‘Vlogging’ combines videos, blogs to connect users in newer ways

By Brittany Abeijon

Many people across the world participate in blogging, a web log that acts as an Internet journal. But with media continuously being upgraded, vlogging, or video blogging, is causing many Internet media users to publicly display their own lives in a more powerful and personal way.

Nick Schmidt, 28, a frequent vlogger, teaches a group vlogging class at the Apple Store located inside the Illini Media Building, 512 E. Green St. Participating in a group class costs $15 an hour. Each participant creates his or her own video blog by the end of the class.

“To begin videoblogging, a basic digital camera would work,” Schmidt said. “Even your cell phone could work.”

Because of Schmidt’s active video blogging usage, he has been recognized by major television networks such as MTV and VH1, which both asked him to create video blogs consisting of “confessional” style video clips.

“With Web sites such as YouTube, your computer starts to become your TV,” Schmidt said.

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Schmidt is debuting his current project today at www.projectelliott.com, a new job search engine with a more professional and advanced social networking community.

Another vlogger, Josh Leo, 23, works as a professional English-language radio producer, writer and voice-talent for the world-syndicated radio program, “Spotlight.”

He began blogging simply to keep in touch with his friends and family but has since created his own personal vlogging Web site.

“There is no typical vlog,” Leo said. “They can be experimental videos, personal diary videos, shows about specific topics, fancy production, amateur production, everything.”

Leo said the future success of vlogging is difficult to predict, but said the concept acts much like magazines by catering to smaller audiences.

Video blogs will provide content to those who feel neglected by traditional media like newspapers, Leo added.

Sunny Gault, 29, an Internet television producer and host, admires vlogging because of the direct connection that opens doors for global communication.

Most recently, candidates for the 2008 presidential election are trying to establish a more personal connection with potential voters through the help of a videoblog.

“It’s much more powerful to see them talking directly to their constituents instead of having everything passed down through the media,” Gault said. “I do believe the idea of ‘Internet television’ will be far more popular than blogging.”

Jay Dedman, 33, and Ryan Hudson, 27, consider themselves videobloggers, and began in 2004 while they were working together for a television network in Manhattan, N.Y.

They found it extremely difficult to get any ideas onto the screen.

Once they realized they could publish videos easily online, they formed a mailing list to teach others what they knew and an active community formed.

“Imagine when you can sit down at your computer and find out about the world through little videos made by people in places you’ll never visit,” Hudson said.

“Imagine that you can then have conversations about that video with people you may never meet. Imagine when you can contact the person who made the video directly. Imagine how much clearer the world may be,” he said.