Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blogs vs. Vlogs

by Michelle Gagnon

I recently branched out from "adult" novels to young adult, and with that transition has come a major shift in marketing strategy. One of the main differences is that a significant chunk of my book reviews have been done by vloggers: video reviews, in lieu of blog reviews.


I have to confess, I've only seen a handful of these. I don't know if it's a sign of my age, but I'm much more likely to read a blog post than to watch a video review, even if the blog post takes me twice as long to read as a vlog would take to watch. I'm not entirely sure why: I consume plenty of media, heck, I'm as guilty of wasting time on YouTube as anyone. I own an iPad, and watch most of the tv series that I follow on that, rather than on my tv. But for some reason, internally I draw the line at vlogs. Yet apparently that's where the younger audience is.  Many YA authors actually contribute to group vlogs, rather than blogs.

In the interest of full disclosure, I actually attempted to compose a video portion of this entry to show the difference. Three times. And each time, I was more than a little horrified by how it turned out. In my humble opinion, one of the great benefits of my job is that I can sit in the confines of my home in my pajamas, hair unbrushed, face unwashed, and log in a full day of work. Granted, I occasionally frighten the UPS delivery guy, but over time he's learned to squint and focus above my head while I sign for packages.
All I can say is that vloggers are brave souls. Or maybe they're just better about their personal hygiene.
What do you think? Anyone out there prefer a vlog to a blog?

8 comments:

  1. I've had a blog for a while, but in recent times it's fallen flat. So I'm thinking of making a transition to vlogs - I feel it would be a lot more fun, because I've so enjoyed watching other peoples' vlogs. The only problem is that I don't want to lose my current audience by switching ... even if I find a new one.

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    1. Nick--Have you tried tweeting your new posts to drive traffic to you? You can see how effective twitter is on your blog stats.

      Group blogs like TKZ can take time to develop a regular & active audience, but the appeal is daily posting with the work spread out to a number of people. I'm a contributing author here, but I learn a lot from everyone who comments, so regular content is important.

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  2. I've seen these group vlogs. YA Rebels has a good one because YA author Karston Knight is hilarious. His posts are standouts because of his humor, facial expressions, & comedic timing. But a boring vlog can be clicked off. I might skim an article & look ahead to see if someone eventually states something I found interesting, but with a vlog, I'm pretty quick to stop it if it's boring. For the vlogger, it might be easy & fun to produce, much like a film maker creates an entertaining piece. Watch Karston & you'll see the appeal, but most authors couldn't (& shouldn't) do them if they can't pull it off.

    Interesting post, Michelle.

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  3. I prefer my blog, where I have regular followers, but it's interesting to read about how videos appeal more to the younger generation. I'd say writers need a few classes on this technology to get us up to speed. I haven't even done a podcast yet.

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  4. Interesting, Nick- which vlogs do you watch?
    Thanks for the tip, Jordan, I'll be checking it out!

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  5. I'll take reading a blog over viewing a vlog any day of the week. But as someone mentioned above, maybe it's a generational thing.

    I visit blogs that occasionally introduce a vlog, and I usually skip it.

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  6. I've done podcasts, blogs and other stuff but never tried a VLOG. I've been considering it though. I just don't want to do something that will involve a lot of work, but not get enough hits to generate sales.

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  7. As a high school teacher in the states, I have to say that vlogs are a turn off for me personally. I think it's because I can skim the text in a blog article before committing to a full reading. With a vlog, I have to watch the whole thing before I can determine if it's worth my time - which defeats the purpose of making that determination. BTW, this debate shares many of the same features as email versus voicemail. Young people may think it's cooler or more hip to VLOG - so go ahead and target that audience, but I think they'll tire of the choice as they mature. But don't move over to vlogs completely. There will always be teenagers who prefer to read, and thus, blog.

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