“I came, I saw, I vined” – Julius Caesar.
Last week I met my friend’s baby daughter for the first time. She has clear signs of pogonophobia, a powerful lust for fruit and a keen grasp of using smart phones. She isn’t walking or talking yet but she can navigate a smartphone, bring up images and play videos using her tiny sticky fingers on the touchscreen.
This is tomorrow’s generation of beer drinkers and writers, a generation that will be tweeting their first words before they speak them. It’s something I realised I’ll need to deal with if I want to make my blog relevant and interesting to new readers.
For the most part I’m low-tech, relying mainly on text with some occasional photos to deliver my articles. There are no videos on my blog that I’ve created, and only one that I’ve ever lined to, and before last weekend I had no desire to change that.
Videos are relevant and a good way of reaching a more casual audience, I have nothing against them and their existence provides diversity in the blogoshire, but I do personally find them awful to make and awkward to watch.
At the European Beer Bloggers Conference (EBBC14) we listened to a talk on making and delivering video blogs from Tomasz Kopyra, Poland’s leading beer blogger (and, perhaps, the only video beer blogger there). I took everything he said on board and there’s no denying he has an impressive following on YouTube, some 29,000 plus followers; however, it was Matt Curtis who has switched me on to the idea of video.
Throughout the conference he was creating Vines, which is a 6 second video clip. The final aim is to stitch them all together to create a complete narrative of the weekend. This is something I’m genuinely interested to see. It’s mainly a catalogue of mania and drunken debauchery but it will capture the heart and spirit of the entire weekend in under 10 minutes.
Arguably it goes against the spirit of Vine to create a ten minute video but Matt has now been ‘Vining’ for a year, ever since EBBC13 in Edinburgh when (I think) a guest speaker from BrewDog made us aware of the platform, so he’s now playing with it in a very creative fashion. Matt’s Vines have definitely come on a long way since that first crude video he made in the Hanging Bat; he can now produce a quality video clip, completely edited and ready to watch, within a minute or two. It’s the video equivalent of a tweet.
There’s the risk that a standalone Vine could be a bit shallow and vapid but there is potential in using it in tandem with more traditional methods – imagine seeing a brief clip of a pub interior as a sort of ‘trailer’ to a written beer review. Both could work independently of each other – the Vine for Twitter followers, and the article on WordPress for them what that can read good but together they make an article that’s rich and meaty.
I have no intention of becoming a video blogger, I’ll happily leave that sort of thing to the likes of Tomasz who have already cut their teeth creating regular video content, but I do want to try out Vine as a means of enhancing what I already love doing. That’s essentially what it boils down to, a love of doing it – Matt seemed constantly thrilled when making the Vines, and that passion becomes infectious, spreading to readers/viewers who then share in that passion for what you’re doing, be it a pub review, beer review or whatever.
When my friend’s daughter and her entire generation grow up they’ll be mean and lean social media users; if there’s no passion behind what you’re doing they’ll just scroll to the next thing. And who knows, maybe they’ll be the Google Glass Generation. Who wants to read a thousand words while walking to walk or cooking tea? They’ll be demanding that quick info hit, sharing and moving on in less than ten seconds. I’m not saying the Vine should supplant written content but if you can grab someone’s interest with a six second video they maybe inclined to follow up and read the full article.
Here’s my first fumbling attempt a Vine video, the interior of the Gravity Station in Cardiff. Hopefully it wont be too long before I’ll be up to Matt’s level of skill. (Credit goes to Matt Curtis for the top video; the nausea-inducing one below is mine.)