough “travel vloggers” out there. My focus will be my story and the stories of what is happening to real people wherever we are.

Here are my three reasons for starting a vlog:

I love the medium

In writing there’s a broad spectrum of publishing mediums from books, to blog posts, to tweets, and many places between. The same is true for video. There are feature films, short films, YouTube videos, and short Vines.

The medium I like best is an edited YouTube video that’s under 10 minutes that gets to its point quickly, is visually interesting, and has an interesting story. YouTube has virtually no gatekeepers to what can be published. There are no ‘film executives’ or distributors to pander to. I can hit record and upload as I see fit and I like that control.

I want to be better at making videos

When you watch a great video you can be sure that much more time went into creating the video than is shown by its run time!

My 2nd vlog on WordCamp Europe took 9 hours to produce a run time of 6 min 22 seconds. Actual filming was a small percentage of the total. Here’s what took the rest of the time:

  • 2 hour Script writing and choosing music
  • 2 hours Reviewing footage of past WordCamps
  • 1 hour Filming
  • 4 hours Editing

I need to get better at the mechanics of making videos from knowing how to use my cameras (Canon T3i Rebel, iPhone 6) better and how to use my editing software better. I’m currently using iMovie since I know how to use it, but it’s very limited. I want to use Adobe Premiere Pro, but I am still on the wrong side of the learning curve.

I also want to be able to make videos when we travel. I won’t have a film crew with me so I need to do all the scouting, shooting, and editing. The only way to make this feasible is to get faster at production.

I want to be better at storytelling

The vlogs I appreciate the most have interesting and unique stories. Sean McCabe mentions in his comment on my original post to put a “strong emphasis on storytelling.”  The only way to get better at storytelling is to tell more stories!

With a target runtime of 10 minutes or under the story needs to be tight. And with video the story relies heavily on the footage you can record. It’s one thing to have a talking head video with exposition and another where the story is told with the viewfinder.

I’m really excited to see where this goes! Oh, and here are my first two vlogs: