Wednesday, August 23, 2006

10 Steps to a Videoblog

Thanks to all who subscribed to or commented on my blog yesterday - Blogs of Note has quite an audience! In response to those who asked how I made that last video, here are the 10 steps I take to videoblog quickly:

0. Practice. The best system in the world won't help you if you aren't ready to perform. Focus on the content. This will save you when it comes to Step 4.

Apple iSight 1. Record. Make a few rough takes and just keep the camera rolling. I prefer the Apple iSight with its built in mic and I don't get hung up on the quality (e.g. the Vote John Kerry song).

2. Review. Go back over your takes and choose the one that makes you cringe the least.

3. Refine. Keep the best take, but do one more, just in case you've learned something during review.

4. Edit. Take the best part of the best take and cut it down to a manageable size. Avoid putting multiple videos in one post. If neccessary, spend some time in iMovie splicing together some clips.

5. Compress. I use an old copy of Sorenson Squeeze that I got while working on the Flash Video Kit for Dreamweaver. Pay close attention to your settings so that you get a high quality MP3 encoding as well as fair quality video encoding. Some services like Google Video or YouTube will do this for you, but I prefer a little quality control so I do my own compression. If neccessary, shrink the aspect ratio (generally no smaller than 320x240).

6. Preview. I usually check it out on my local disk before publishing, cause putting can take a while and no one wants to wait twice for an upload.

DreamHost Rules 7. Put. I use WebDAV via DreamHost to drag and drop my video files to a standard location, and OS X rewards me with a sweet little "ding" when I'm done. This way, I can reuse all of the player code from another post, changing only the name of the file.

8. Blog. Add relevant links and remember that Bloglines and some other readers won't pick up the fact that you've got Flash video in there.

9. Iterate. Check out what you've published on various browsers, make little tweaks, and generally iterate on the blog post. I regularly add or remove links to make it more readable / viewable over time.

Now some of you might say, "Flash video does not a videoblog make." Yes, it's true that if you publish in Quicktime you have a chance of showing up on iTunes as a videoblog. The tradeoff there is that not everyone can view Quicktime, and let's face it, Flash is so hot right now!

One day, a standard for Flash "vlogging" will emerge, and yours truly will be all over it. Meantime, enjoy the plethora of great content out there for the 98% of the world with Flash installed.


mec4040 said...

Found your blog by luck...great site. Your post on videoblog was helpful and lookforward to adding mine very soon.

Will check back often...keep up the great job!


dominique/dominika said...

Thanks to explain it, but I must get first a video-camera.

perle de rosée said...

Thank you to explain it, but I must buy before a video camera.

Preservation said...

I'm so pleased to find all this in one spot....thanks for the pointers!