Videoblogging for the Masses
There’s no question that videoblogging has profoundly impacted our political landscape. Take 2006 for example: You have a macaca moment, a candy shop encounter, a stairway chase, and even a re-enactment (see above). Those are just the videos that occurred to me off the top of my head. What is it about these four amateur web videos that caused them to stick with me for nearly a year?
Stumped? Well, the first one arguably changed the outcome of an election, the second was made by my friend and yours Connecticut Bob, and the last two were made by the one and only spazeboy. In 2006 it seemed that you couldn’t go anywhere without bumping into one of us camcorder-wielding videobloggers. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, though it doesn’t have to be. I believe that if anyone can play guitar, then certainly anyone can videoblog.
I’ve written a beginner’s guide called “Spazeboy’s Guide to Political Videoblogging” that despite its boring little title is actual the culmination of quite a bit of work–all undertaken in the hope that 2008 will truly be the year of the videoblogger.
Videoblogging is not all glitz and glamour, however, because it’ll never get you Person of the Year again. For every video that gets 100,000 plays at YouTube, there are thousands that get fewer than 100. Videoblogging can be time-consuming and requires showing up early. Videoblogging takes practice. But it’s all worth it, because videoblogging is part of what I’ll describe as the “new” public record.
When you show up at a press conference for your favorite candidate with your video camera, it doesn’t matter so much what makes the evening news. Back on July 20, 2006 I brought my camcorder to a press conference where Ned Lamont was going to unveil his health care plan. Hours earlier, the latest poll numbers were released and Lamont was up by 13 percentage points. No TV/video media outlet that attended the press conference mentioned the health care plan–except for me. I didn’t follow the shiny red bouncing ball, and I didn’t have to keep my video under 30 seconds.
Or back on October 6, 2006 when Connecticut Bob encountered Joe Lieberman at a campaign stop. Bob began to ask Joe a question about his characterizing the calls for Dennis Hastert’s resignation as house speaker as a “partisan frenzy” when Joe interrupted, insisting that “Ned Lamont said that…” At this point in Bob’s video, he cuts in a few seconds of video from the day before where Joe characterizes the call for Dennis Hastert’s resignation as house speaker as a “partisan frenzy.”
The point that I hope these brief stories from 2006 in Connecticut make is that without videobloggers, the whole story often does not get told. It’s up to us bloggers on the left to make sure that our side of the story gets a platform. So I encourage you to take a look at my humble guide to videoblogging. It is complete in it’s current form (I just published it today!), yet still very much a work in progress. Did I mention that I greatly value the feedback of this community–I’m counting on you guys to tell me if it sucks. Here is a look at the table of contents:
- Why Videoblog?
- What You Need Before You Film Anything
- The Event
- After the Event
- Uploading and Sharing
- Other Guides, Tutorials, and Resources
- Thanks and Acknowledgments
I’ll be hanging around in the comments on this thread, answering questions and enjoying my time with my FDL friends. If you haven’t already looked me up on Facebook or joined the Firedoglake group there, now’s as good a time as any.