February 14th, 2008 Richard
In May of 2005 I was searching for shows/movies/videos made by independent producers on the web. I figured there had to be something interesting out there, and it took a surprisingly long time to find anything. (This was long before youtube – 9 months – 100 web years ). Finally, I stumbled upon a community that called themselves video bloggers. They had even hosted a conference called Vloggercon near the beginning of 2005. Videos of every talk were on line and I watched them all. Although my goal was just to find something interesting to watch, I quickly got drawn into the interactive nature of the community, which was at it’s core. I used a wonderful site, created by Ryanne Hodson and Michael Verdi, called freevlog, and I was strangely compelled to create silly videos of my own. I found out quickly that this community was different from anything I had experienced before. I sent an email to a freevlog help address and ended up exchanging a number of emails with Ryanne’s partner (and sort of the father of video blogging to me) Jay Dedman, who seemed very motivated to help me video blog. Although Jay was a “big wig” in the vlog community to me, this was clearly different than what I was used to. “Stars” smile and sign autographs and say nice stuff, but the idea of all the existing video bloggers at the time was to help everyone to be a “star”, which is why the word “star” is in quotes, because, of course, there were no stars here, but people communicating in new and interesting ways. When you’re a “star” you need an audience to watch you. When you’re a member of a community, you want other members like yourself to participate. This is the best of the web experience to me – community, support, and rich media distributed widely.
So I made a video blog, called it the Richard Show, posted a short video of a racoon eating from a birdfeeder, called it “ozarks birdfeeder“, and posted it. Within a day, several people, including Steve Garfield, who was – in many way – the first video blogger, commented on the video. On my second video, Amanda Congdon, the original host of Rocketboom – clearly an internet celebrity – commented, and, eventually became good friends with my wife and me. For my part, I was following many of the vloggers who were following me, commenting, and participating actively in the vlog group list. I haven’t slowed down too much since.
I presented a “creative research presentation” at the Association for Internet Researchers meeting this October in the form of a 15 minute video on the (my) history of video blogging, that sort of sums up my experience, and my take on this phenomenon so far.
Posted in personal media, vlog, web and new media | No Comments »