Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video Killed The Blog Writing Star

Maybe not the way it killed the radio star, but it feels close enough sometimes.

First off, I'd better say that I'm not as upset or jealous as this may make it sound. I am, a little bit, of course. But that's only natural. It's how the human mind works.

Another way the human mind works is to like seeing images, pictures of things, especially moving ones that have sound associated, which is exactly what video is. So, naturally, people who do video work in one way or another on the Web are going to be more successful than those of us who do not. Can't really fault them for that, and quite a few of them actually deserve their success.

But then there are those of us who just don't have the ability to do video, even with all the technology available to help with that. I don't really consider myself flawed in that way. I'm just not very good at video, and maybe I was never meant to be. The thing I do well is write, according to most of the people who tell me what they think of my work.

The thing about being a writer, as I found myself remembering as I worked on a piece of fan fiction recently, is that this is not an easy thing to do, especially if one is working on fiction. Don't get me wrong, video work is hard, too. Just as hard as writing, I'd say, from my experience with it in high school..

It's no easy task making words on paper, or in the modern context, on the screen look presentable and get the intended message across. It takes a fair bit of planning to come up with not only the message, but also the best way of presenting that message to get people to read it. To make things more difficult, at least in my case, is that I will more than likely not have much, if anything, in the way of pictures, music, or sound effects to help me out with what I'm doing, which means having to do it all with the words on the screen.

There are times I really wish I could do video, as I've had some really cool ideas based on ones I've seen from the likes of The Spoony One, Linkara, That Guy With The Glasses, and others. It's certainly possible for me to learn video and start making my own, but the learning curve has always felt a little steep to me, which leaves me pretty much stuck with this.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate and admire the work that the people and teams mentioned above do. I know it takes a lot of work, perhaps more than even I realize, to make those videos work the way they do. I'm just saying that it's no easier to make writing work even close to as well.

Doing fiction has a layer of difficulty added on to it that goes above and beyond what goes into writing one of these free-form opinion-based essays. If I was going to do a fiction piece about me writing this, I'd have to take at least a page to describe my workspace before I even got into me sitting down to write. I'd need to describe how big the room is, where everything is located, what's on the bookshelf behind me, what's on my desk, and even the dripping faucet I can hear in the kitchen that I should probably go fix.

Were I doing this as, say, a uStream video, I could get most of that across just by turning on my camera and sitting down to talk. The main reason I probably won't though, is because I don't have much of a screen presence. I'm no good in front of the camera if I'm doing video, especially live video.

Now, granted, I do know that the video producers have to script everything out, build the sets, make and acquire the props, shoot and edit the video, and, for the web, let it render before posting. In some ways, especially when it comes to the time involved, yes, this whole writing thing is a much easier thing to do.

But it makes up for that in other ways, because there are things that are harder to do like this. Action scenes, for example, are a little harder to do when writing them out for something that will be entirely text to be read on a page or a screen somewhere instead of scripting them out for a video project.

At this point, I'm sure most of you reading this are wondering just what it is I'm trying to get at. My main focus here, really, is that I'm just trying to say that there are still plenty of us article and fiction writers around, and we deserve a share of the attention, just like the video producers. Keep us in mind, won't you? Let us know what you think. It would be greatly appreciated.

And let's just hope that the song about video and audio stars doesn't also apply to the modern-day Internet writer and their video counterparts

See you all around the Web, folks, and please, Keep On Reading!

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