Trylon Communications  - September 2005
       

Power of the Vlog

In yet another evolution of media consumption, video blogging, or vlogging, is just beginning to take shape. While not quite as powerful as some proponents proclaim (“The power of a cable news channel in your office!”), there is no doubt that technology and opportunity will bring this new channel into the mainstream.

What was once the tedious and expensive task of broadcasting video segments is now becoming a simple and inexpensive process. Anyone with a video camera, some software and a computer connected to the Internet can post videos online that can be streamed to any computer attached to the Web anywhere in the world.

For example, videoenable.com will host up to 300 videos per month for subscribers that require no special viewers or software to install – for $15 per month. The company offers a technology that will buffer the video to match the viewer’s Internet connection so that the entire video plays seamlessly regardless of connection type.

In addition to the technology platforms, new software has been developed allowing even the most technology-challenged to produce video segments that are presentable, if not broadcast quality. Serious Magic, for example, offers different levels of software that enable amateur video producers to produce everything from a simple personal video message to a multi-camera production complete with green screen and background graphics.

Just as blogs exploded on the scene years ago, expect to see a similar boom in the video blogging field. Pioneers in this area are just beginning to explore the commercial viability of this new medium. Rocketboom.com is one of these pioneers. This group produces a three minute “newscast” that has become very popular, with as many as 50,000 viewers “tuning in” to every episode. The company is considering a low-cost subscription service to generate revenue.

While vlogs graduate from home-video quality to productions such as Rocketboom’s newscasts, consumers will be presented with one more media choice. Just as blogs now compete with newspaper editorials for readership, vlogs will one day challenge cable and broadcast operators for viewers and advertising dollars.