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OK, I'll Play: Why I Don't Videocast.
The Blip.tv'ers recently threw down the gauntlet and challenged podcasters to start videocasting. Of course this is a self-serving challenge because Blip.tv has recently signed a deal with Akimbo to bring Blip videocasts to a television near you, but anything that gets people into zones where they're not quite comfortable is a good thing.

I've read a few responses from people who have declined Blip's challenge such as Alec Saunders and Matthew Ingram and I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and throw in my two-cents worth why I don't videocast.

I've dabbled in videocasting on a few occasions and here's the problem with it folks: it's a lot of work. A videocast is to a podcast what a normal telephone is to a videophone.

In order to create an audio podcast you have to consider, at a minimum:
  • content
  • equipment
  • scheduling
  • hosting
  • feeds
  • directories
To create a videocast you have to take care of all of that plus, at a minimum:
  • set/studio
  • lighting
  • personal appearance
  • visuals
I once calculated that my audio podcast had something like a 3:1 ratio of production time to finished show. That's not a killer when you consider that our weekly show is 30-45 minutes. That means I spend about 1.5 - 2.25 hours each week prepping and producing the show. Add the 45 minutes of actual recording time and we're looking at somewhere around 3 hours to produce the show. Not bad.

Adding video onto that would be a killer.

I doubt many of us have a dedicated 'studio' so there's going to be time involved in set up and tear down each week. There's additional equipment in the form or lighting and microphones (can't do a videocast with a headset on) to consider. I can't just stumble out of the shower and do a videocast, I have to actually be looking somewhat decent and last, but not least: I need visuals.

What I mean by 'visuals' is that I have to have a reason to be videocasting. Just sitting there jabbering away like I would do on an audio podcast is going to get boring very quickly. In cases like that, there's no need for the video so I would have to create the need. I have no idea what that means in terms of time, but I can guarantee that there's a lot of time tied up in either making visuals or putting together demos or whatever the content of the show is comprised of.

I think it's fair to say that I would triple that 3:1 ratio to a 9:1 if I began videocasting. I'm mostly basing that number of my perception of the  amount of time post production would take. Thankfully, it's highly unlikely that I would be producing a 30-45 minutes videocast; more likely it would be a 10 minute show and I would therefore take 1.5 hours or so to produce.

Is it worth it? I might gain back 1.5 hours of production time per week, but I would only be able to cover 10 minutes of content.

All in all, that's not a place I want to be right now. I'm edging towards it, but I'm not there quite yet.

How about you. Have you considered moving to video?

7 Comments/Trackbacks

I'm going to launch a limited edition podcast and was thinking about doing it as a video podcast.

However, I was reading someone's post who said that the corporate crowd ain't watching vidcasts. Also, it's harder to disseminate information over a vidcast if it isn't entertaining.

So, off I go to launch yet another audio podcast. It's way easier to produce and since it'll be a limited edition, I won't waste too much time putting it together.

Just sitting there jabbering away like I would do on an audio podcast is going to get boring very quickly.

It's pretty boring in an audio podcast too.

@Leesa: I think you're pprobably right in that business folk aren't watching a lot of video yet. Audio is something that you can do while doing something else - like radio in the background. Watching video requires you to stop what you're doing and devote your time to that show. I doubt videcasts will ever be as successful as audio in the corporate space.

@ELS: Not sure what you're getting at. Are you saying that jabbering general is boring, or that audio podcasts in general are boring or that my podcast specifically is boring?

I think every communications media has strengths and weakness. Video podcasting may not be right you. I do think that video is good at getting across your humanity in a way that other media can't match. We get so much out of facial expressions and body language. So doing one or two clips so people can see who is behind the mic (or the keyboard) might be something for you to consider. It's kind of like a friend of mine said: When you are doing freelance work for someone, it's good to meet them at least
once face to face, but often once is enough. Might be the same case with you and video. I myself am addicted to videoblogging, and so I couldn't resist making a video called Why Alec Saunders Should Podcast.

Jabbering is boring, either audio or video.

Jabbering with celebrities (like the Tonight Show) is interesting only to people who are already interested in those specific celebrities.

@ELS: Ahh, gotcha. I agree.

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