Topic, Tone, and Audience
The huge variety of videoblogs is part of what makes the vlogoshere so endlessly fascinating. People enjoy all kinds of vlogs. Your mission, first and foremost, is to create a
that showcases your
. The magic of the Internet and videoblogs is that your audience will eventually find you.
Choosing a Topic
The standard advice to beginning writers is to write about what you know. That's a good suggestion for
, too, and helps explain why personal videoblogs are so popular. After all, we're all experts about our own lives. Does the idea of sharing your life sound like fun? If you'd love to show the highlights (or lowlights) of a vacation or produce a clip of your pet's antics in the park, an autobiographical vlog may be right for you. Think about shooting a day in your own life as the first video for your vlog.
If a day-in-the-life approach is not appealing, ask yourself a few questions. What are you an expert on or what are you
about? Perhaps you collect Japanese Manga comics or a specific kind of pottery. Maybe you're a novice gardener who loves orchids and wants to use a vlog to record your progress with them. You can build a videoblog around virtually any personal interest or skill. What's the story you want to tell? Think of a topic right now you'd like to share in your first vlog.
Setting the Tone
Once you decide on a topic, it's time to think about approach and tone. Your tone will depend on whichever part of your personality you choose to show in your video. Are you exhibiting the professional, expert side in an educational video? Are you being
in a political
video? Are you feeling poetic, comic,
choose to mix up the tone on their videoblogs by switching from one approach to another, reflecting how varied they are as people. Many switch from serious to artistic, depending on their mood and the idea behind a video. One video might be a scathing editorial on current events, the
could be a
moment recorded at random. Your tone is a reflection of your personality, just as the vlog you create is an extension of who you are.
Knowing Your Audience
Another critical part of creating a vlog is figuring out who you're speaking to and how to reach them. Is it just your family and
? Or is it a specific target
such as twenty-somethings, political junkies,
, or marketers? Thinking about your intended audience will help you set the tone of your vlog. You don't want to make many in-jokes if you hope to reach a large number of people who don't already know you and understand the jokes. But if your target audience is just your college
, then you can be as much of an insider as you'd like.
Vlogging is a public act, and yet one of the wonders of vlogging is that no matter how
you target a particular audience in creating and posting video, that audience may fail to show up. On the other hand, an entirely unexpected group may drop by to enjoy the show. In short, you can never predict exactly who will love your
. Birdwatcher Alan Larson, for example, created a vlog for bird watchers that uses terms tailored to that audience (
). But Alan's BirdCam Blog, is so beautiful and unusual that it has attracted a much broader audience than Alan originally imagined,
to professional videographers to little
Figure 2.10. A video of affectionate cardinals feeding each other
is one of the pleasures of Alan's BirdCam Blog http://birdcamblog.
You will never know from day to day exactly who is watching your videoblog. You might educate a few people on a favorite topic or draw an audience of hundreds, even thousands. Fuel your videoblog with
and, eventually, your audience will find you.