Small is beautiful to iPod 'vloggers'

On Blogs

October 23, 2005|By TROY MCCULLOUGH

The video blogs are coming to an iPod near you. With Apple releasing its video-enabled version of its music player to much fanfare and allowing customers to easily download free Web content, it's no surprise that bloggers who prefer video to words are abuzz over the possibilities.

"This is bound to change the landscape of how people watch video, and what kind of video they will be able to watch," writes Jonny Goldstein on "We Are the Media" (wearethemedia.com), a news outlet for video bloggers, or vloggers as they're coming to be known.

You don't need a video iPod to view a video blog - any computer with a high-speed Internet connection will work -but the bite-sized clips featured on most vlogs are a perfect fit for the small screen.

And with a wealth of content available, vlogging appears ready for the masses.

One of the most popular is "Rocket Boom" (rocketboom.com/vlog/), a daily three-minute report from New Yorker Amanda Congdon featuring news, commentary and highlights of quirky Internet culture. In a recent installment, Congdon reported on a Web site with sound-effects to get annoying callers off the phone (sorrygottago. com) and a campaign to elect Mac Gyver as president in 2008 (special farm.net/macgyver2008.html).

"Scratch Video" (scratchvideo.tv/ scratch/) is the side project of a New York City documentary filmmaker who goes by Scratch. Her video clips resemble small-scale independent films - interesting, bizarre, esoteric and artistic.

"29fragiledays" (29fragiledays.blog spot.com), another site with an arthouse feel, features what the site's creator calls "micro documentaries and extended moments." You'll be amazed at what a person can do with the barest of digital video resources.

"Travelvlog" (travelvlog.blogspot. com), one traveler's attempt "to show that with a little care and creativity travel videos need not be painful to watch," recently featured a quiet tour of the oldest building in Tibet and a funny clip about getting not-so-simple directions to the nearest restroom.

"The RAD blog" (theradblog.typepad. com/theradblog), another travel blog with little patience for boring vacation videos, recently featured a high-speed test drive of a Porsche on the Autobahn.

On Aug. 11, Canadian Anne Walk used her vlog "No Pra c t i c e" (nopractice.blogspot.com) to document a biopsy on a lump on her neck.("What you're feeling is a little bit of pressure," the doctor says as he rams a giant needle back and forth in her neck. "No, I'm feeling stabby!" Walk moans.) Walk also recorded her meeting with the doctor on Sept. 8 where she received her test results.

Religion, too, has found video blogging. "Brookside Baptist Church" (brooksidebaptist.org/vodcastinfo) in Brookfield, Wis., recently began posting its pastor's sermons on its site.

But the biggest winner over the release of the video iPod might be porn.

"Anybody that's got a video iPod is probably going to want to have a couple of porn clips on there, just to have," Mark Kernes, a senior editor at the Adult Video News trade magazine, told Reuters.

There is no shortage of vloggers dabbling in erotic video, but you'll have to find them on your own.

troy.mccullough@baltsun.com

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