You’ve probably heard of micro blogging, where people type short entries (some less than 140 characters) into services such as Twitter, identi.ca, or even Plurk. It’s easy to type out these short sentences, compared to coming up with 400-word blog posts.
But what about micro videoblogging? And what is the impact of this form of “publishing” in the increasingly connected world of social media?
Micro Videoblogging refers to quickly recording short video clips, and rapidly uploading these clips to the web. This is done usually via webcam capture, where you don’t have to edit the clip anymore.
Sometimes, you find that you have something to say, but it’s too short for a full blown blog entry. Also, it might be too long for a 140-character message in Twitter.
And so, you face your webcam and record a less-than-3-minute video message. That’s micro videoblogging.
You can do it anywhere you have an internet connection. Malls with wifi access help you to record conveniently, particularly when you have a tiny webcam that you can clip on to your laptop’s monitor.
Since these clips are quite short, there’s not enough time to do a pitch or to promote a product. It works best if you use the opportunity to share a story or even a useful quick tip with your visitors. Somehow this approach helps you attract even more visitors to your site, specially those who would rather watch or listen.
Understandably, most of the web visitors are people who prefer to read. They prefer text to audio or video. You can do some test, though, with videos that run for less than two minutes.
The nice thing about micro videoblogging is that your visitors will somehow catch a better glimpse of your world. They’ll sometimes even get to hear the sounds in your environment, say from the barking of the dogs, the explosion of fireworks, or the rackatack-a-tack of the MRT coaches as they hurtle past your location.
And when you’re able to invite and draw your visitors into your world, something magical happens. It’s as if something clicks, and they become compelled to explore the rest of your site, and eventually read the printed things published in your blog.
This turns into a habit (due to your regular micro vlog entries), which leads to higher traffic to your web site. It’s an easy and inexpensive experiment to try, because all you need is an affordable webcam and a free service such as uStream.
One nice feature of uStream is that you can pre-record your vid clips, and then insert come kind of embed code in your blog post that displays your live video or show, or your latest video, or even rotate through the different clips in your video library.
You can also try LiveVideo.com, although we still haven’t figured out how to embed code that automatically rotates through a playlist of your various videos. In addition, the video quality makes it look like you’re someone reporting via microwave satellite from some far-flung location, as you can see in this example.
Please note, however, that at the end of your LiveVideo clip, your viewers might be treated to ads of other LiveVideo shows, which may be of a more “exciting” nature. That’s why the embedded vid on this page uses a much smaller than usual video window.
Another thing to remember about LiveVideo is that when your video ends, if your viewers will click on the vid box, they will be brought out of your site (through a new browser window) and into a web page in the LiveVideo.com site. I prefer YouTube’s style of allowing your viewers to replay the vid without having to leave your blog.
UPDATE: Sorry, had to remove the embedded vid because some of the displayed shows disturbingly clashed with the design of this site, if you know what I mean.
The ability to rapidly upload a quick video is so liberating. You don’t have to obsess over intro/outro music or even compulsive video editing behaviour. You simply say your piece into the webcam, record the whole thing, and within a few minutes you mug is online speaking in what may sometimes be construed as a hilariously dubbed martial arts movie.
YouTube also has a webcam-to-web feature called Quick Capture, but I can’t seem to get it to recognize my installed webcam. The dropdown list won’t even allow me to choose from possible candidates. But that’s all right, since there’s always LiveVideo and uStream.
So, what are you waiting for? Try webcam streaming today, and watch your website traffic soar, thanks to micro videoblogging!
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First Posted: August 10, 2008 | Filed in: Web Traffic