New Directions in Vlogging for ENG Livecasts

New Faces, New Channels, and a window of opportunity

Video Blogging has caught fire as the outlet for democratic on-line journalism. Inevitably, as tools evolve and the vlogging phenomenon propagates in the media outlet gestalt, professional users in the ENG community will wake-up to the possibilities.

The popularity of hosting services for vlogging is creating an impression within the ENG (Electronic News Gathering) market that vlogs are not ready for prime time. Video upload / transcode services, like Google, YouTube, and VideoEgg, are mere toys that do not offer the high quality delivery and real-time options for the management of ‘off-the-street video news blogging’.

This immaturity of the vlog tools market plays into the hands of a predictable culture of institutional snobbery that holds sway over the rather settled ENG labor and equipment markets:. If you do not have access to satellite uplink or terrestrial UHF mobile field production units, you are not worth talking to as a ‘professional’ journalist’.

The writing is on the wall, however, and HDV camcorders, like the Sony Z1, HDR-HC1, and others yet to come, are pushing down the cost of acquiring quality video for the web. For now, the act of capturing high quality video, performing fast in-the-field cutting for air or now, upload, and transcoding/uploading, is, as of today, a crafty manual process. The best video bloggers are producing finely edited and encoded works that do not fit the agile, mobile production mode of contemporary ENG, even at a community production level.

The next step for Vlogging will be better integrated transcoding, storage and syndicated delivery systems. The productization and delivery of an integrated ‘from the street’ vlogging service will likely be conquered by an on-line storage company, or a database / web services SOA company that has Superplatform and blog syndication expertise, and wants out of the very lonely and increasingly polluted web services mumbo-jumbo arena.

I do not see future Professional ENG Vlogging solutions coming from the current crop of Text Blogging heavyweights, as their hosting platforms are built upon sand and gravel.

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