Face to face interaction has been the basis of human communication for our entire existence. It was not until much later that we developed alternative forms of communication in the form of reading and writing. There was a period where reading and writing reigned as the dominant form of communication, but with the invention of much preferred audio communication such as phones and radios, and then audio-visual communication such as movies and TV, reading and writing took a backseat. It’s still enjoyable, but has become a less preferred medium of communication in our society. This trend holds the most weight among Gen 2.0. We all have friends who’d rather see the movie than read the book. Our parents constantly fought with us as children to watch less T.V. So why don’t we all have vlogs?
Why We’re Still Blogging
Set-up Time – As Simple Vlogging Tips points out, there are several factors that contribute to whether blogging or vlogging is faster. But regardless of how fast we type or whether we edit, the set up time for vlogging is a lot greater. With a blog, we just sit down and start writing. But with a vlog, lighting, sound (or lack there of), background, attire, and props all become considerations. All of this initial setup can take a lot of time which can deter us from starting the process at all. When inspiration strike, we want to get to it, not spend time getting everything ready! Some vlogs don’t worry about these considerations, but that comes with a new set of problems. Each of these considerations can dramatically enhance the quality and, consequently, views of your vlog.
Control – This applies to both creating and consuming content. For many vloggers, editing is minimal so whatever falls out of your mouth is what people will see. This can be incredibly nerve raking and frustrating, especially for new vloggers. Experienced vloggers become better at speaking in front of a camera (or just care less that they stumble on a couple of thoughts), but major slip ups only leave you with two options; serious editing or starting over. Either way you end up adding A LOT of time to the vlog creation process, which sucks. On the consumption front, the major weakness of any video is the fact that it is limited by the linear progression of time. When reading a blog, we can skip forward, go back, skim or reread very easily. In fact, blogs are generally written to accommodate this. Not the case with vlogs. Viewers are bound by the consistent progression of time, and have no way of gleaning information differently or more quickly. I guess there is the option to skip forward or back, but this is a haphazard approach at best as it is very hard to precisely jump to different parts of a video.
Comfort - vlogging is one of the most personal forms of content. For many of us, that’s way too personal. When we blog, we open ourselves up to criticism based on what and how we write. When we vlog, we open ourselves up to criticism that goes far beyond the content, which tends to be more personal and therefore more hurtful. Beyond that, I think many of us are just uncomfortable talking at a camera. Not only do we lack the control discussed above, but it can just seem odd. Personally, I think it’s odd just watching most vlogs. I’m staring at someone talking… You could say that it’s just like having a conversation, but it’s not. In a conversation we interact and respond in real-time. The vlogs that I like involve screen-casts or other elements pulled into the video section instead of me watching you blankly stare into space.
While I’ve outlined the weaknesses I see in vlogs, I also see them as the future of how individuals create content. As technology allows us to create high quality vlogs more quickly, the only barriers left standing will be a more dynamic platform for controlling how we take in the information of vlogs, and getting over our own insecurities (by far the harder of the two).
Why do you think vlog adoption has been relatively slow. Leave a comment or shoot me a tweet @R_Steinbach.
Until next time, see you out there.