Friday, September 11, 2009

vlog review

Before I jump into my vlog review, I want to say that I was really impressed with the video diaries from the Christel & Sullivan CD. They were interesting (visually, compositionally, storytelling-ly) and thoughtful and overall very well done. However, I thought they were better examples of short films than vlogs. They were the culmination of a semester's worth of planning, whereas typical vlogs (it seems to me) have to be constructed on a much shorter timescale.

Anyway, the vlog I want to review is the Karen Alloy piece about 2012 that was embedded in the MinnPost article about Minnesota vlogging. I'm not sure about the demographics of her intended audience; she has over 16,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, so presumably she is mostly addressing them, as well as general viewership that's given her feedback over time; and other people that she would like to recruit as subscribers. I was impressed with the amount of information she managed to cram into her five-minute vlog, though my academic side was dismayed that she didn't cite any sources. (Come to think of it, that would be a problem in the field of journalism too, not just in academia. Interesting question - this makes no claim to be a news or academic vlog, but does the author have any responsibility to cite sources, etc. anyway?)

As for technique, Alloy demonstrated impressive energy and charisma in the vlog, using lots of jump cuts (I think... this is where knowing more filmmaking vocabulary would help) to liven up her five minutes of "talking head" footage. However, I found myself frequently wondering when she was going to stop for breath! I felt her pacing was frenetic rather than appealing. I imagine that this, along with her casual speaking style, is designed to appeal to a young audience (it's hard to judge how old Alloy is, but I'm guessing that she is targeting her age-peers).

Overall this was a polished, well-prepared presentation. Alloy never appeared to be reading, despite the large amount of text she had to get through; my complaints about pacing aside, she did appear engaged and comfortable throughout. Probably a good role model in many ways for wannabe vloggers.

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