Video Blogging: a best practice

As a reader, I don’t usually care for video blog posts. The Internet is huge, so I tend to skim the surface of any blog post to see if I really want to read it. This is something you can’t do with most video blogs. And that is because most bloggers don’t add video correctly.

A post that is nothing but the video is useless to me. I am not going to blindly start a video and devote both my auditory and visual attention to it unless I know it’s a good use of my two minutes (often touted as a best-practice length for online videos) or more.

News outlets were among the first to figure out the solution. A transcript along with the video gives us the chance to skim. A transcript allows for good keyword-rich content that will be good for SEO. Furthermore, it allows readers to find the content when searching.

For my particular reading/learning style, I found the example here to be even better.

video blog by Brian Wong with annotated highlights

He does make one mistake, in my opinion: there is a popup asking readers to share an email address. I find them annoying even when all I have to do is close the box. Trust me, if the writing is good and the topics are compelling, I’ll click a link below the story or in the sidebar to sign up for the newsletter or RSS feed.

One more suggestion for anyone getting into video blogging or screen casting. Do your best to keep the focal point in the top 3/4 of the screen. When we watch videos online, the popup ads along the bottom are easy to ignore unless they are covering what we need to see. (…and I never pay attention to these advertised products and services. I only hit the close X.)