I'm a bit late writing this, but life happens. I've been busy preparing for my part in my brother's wedding that takes place this weekend.
I definitely feel like I'm making progress in tightening up my videos and making them more engaging. It's slowly becoming less and less a stream-of-consciousness deal and (slightly) more produced. I feel OK with this, as I already have a podcast with that creative philosophy. I feel the need to have a free-flowing content platform is being met, so giving this channel a narrower scope makes sense.
So I've taken to create a more drilled-down outline and separating each point while I record. I find that I'm able to give the details a little more focus, and hopefully make each one more engaging. The only aspects of it that are fully scripted are the intro & outro, the rest of it is still pretty off-the-cuff. I'm still not quite sure where that balance lies.
I'm going to start a live streaming series called Ryan Learns to Code, in which I go through a tutorial on a language or framework & build something. I'm not sure how often I'll do it, but I've gotten more views on a live stream test than most of my videos. I think doing regular live streams would foster more community growth, so we'll see how that goes.
You can find my Freelance Journey Vlog Series here.
In terms of the actual production, I treated this like a travel vlog, in that I did intro -> b-roll -> short update -> b-roll -> summary. This was my first hackathon, so I wasn't sure what kind of format to go with. So I went with one that allowed me the most flexibility. Now that I've been through it & generally know what to expect, I would probably go with the same format, but I can't say that I won't go with something different.
I was also really caught-up in the event, and being a newbie to the community, I didn't want to burn bridges with the other developers before I had a chance to build them. Even while I was there, I thought of better b-roll shots than what I took, but they would require more equipment than I felt other people would be comfortable with. Even though vlogs are more commonplace now, and less people are weirded-out by others documenting their experiences, a lot of people aren't comfortable with someone else posting their faces and/or voice on the Internet. As I get more & more integrated with the developer community, my approach to vlogging at a hackathon may change.
You can watch the vlog on my YouTube channel here.
With this one, I felt like I made some progress toward a tighter presentation. I still have my "um's" and some spots where I have a thinking pause, but I've started a couple mitigating techniques. I've started using an outline for each video. I've progressed beyond the "can I do this regularly" stage, and now I'm at the point of coming up with a plan that still maintains a degree of "I'm making this up as I go along."
For me, it's important that I keep an off-the-cuff, stream-of-conciousness aspect to what I produce. So much of the media that we consume is so produced that it doesn't come off as authentic, it has this "approved by executives in suits" stink to it. I think that's part of what's so screwed up in the U.S., so many people are alienated & stigmatized as a result of how ideas are presented in the mainstream media. That's why I'm grateful that YouTube exists, it allows for this nuanced & authentic expression and is closer to a meritocracy.
I definitely started this vlog series with a live-to-tape philosophy, which has worked well for the podcast, but this is a different medium. So I'm working on finding a balance between scripted content & off-the-cuff, because there's definitely merit to both.
You can find my Freelance Journey Vlog Series right here.
I feel that I have to acknowledge that this is the first post YouTube transition video. I feel like I'm moving into a new phase of my development as a video content creator. I definitely didn't plan to make the 20th of this series match this stage of development, it just happened that way. I don't really have an over-arching plan for this series, it's more for me than anything.
I started this just to document what I'm going through so I can re-visit later to track progress & make sure I keep moving forward. However, this kind of change can't be done in a vacuum. What I think needs to be done in this journey may be completely wrong, so I need to let other voices into the conversation to give me some perspective.
That's where making these videos publicly available comes in. I started at Vimeo due to my wariness of YouTube's control over what can/can't be seen. I didn't want the anxiety of "what do I need to do/say to keep these videos online" entering into my mind during that stage of development. I have no issues with Vimeo's hosting service, it gave some people a chance to watch me work through that stage & provide feedback. However, it was very much a 1-to-1 deal; if you saw those videos, there's a really good chance that you got the URL from me directly.
That's when I started looking at YouTube. I took a lot of time and researched the elements of their guidelines & system, and I don't feel that I have much to worry about. It's highly unlikely that an AI program or person would find my titles & descriptions spammy or click-batey, and I don't see how the content I'm putting out would violate their reasonable community guidelines.
I think that I can sum-up the reason behind my wariness with this: "if it bleeds, it leads." The story of some YouTube creator getting their videos taken down for an ambiguous reason sounds intriguing, and it feeds on this anti-corporation affectation. So I'm excited to see what this new phase will bring & where I go from here.
The entire series can be found here.
I produced this concurrently with the "How I Got Started Vlogging" video, so it's difficult to distinguish which lessons are isolated to this particular video. As I mention in this video, YouTube will be my primary content distribution platform going forward. I'm at the point where I'm ready to move beyond press-record-then-talk-then-stop-recording. It takes more than that to create an engaging video that holds people's attention.
I'm seeing the spots where I need some structure to bring people in & say "hey, this is what this video series is about," as opposed to just record & upload it without considering how a new person may see it. That's not to say that I can't be off-the-cuff in some aspects of producing the content, but I have to be more purposeful in how it's used. While people are looking for more authenticity, having a structure does make it a bit more digestible. Every comic is somebody's first comic.
I also need to work on my wrap-up to make it integrate with the end cards better, especially when it comes to timing. I'm sure there are other tweaks that will help in discoverability, sharing, and engagement, but that's more about working within best practices of the platform. I have a feeling that I still need to work on making the content itself more engaging, which would be applicable regardless of how the platform operated.
You can find the entire series here.
After reviewing the video, I can tell that I'm getting tighter. I am still forgetting some details that could add more color to the story, but I don't think that it's anything critical. However, what I see as "important" in carrying an engaging story may be flawed. I will have to come up with some kind of workflow that limits the number of details that I leave out, and then figure it out with editing.
In this video, I wanted to share my experience of an introvert starting out vlogging. I don't know if another introvert will benefit from learning the steps I took, or if any of them will use it as a springboard into vlogging. For all I know, what I did was totally normal & every single other introvert on this planet knows what I did and vlogging right now...but I doubt it.
I also talked about the technological progressions in a way that tied it to the growth of my confidence. Honestly, I'm not working with very expensive equipment. I've seen non-pro vloggers using cameras that cost more than all of my equipment put together. So I wanted to show that you don't need to spend $500+ on a DSLR, hundreds more on a microphone & tripod to start vlogging; I wanted to show that vlogging is more accessible than that, you can start with your smartphone & work from there.
You can watch this video by going here.