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Why You Should Vlog

Charlotte Ashlock Posted by Charlotte Ashlock, Executive Editor, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Charlotte Ashlock is a crazy idealist trying to make the world a better place! 

Why You Should Vlog

A Change Agent's Guide to Youtube: An Online Learning Experience

1. Vlogging is the new blogging.

When blogging was first invented, everyone mocked it. “Why would you want to keep a diary online where everyone could read it?” my parents and countless others asked. At first only the nerds used it. Then the teenagers joined in. Before we knew it, the world had changed. Now, a blog is a must-have for every thought leader and major business brand. Recording video blogs on YouTube (also known as vlogging) is now at a similar tipping point.

2. Forbes and Fortune are starting to take note.

In the minds of most people, YouTube is the home of cute kitten videos and silly, frivolous Internet culture. But the leading business magazines are starting to say “Hey! Wake up!” Forbes blogger Dan Reich writes , “if you’re thinking about building your own personal brand or adding fuel to your business, you should take another look at YouTube. It’s not just about teenagers and cute kitten videos anymore.” Forbes blogger John Greathouse adds , “The immediate and unvarnished nature of the various interactions between a YouTuber and their audience creates an intimacy that cannot be replicated by old-school Hollywood.” And “How Youtube Changes Everything ,” was the cover story of the 7/25/13 issue of Fortune Magazine.

3. This is the perfect time to get a headstart.

Your traditional businessperson would have felt out of place, seeing hair dyed all shades of the rainbow, Harry Potter costumes, and even fans of the Epic Mealtime channel dressed as bacon strips. But what did we learn from the rise of the blogosphere? Where the teenagers go, the CEOs will eventually follow. At the date of this writing, when I type “CEO vlog,” into Google, Google earnestly asks me, “Did you mean CEO blog?” But five years from now, or even two years from now, I predict that traditional business leaders and consultants will be struggling and competing to own this new piece of media territory. Imagine if you’d started blogging before your colleagues caught on to the trend. Your online reputation, your search engine optimization, your page counts, would be miles along the race track, before any one else had even started.

4. Build personal connections with fans of your brand.

I might admire Johnny Depp or Seth Godin, but I don’t feel like this famous actor or this famous blogger is my friend. When you follow someone’s video-blog, it DOES feel like a friendship. You sympathize with the vlogger’s struggles, you exult over their triumphs. You log into Youtube because you want to know how their day went. It's more like a genuine conversation and less like a one-way broadcast, because the vloggers make videos responding to fan comments, tweets and suggestions.

5. Berrett-Koehler is here to help.

I’m guessing this article made you excited about the possibilities, but you’re a little nervous about the practical challenges. You’re probably wondering, “What about cameras and video editing software? Do I need to hire someone to help me? How does someone become a Youtube celebrity, anyway?” Check out the navigation of this online learning experience to get answers for your most pressing questions.

When I attended VidCon 2013 (a conference for online video creators, their fans, & industry experts) I created this video about my experiences there. I hope it gets across the message that anyone can vlog- and you don't necessarily need the most sophisticated camera, software, and tools to make your point.

Related Links

1. Why should change agents have video blogs?

2. How can I use YouTube to sell books?

3. What does YouTube culture look like?

4. How can I succeed on YouTube?

5. How can I use YouTube to promote a cause?

6. What equipment and software do I need?

7. What is transmedia?