Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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What’s a Videoblog?

This is a short speech I did at my local Toastmasters club a few months ago, talking about videoblogging and how to watch videoblogs, and what kinds of vlogs there are. I’m posting it here (even though I’ve also posted it on my personal vlog) because it’s a handy little speech, and a good introduction into “what vlogging is,” particularly if you’re new and aren’t really sure what this site is about.

Also: there was some Q & A afterwards, and if you want to watch it, there’s even a practice video.

In my book, I talk about one of my least favorite things that happens in this particular video: filming a screen! I just hate it when a professional news organization like CNN turns their camera on the TV or LCD screen to film it– it’s a digital image already! And doesn’t it look terrible with a big grey bar rolling up the screen? You can bet that’s not how the TV looked in the room! A camera might be a great tool for capturing life, but it’s not the right tool for capturing pre-recorded video.

On August 12, I’ll be doing a workshop in Lansing, Michigan at TechSmith, makers of Camtasia screen capture/screen casting software for Windows, to talk about how to get video off of a computer screen effectively. It’s open to the public, and should be a lot of fun!

Josh Wolf’s Case

If you’ve been reading the book, or even just skimming it, you may have been intrigued by the mention of the legal entanglement that videoblogger Josh Wolf got into last summer. Well, believe it or not, his legal issues aren’t over: after having the case dropped, Josh now faces civil contempt charges, for refusing to hand over his entire tape of a protest march to the federal government. If you’re wondering why this matters, just consider for a moment how different the world would be if the big phone companies and ISPs had refused to hand over all our call records to the government. Someone has to take a stand, and Josh is a journalist with the right to say no.

If you’re interested in or intrigued by the case, you can follow it at his website.

Cheaper Web Hosting and a Discount for Readers

One of the recurring themes in Videoblogging for Dummies is that online video storage space is cheap and easy to come by. In addition to the many free video sites out there, I also recommend using a web hosting provider to store and serve your videoblog site. Nothing will give you as much satisfaction as knowing that your site won’t suddenly get a bunch of advertisements on it, won’t disappear overnight, and won’t mysteriously change it’s terms of service to permit it to sell all your data and information to a third party.

I’ve also been a very satisfied Actionweb customer for 7 or 8 years, something that is extremely rare in the web hosting industry. The perk I love that they offer is the Virtual Receptionist, a challenge-response email bot that blocks most of the thousands of spam messages I get per day.

But aside from leaving one account at Actionweb, I recently switched to Dreamhost for a lot of my web hosting needs. They have all the features you could want, including one-click installation of WordPress blogs, community sites, and photo galleries. And they’re pretty inexpensive, starting at $7.95/month. Anyway, if you want to sign up, but you’re a bit daunted by the setup fee, I have a deal for you. Because you’re a reader and vlogger, you can use this discount code when you sign up to get $45 off your setup fee: VLOGDUMMEES1 (no matter what plan you sign up for).

That discount code will be good for a while– at least 3 months, so if you’re thinking about signing up, you certainly have a bit of time to ponder it!

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