What is a videoblog?

Excerpted from Richard BF’s post:
As you can see, the lines between various definitions are blurred, and in many cases are either contradictory or redundant. They span from big media’s interpretation that everything is a videoblog, through to Adrian Miles, who says vogging is a very specific form of hyperlinked media content, and everyone in between who has their own definition.

For every definition, there’s the tendency to virally include other examples. Is this a videoblog, is that a videoblog, “but that means this videoblog must also be a videoblog”… and in the same way that the lines between genres are blurred so are those of my definition of videoblog.

There are some videoblogs which fall outside of my definition, which probably are videoblogs, and some which fall inside my definition which probably aren’t. Where we cannot objectively draw the line, I’m suggesting that we subjectively draw instead upon the spirit of videoblogging:

Individuals creating personal media of a new genre and form, not being controlled by big media, and not simply reproducing that which is traditional in big media, such as television and movies.

So, for the sake of a definition, this is roughly what I think a videoblog is:

Short, personal, not for profit, mostly non-fictional, video on the web. Snapshots of life.

The last part is important. Last year I tried to popularise the term instant videoblogging. The idea being that videoblogs are created on a whim, not preplanned, just snapshots of life. I still believe this to be an important aspect of videoblogging.

Comments Closed – Read and comment on the original post.


Connected Thoughts

I’m really enjoying my new template. The previous one was very single-video-focused and didn’t encourage me to write anything unless I had a video to go with it. What works about a more traditional blog-like setup is that you can quickly see everything I’ve posted recently. So this new (and old) setup is, I think, why this post occurred to me while I was running this morning.

What started it off was I was that I was listening to the band Swans and trying to recreate the train of though that had me remember them last night. If you’re unfamiliar with them, they’re a band from the 80s (and 90s apparently) that, from what I remember, were fans of droning atonal noisefests. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but you know, how much of that can you take after age 30? Anyway in 1988 they did a fabulous cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and then followed that up with a beautiful and haunting album “The Burning World.” They had discovered songs and melodies and were really good at it. Of course I have no idea what happened to that CD. Thinking back, I can even picture holding it and looking at the cover art. So the first thing I did was check iTunes to see if they had it (they didn’t). If they had, I would have gladly plunked down 10 bucks to download it right then. Next I searched Amazon and only found used import copies for $45! Um, I don’t think so. Then I went to their website where I found the rare, signed, out of print CD for $200!!! Get the fuck out – I have a mortgage to pay. So I fired up Limewire and started hunting. About 90 minutes later I had the “Love Will Tear Us Apart” single and 9 of 10 songs from “The Burning World” on my iPod (I’m missing track 8, “Jane Mary, cry one more tear”). Come on people, get with the program! Go read “The Long Tail.” Digital products exist in a world of infinite shelf space and infinite distribution – there are sales to be had down there in the tail.

While you’re at it, get Robert Scoble and Shel Israel‘s book, “Naked Conversations” (Amazon usually has them paired up with The Long Tail). Then when you finish reading it you can write a little blurb about it and link to them like I did and maybe you’ll get some return traffic to your blog if they link back to you. At the very least it’ll be fun to distract Scoble so maybe he won’t post 14 freakin’ times in one day (I can’t keep up with that).

Anyway, once he compared Daniel Liss and me to flowers and just yesterday I was chatting with Daniel for a moment because he saw that my iChat away message said I was listening to Liz Phair’s song “Fuck and Run” just like I am right now. Daniel once wrote a screenplay based on the song. Maybe one day he’ll get the money to make that film the same way he got the money for Seven Maps. I’d go see it – I’ll watch anything he makes.

I’ll also read anything Kathy Sierra tells me to. I love her blog, Creating Passionate Users! I try to incorporate what she teaches over there into things like our book and the next version of Freevlog that’s in the works. Hell, I bought “Head First Design Patterns” even though I don’t know anything about programming Java. It’s a great example of how to teach. Anyway, a book that she always talks about is “Flow,” which I’m currently about half way done reading. It’s pretty good and actually reminds me a lot of some of the material in Landmark’s Wisdom Course.

