On vlogs

Video blogs, or vlogs, are becoming increasingly popular and if you have a decent following on Twitter/Facebook/etc then you probably also have a YouTube channel from which to pontificate.

Vlogs are great. I get to know you a little better because I can hear your accent, the tone of your voice, and see all the non-verbal facial expressions that add so much to any communication.

But there are several downsides, too.

Video logs are slow - I can read much faster than you can talk. The video log format lends itself to digressions and rambling that are difficult to edit out after the fact, and “umm” doesn’t make for great viewing.

I’d love to see vlogs linked to a blog post that contains the edited voice-to- text content from the video. Most operating systems come bundled with speech- to-text; we have the technology so why not use it.

SEO and keyword-matching is much poorer for audio and video content which makes it hard for me to find your content. YouTube has been trying to solve this for years, but it’s still nowhere near as good as Google’s web indexing.

My final objection is probably a little curmudgeonly, but I find that many video logs are not well-planned. The author flicks on the webcam and rambles for 10 minutes then uploads it. Writing forces self-criticism and refinement helping to organise the thoughts in a clear and concise manner that shows respect for the audience’s time.

Writing is hard and I still suck at it, but I think your vlog would greatly benefit from the additional clarity that text can provide.

Update: Apparently there are a plethora of services available to do this job.