The world of video blogging

Today in class, Steve Garfield, a Boston based video blogger, came to speak with us about the world of video journalism. He began with two important pieces of advice: keep it simple, and own your own name on the web. He emphasized how important it is that you are Joe Smith on Twitter, Facebook, and at http://www.JoeSmith.com and joesmith.wordpress.com. Simplicity allows people to remember you

Garfield began video blogging on January of 2004 and since, his self-shot footage has been featured on CNN and the BBC. He’s covered everything from new cars to election day in Massachusetts, sometimes using only his iPhone and Qik, a site that allows you to live stream video for free.  Qik allows Garfield to link his Twitter and YouTube accounts directly to his iPhone application – the application updates his twitter followers about the stream going live and posts the completed video to YouTube.

Garfield goes on assignment as a one man team – he is responsible for shooting and editing everything and he has developed a method for working alone. He lets the camera roll, even when things don’t necessarily go according to plan. These changes often improve his story, as shown in this example.

Garfield also works hard to pay attention to what is being told to him during interviews so he can go back and shoot the appropriate footage. In the example above, he noted how after his subject spoke to him about the roof of the car and the aluminum steering wheel, he went back into the car to shoot that footage.

Along those same lines, he emphasized the importance of being more than just a talking head – make sure that you’re doing something more than just sitting in front of your webcam. Garfield’s video posts weren’t picked up by CNN because he had brilliant commentary or great video quality, but because he was doing something – walking around a voting place during an election day, recording him & his wife eating dinner on a night of the debates during the presidential elections – actions that set him apart from the every day video blogger.

Garfield emphasized that being able to make money off of the thing you love takes time. But investing time into something, even if you’re doing it for free, can often pay off in the long run, as it has for him.

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February 9, 2010. Class Posts.

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