So this about where my run ended and I was fully present to the flow of my thoughts and to being connected to my body and the world and I though I should continue on with putting this all down as a blog post. And I thought that the connection between all of these thoughts was just the idea of how we move from one idea to the next. Which reminded me of my drive up to Austin for BarCampTexas. On the way, for a moment I thought to myself “it’ll be cool to see Eric Rice again” but then I remembered that he’s in Silicon Valley and I only connect him with Austin because I’ve seen him at SXSW the last two years in a row. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll connect with him later on today when we’re both on his island Slackstreet in Second Life.

BarCampTexas Wrapup

I had a great time at BarCampTexas yesterday. I met some cool people and I’m thinking about organizing a San Antonio BarCamp. Maybe that can be something combined with a NODE101 event. I did a short presentation about raising money for small projects where I showed Have Money Will Vlog and talked up the PledgeDrive plugin that Devlon is finishing up. The hightlight for me was Matt Mullenweg’s presentation about using WordPress as development platform. For example, if you needed a unified user and login system to use across a number of web apps, you could use that feature in WordPress without actually having a blog. Cool stuff. Also, while he was talking about WordPress.com I went back over there and saw that they’ve really added a lot of great features since I first checked it out. As soon as they work out some stuff with Blip.tv you’ll be able to easily set up a free videoblog using just Blip and WordPress. Look for screencasts in upcoming revision of Freevlog that Ryanne and I are working on right now.

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Lauren Hits Double Digits

Birthday week continues at the Verdi house as Lauren turns 10 today. So here are a few cool Lauren videos to celebrate: “Put Down The Camera” was from her trip to New Jersey; “Hello” is a few seconds from Christmas; Lauren was a “Computer Genius” and had mastered that old Performa by 15 months; “Show Me Your…” is everyone’s favorite game. And by popular request I dug through the VHS tapes for the “Teletubbies” video. Sadly, that old VHS camera didn’t always record sound so I had to improvise a soundtrack.

And don’t forget these Lauren videos:
Interview – 8 years old [first video on my videoblog]
What Do You Love About Your Life?
Mustang Island

Happy Birthday Lauren. I love you.

I Have A Teenager

Dylan turns 13 today. Man that goes by fast. Here’s 4 of my favorite Dylan videos: “Lo-Wen” is from the day she got to meet Lauren for the first time; “Foo Fighters” were Dylan’s favorite band when she was 3; “Wow!” Dylan loved the videocamera way back when she was a baby; and “The Spatula” needs a little explanation. When Dylan was a baby the sight of my Dad would make her start screaming. This went on until she was about 2 years old. Here she’s just woken up from a nap and she looks pretty happy until she realizes that he’s right in front of her.

Happy Birthday Dylan! Enjoy.


When I was 11 years old I read Starlog magazine religiously. The first issue that I bought had a story on the matte painter for Star Wars. I was completely blown away. That was the first time I’d seen how any kind of special effect was done. Soon I was breaking apart all the model cars and airplanes that I’d built so that I could fashion my own miniature spaceships for my science fiction epic. At some point I remember thinking it would probably be easier and certainly cheaper to make an animated sci-fi film. Then you wouldn’t need giant sound stages or elaborate alien costumes. You could just do anything that you could dream up. But once I broke out the calculator and realized how many drawings I’d need to make a movie (129,600 for 90 minutes!!) I totally gave up on that and went back to flipbooks.

Now, 28 years later, I have Second Life and Final Cut Studio and I’m beside myself with how much fucking fun it is to create my “robot movies.” I wrote the script for this episode last week and I was going to wait until my MacBook Pro came back from being repaired (one of the fans stopped working) but looking at the storyboard it looked simple enough for my old computer to handle. So I dove in and stared working. Once I got started I couldn’t stop and ended up pulling an all-nighter. I’m so excited about how this came out. I love all my visual and sound effects and for once I think the story I wrote is good. I’ve probably watched this video 10 times since I posted it.

And that brings me back to videoblogging and art in general and how satisfying it is to do something just for the love of doing it. I know this video (or any video on this site for that matter) is not for everyone but that’s not the motivation. This goes way back for me.

BTW, Aren and Lifal have there own videoblog –> When We Were Robots