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vlog (video blog)

A vlog (or video blog) is a blog that contains video content. The small, but growing, segment of the blogosphere devoted to vlogs is sometimes referred to as the vlogosphere.

Some bloggers have included video content for years. However, vlogging is becoming more common as equipment becomes cheaper and supporting software and hosting and aggregation sites become more prevalent. Both Yahoo and Google feature video sections and many MP3 players, such as the hugely popular iPod , support video.

Anyone with access to a video-capable camera and a relatively recent computer with a high-speed connection can create a vlog and publish and distribute it online. Here's how:

  1. Make your video and save it as a file on your computer. You can use easily available software, such as Windows Movie Maker, QuickTime or iMovie (for Apple systems).
  2. Compress your video file. Movie Maker, iMovie, Avid Free DV and Final Cut Pro are among the programs you can use to do this.
  3. Set up a blog. Feedburner and Blogger.com are popular blog hosting sites.
  4. Make a screen capture of an image from your video to display in your blog.
  5. Get your actual video content published online. Internet Archive, BlipTV and OurMedia are free hosting services.
  6. Create your blog entry. Add the image and link to your video.
  7. Get an RSS feed with enclosures and publish your blog at Feedburner or a similar site.

The vlogosphere is a very democratic arena. Unlike mainstream media, such as television or commercial Web sites, vlogs are not, for the most part, created to make money. As a result, vloggers are free to make their content about whatever they desire, no matter how controversial or esoteric the topic. Vlogging gives average citizens an audience and a chance to make their voices heard.

In a BBC News article called "The year of the digital citizen," Jo Twist discusses the potential of vlogging and podcasting to provide a venue for public discourse: "The changing nature of news offers a diversity of voices, sources, and choice... and lets anyone join in global and local conversations."

Vlogs are often distributed through RSS feed s. Video content distributed in this way is sometimes called a vodcast or a vidcast.

This was last updated in April 2006

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