I’ve just posted my third vidcast and here’s what I’ve learned so far about the medium.
1. Think small
My first one took me 3 weeks of my time, which thoroughly discouraged me from repeating the process. My second and third took about an hour or two each (between planning, recording, editing and uploading) and that’s really about what it takes me to do a podcast and it’s a much more manageable outlay of time.
Also, in the same vein, I wanted to do HD to begin with and I wanted to do a great deal of geeky transitions and picture-in-picture editing as well. I found that it was just as interesting to film straight and add in some footage about what I was discussing and that HD, at this stage in the ballgame was a little unrealistic for me.
Plus, since the videos need to be seen on YouTube/Google Video, I need to make sure they are still enjoyable, even if seen at a poor resolution (very little on-screen text can be read that way), so the less I mucked around with the vidcast, the better.
2. Promotion means networking
There is a tight-knit community of vloggers out there and they love to embrace new vlogs. However, these guys/gals are highly savvy and you can’t ‘market’ to them if you want to be treated well. You must be a contributing member of their society, and that’s what I hope to become. I’ve been lurking in the videoblogging group on yahoo for 9 months now and I’ve tried to learn as much as I can in that time.
You do have to promote at times, though, so I joined these communities to promote and take part in the vlog world.
1. BlipTV – Free video hosting and is particularly focused on the needs of the videoblogger (not like YouTube). I host my files there and link to them from my videoblog. Were it not for this I would not be able to have a vidcast. This is the file that is downloadable and my RSS feed delivers this ‘rich media’ to vlog-catchers.
2. YouTube – Free video hosting with promotion aimed at the general public. I link to the files on YouTube from my videoblog as well. YouTube’s ownership is too great for many vloggers so they avoid YouTube, but I need to reach the people there so I consider it a trade-off. I’m actually a YouTube director, which sounds cool but it really just means I can add videos of longer than 10 mins and I can customize my profile a little more (still not to the degree of MySpace).
One thing to remember though about YouTube is that just linking to the YouTube file will not allow download via RSS because YouTube’s file is not downloadable, but streams (heh heh, but streams).
3. FireAnt, MeFeedia, VlogDir – I joined these public blog directories. I’m going to spend some time, as I do on YouTube, viewing and commenting on other’s hard work. They’re more likely to check out my work if I have checked out theirs. Blog spammers should take note here. We want to check out your site, but you need to leave more than “me too, check out my site” to get noticed amongst all the chatter. People are more likely to check out your stuff if you leave a great comment (ie thought provoking) on their site.
I also put myself on the vlogmap.
4. MySpace – I also uploaded the videos to MySpace and I sent out my first MySpace bulletin last night (after almost 2 years on the site) letting my friends know I was vidcasting. Not sure if this will be helpful, but I’ve already gotten three comments from acquaintances that they liked the vidcast, so they must have watched it (’cause it is good LOL).
The video encoding and all that is easy, because once you look at it you can tell if it looks good or bad. As I said before I have chosen to settle for less than perfect here. The main thing I really have to do now is get the videos in the correct format for iTunes (mp4) so that I can tackle that market as well.
Hope this was helpful for some of you aspiring vidcasters. I’ll keep you posted on the success of the venture.