I Get It…Kind Of

I’ve long been a proponent of text heavy, lengthy blog posts. There’s something important to me about the ability to be able to tell a story through words. It’s not just a capability to write — almost anyone can write a blog post — it’s the capability to create a scene and an experience that transports the reader to somewhere else. That somewhere else could be a literal somewhere else as is the case with true story telling. However, that somewhere else could also be a different frame of mind, a different person’s life, or a different life experience.

I’ve participated in some blog projects before. I did NaNoWriMo in both 2011 and 2015, I completed Post A Day in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and I’ve written a handful of guest posts for people over the years. One thing I’ve always made an effort to do in my posts is to limit the amount of additional media in my posts. Whether it was pictures, audio, or video, my goal was to let my words do the talking. My identity both as a write and a blogger was, to a pretty significant extent, defined by my ability to enthrall my reader with nothing more than text on a page. I would have (and still do) argue that I have some skill as a writer. If I couldn’t keep the interest of my readers without needing to resort to gimmicks like audio/visual materials, I was failing as a blogger.

Some famous person[1] was likely once misattributed as saying ‘adapt or die’. While such a sentiment most commonly deals with scientific ideas like evolution, it’s true of the blogging world too. If you can’t find a way to catch the interest of an ever-changing, ever-evolving audience, your content is going to become obsolete[2]. While I will, on occasion, write a post that does well without text or video, the majority of what I write goes unnoticed.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of watching videos by Hank and John Green. Most of what I’ve been viewing has been part of their Crash Course series[3], though I’ve occasionally moved over to watching their VlogBrothers channel. It’s worth remembering that what is now this.

Started out as this.

In watching one of the many videos I’ve watched recently[4], it dawned on me that video might well be the way to get out of my blogging rut. I’ve written a total of 3 non-NaNoWriMo posts since late September. Not only is this a depressing fact, it makes me feel lazy. What I’d like to do is a series of short, conversational-like videos, a la VlogBrothers, if only because I think the format is sustainable from a staying motivated to do them standpoint. That said, I know full well that if I try the project by myself, it likely won’t last.

As a result, I’m reaching out to you, people who read this blog. Would anyone be interested in doing such a project with me? We can communicate to work out the details, but the basics of what I’m thinking are as follows.

  • Each person does one video a week
  • Said videos must be less than 4 minutes long — unless their education
  • No set topics per say, though we could certainly use each other’s videos to spur ideas/have some commentary
  • If you also blog, we can share said videos on both this blog and yours. If not, I’ll share my videos here and we can put yours here if you want.

That’s really about all I can think of now. If anyone is interested, please let me know.

9 Comments

  1. I like the concept, but the nature of my job [once I actually begin after training] may limit the scope of permissible topics I can cover. Not to mention, time. I’ll shipping out to training in about a week, so my communications will be limited for a little over a month as well. Fortunately, I will resume blogging after I settle down in my first duty station, thereby easing my way back into the blogosphere. 🙂

    • It’s perfectly fine. I figured I’d bring it to your attention because I think you’d be an interesting person to do the project with (especially with your classical music background and what not, which is an interest of mine). I’m really excited to see you back blogging though. That made my day.

  2. I like this idea. I would definitely be interested in participating. It might help me get out of my rut as well. I’ve been posting pretty regularly, but I’ve felt like I’ve been doing it out of necessity and not out of actually having something to say. I’d be down for giving this a try since I have tried videos before but never really given it 100%. I also like the idea of having them less than 4 minutes long. I’m super long winded, so this could help me with brevity.

    And as far as blogging without video/pictures/other media — it’s a tough thing. I see it from both sides. On one hand, it irritates the piss out of me that so many people just want posts that are a few sentences or a list post with a bunch of photos/gifs. How lazy are we? On the other hand, I think that media is a great way to accentuate your words. I think it’s always good to have a balance.

    • Would you like to talk through potentially helping out on this? I’ve had more interest from people than I thought I would, so I have a couple of different ways in mind that I might go about doing this. I can shoot you an email if you want to talk through it. Just let me know.

      It’s growing on me, though I don’t think I’ll go solely to photo blogging. To me, a photo blog is rarely well done. There are some people who use photo blogs to tell a story, but those are few and far between. More often than not, a photo blog is just Instragram-lite.

  3. I would really, really love this idea. It sounds like a blast. But with work, and life lately, I don’t know that I’d manage to be able to get a video a week.

    As far as media, I don’t know how regularly you follow my posts, but I tend to stay away from a lot of abundant media. If I have images that I feel really go with the post, or a video that is a part of it (such as my review of Jesus>Religion), I’ll do it. I’ve struggled with the adapting thing with that whole ‘make pinnable’ images for each post, because I feel like it takes away from the impact of the post. It’s one thing if I’m writing a silly post about mocking our Council meetings, or video games or something. But it doesn’t sit right with me making a pinnable image about say, the refugee situation or something like that.

    • I don’t use Pinterest — or most social media for that matter — so making a pinnable image be part of my post is something that just doesn’t actively occur to me. I don’t follow most blogs as much as I used to (I really need to get back on that), however I do recall your blog being one that stood out to me as being similar to mine in that specific regard. There are some topics, as you mentioned, that just don’t seem right to add images to. My general philosophy is that if the image helps you to tell your story better, awesome. If it doesn’t, why use it?

  4. […] In my last post, I talked about the idea of potentially doing a vlog series. Here in the near future, Cherie of Modern Yet Nostalgic and I will be doing a vlog series similar to the one I laid out in my previous post. Stop by Cherie’s blog and say hi if you’d like. I’ll be sharing the videos here on my blog, as well as via the YouTube channel we’ll be creating as well. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m pretty excited. […]

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