Re: [videoblogging] Re: RocketBoomSucks

On 22/11/2004, at 6:23 PM, Rick Rey wrote:

> I disagree. It might be best for you, but why dictate how other people
> should express themselves, how other people should blog with video? Is
> it that important that we separate ourselves with television (a medium
> that has already gained mass acceptance). For the time being, shouldn't
> we just be happy that more people are doing this, period?

no it isn't. What I was responding to and indicating is that
1. blogging is not book writing by another means
2. blogging developed a new and different genre of writing and
3. if videoblogging is to do likewise then
4. videoblogging is not tv broadcasting by another means

so my point is only lets call a spade a spade. if people want to work
in manner x of course they can, but let's just not pretend it is
something that it isn't. (much like Andreas' comments about

It isn't about constraining how others express themselves. for goodness
sake that is such a quaint and romantic argument. If i decide to blog,
and then write a 30,000 word tome in my one blog entry, is it a blog?
No. Am I constrained. No. I've just chosen not to follow the
conventions of the genre. And genres are *socially* defined not
individually so it isn't up to the individual here. In that moment I
might invent a new one. Or I might not. So, if you're videoblogging and
you make an hour full screen full motion drama, in my book you've made
a drama, it isn't a videblog entry, and it isn't videoblogging.

what's at stake here is not constraining creativity (that's already
fundamentally constrained *all the time*), but developing the genre by
discussing/arguing and how the genre ought to be.
> Adrian, you are an academic, right? I went to grad school myself, and I
> would never get away with making a blanket statement like such-and-such
> is the best course of action — without any research/empirical evidence
> to back it up.

i've written 4 or 5 essays about cinema, hypertext, softvideo and more
recently videoblogs. the arguments are being made. but that's just not
the right answer is it 🙂 ? I've got over 60 vogs that also perform a
lot of what I research. Doesn't make it right or wrong but the work is
about hypotheses and they are being tested.

> You are making a hypothesis. For the sake of argument, I
> can just as easily make a hypothesis that the best model for us *is*
> television — since we know it works. Once we get off the ground, get
> people on board, get people to notice us — then we can begin to
> distinguish ourselves.

of course 🙂
> There's no set agenda here. We're not on autopilot. We need to
> experiment with different things before we tell people what's right and
> what's wrong. Is RocketBoom "different" than TV? Who cares! It's a blog
> with video. It meets criteria for this group. Let's not get caught up
> in
> the terminology. At this state in the game, bickering over details like
> that is a waste of time and energy, in my opinion.

i care. i care a lot. and this is why:

i see interactive flash narratives all over the place. they are
sophisticated and in the best examples compelling. flash took off
because designers were already on the Web and Flash let them introduce
movement. And interaction. So designers, largely trained in quiet
(still) media, suddenly become proto time based nonnarrative artists.
And a thousand flowers bloomed.

Nearly anything you can do in flash you can do in QuickTime. TV and
video people come to the web from an environment where full screen full
motion, and absolute audience ownership (I own the screen and they
watch it) is the norm. In this web environment i have to go to, say,
320 x 240 video, give up most of the screen, and if i'm serious about
the medium assume that audiences will now click through, arouind, out,
back, and so on. For most in film and tv this appears as a *loss* of

In addition most don't know that QT is a scripting environment. So if
you work natively in time based media (eg tv and film) then it is the
native digital format to work in, rather than just publish. Now,
imagine if all those students and graduates who learnt some filmmaking
and video and happily taught themselves flash, instead worked in QT. So
they didn't become de facto animators but stayed working in an
indexical media that is easy for pretty much anyone to get (easy to
film, edit, etc). What sorts of work would we see? What new genres
would emerge?

this is important to me because as i wrote in 2000, a vog is not the
reinvention of TV. (just as blogs are not the renivention of

Adrian Miles