Remember when online blogging was the newest thing? Well these days it's all about video blogging, or vlogging, for short. Vloggers (as they're called), make videos on a whole range of topics, offering opinions, streaming content, or simply documenting their lives. Making video blogs has become increasingly popular as vloggers are able to create YouTube channels to easily get their videos out to tons of viewers. For this same reason, it's also a great way to make money for every view your video gets, YouTube pays you a cut of the advertising money. It's a tiny amount per view, but it can add up quickly if you get popular. Some vloggers have become so popular that they now do it as a full time job. Think about it through the simple act of posting videos online, people are making a good living, and becoming famous doing it!
Different Types of Vloggers
There are many different types of vloggers pick almost any topic and it's likely that someone, somewhere has made a vlog about it. Certain categories are more popular than others, of course. Some of these include:
Hair and makeup channels. People on these channels often post advice on how to apply makeup, as well as which brands of makeup and hair products they recommend. Some of these channels have millions of subscribers.
Extreme videos. These channels compile extreme videos and stunts that are entertaining and often appear downright impossible. Sometimes they actually are people who have extensive experience in video editing are known to create fake-effects to get more attention.
Pregnancy. There are channels which offer videos from women who give updates on their pregnancy.
Videogames. These gamer-oriented channels may provide tips, cheats, and advice for how to play. Some may offer their opinions on certain games, and others will simply record themselves playing.
As you can see, most of the content created is geared toward very specific audiences. However, there is another popular category known as daily vlogging. These channels are akin to do-it-yourself reality shows, and cater to a wider audience.
Just like a TV program relies on ratings, vloggers rely on views. More views directly translate to more money, so vloggers must do whatever they can to increase viewership. Thus, daily vloggers have a clear incentive to embellish or fabricate events in their lives to attract attention to their videos. The resulting content is essentially a low-budget reality TV show, and the authenticity of some videos is questionable.
Misleading For Views
One of the best-known cases involved Samuel and Nia, a young married couple who became famous through their YouTube channel. They came under fire last year after posting a video with a pregnancy announcement, followed by a tearful video explaining that Nia had a miscarriage. The videos immediately went viral, and netted the vloggers millions of views. However, not long after being posted, rumors began to swirl that the whole thing was a giant hoax. While nothing was ever definitively proven, the couple's story simply wasn't very convincing (and neither was their acting job). In the end, the strategy backfired the criticism became so intense that they were forced to take a break from making videos.
Childhood On Tape
Daily vlogging can be a great money-maker, but there is another glaring downside to broadcasting your life for the whole world to see it starts to control everything you do. As adults, vloggers can make that choice for themselves. However, children cannot. To reflect on our above example, the biggest victims are the children of Samuel and Nia, who feature heavily in their parents' videos. Instead of playdates and trips to the park, their daily activities revolve around filming videos. It's near-impossible to have a normal childhood when your parents are focused on recording your every move to keep their YouTube audience entertained.
Here to Stay?
Ultimately, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for video blogging. Will it continue to expand and reach wider audiences, or will something else come along and supplant it? Like most forms of entertainment, its continued success depends on the creation of original and exciting content. New channels are being started every day, and viewers are always searching for the next engaging topic or unique perspective. What are your impressions? Do you think vlogging is here to stay? Would you ever consider starting a video blog?
In England we say Get a life
In it's infancy vlogging may seem vapid, but 500 or 1000 years from now excerpts of vlogs may be museum pieces, enlightening future generations of how daily life once was. Do we not now place the most mundane invoices and diary entries from the 1800s under glass, because time has rendered them valuable repositories of humanity ?
After the recent and sudden passing of my mother on Mother's Day this year, I have gone through her belongings and discovered thousands of documents and photos from my grandparents, relatives, military, real estate, marriages, deaths, births, and so much more including our famimy bibles. Like our ancestors who made entries into famimy bibles, this is the way of tracing our ancestry for future generations. Can you imagine in 100 years seeing a descendant view one of our VLOG entries, matching it to physical documents, and realizing their ancestry? It gives one a sense of purpose, belonging, completeness and security in a world of chaos. I'll be beginning VLOGs soon as a series girl that reason. - Rev. R.G. Bannister