I’ve written a bit about TimesCast, the Roanoke.com vLog. Regular readers know I’m a fan. I haven’t written so much about the DelawareOnline news casts, which really pioneered video news updates from newspapers.
I’ve struggled with finding the language to explain why TimesCast is good, while newspaper efforts to be more TV-news-like is bad. I’ve used words like “more real” and “authentic,” which are really vague concepts.
This morning, doing a little training with one of our editors, it struck me as we bounced between the two videos. TimesCast speaks directly to me (to you, and you, and you, and you). TV news is broadcast and speaks to an audience, the mass of humanity who has access to the particular signal. Vlogs speak to one person, which is as it should be, because the web, and web video, is about one-to-one communication. You are viewing this content — be it vlogs or blogs — on a personal computer. There is more of an implicit sense for the user that this is something on his or her personal machine, not the box in the living room pulling stuff off the airwaves that lots of people are watching simultaneously. When you’re watching a video on the web, you may be, and probably are, the only person in the world watching that exact byte of video at that exact moment.
Video, all web communications, really, works best when it is personal and direct. That’s one reason, blogs continue to grow in popularity.
Here is the essensence of the web: one-to-one communication, even as your drop your content onto a server that can potentially be accessed by billions of people.