It’s actually not hard to sort out the various types of blogs you can publish today even after you’ve mixed your nouns (blog) with your verbs (blogging).
- Pho – a photo blog or phlogging = includes photos
- Mo – a mobile blog or moblogging = involves a cell phone, PDA, etc.
- V – a video blog or vlogging = includes video
Where it gets a lot more complicated is in figuring out how to do them, especially given the variety of tools out there that will help you do any one of them…and the keyword here is “one.” We’ll come back to that. But first, here’s a better definition of what each is right now and may soon become.
Photoblogs are blogs with photos that tell their stories, on the most professional side, and family albums of random pictures on the most casual side. There is very little, or no text, that accompanies these photos as a rule. The serious ones, maintained by professional photographers who are still gnashing their teeth at the image resolution restrictions of the Internet, can still be appreciated as art despite all their pixel imperfections. They live a far cry away from the arms crossed, pouty faced, up your nose shots that litter every teen My Space blog there is.
Moblogging refers on one level, to posting blogs from a mobile device. Blogging itself began as a way of mobily reporting world events over the Internet. Back then it was done with laptops. Today, it’s done through mobile phones and their Internet connections. While it makes my thumbs ache just to think of creating a whole post on a mobile phone keypad, I suspect this term will also soon come to encompass much more.
Soon it may also refer to blogs created to be read on mobile phones. Mobi domains have been preregistered in the thousands, and we are seeing several large companies beginning to establish serious mobile sites designed to sell impulse purchase products. The mobile phone screen is a perfect advertising venue for a restaurant, especially if they can offer a speed dial number to see if there would be immediate seating for the guy calling from the sidewald out front.
Vlogging refers to a video blog, or a blog made up of video posts. There are a few of them out there, but they have typically lacked a large viewership because of bandwidth constraints or download times. Some sites that house a large number of videos might be organized on the blog platform. A site devoted to training on a particular subject may be organized as a blog with each “post” being made up of a different video lesson. But that isn’t real “blogging” as it is defined as an ongoing conversation.
Specialized streaming media tools
At the start of this article, I said there were lots of companies crowding in to the blogging and social networking space. There are plenty of products that will let you create a photoblog, or add your audio or video to your blog as long as it’s in the one format (flash or Quicktime or iPod or H264, etc.) they support. Anyone can find something that will help them quickly build a photoblog, OR convert an wav file into an MP3, OR an avi. file into a flv. if you try enough keywords and do enough searches.
Sorry, but I, for one, just don’t have time for that anymore. I’m running a business online, and have enough to do just keeping up with my own area of expertise. I don’t have time to continually learn new programming languages and interfaces just to be able to talk to my customers. What’s most important here is what’s always been most important; providing what my audience needs in the forms and formats they can use.
If I had to learn separate programs for creating each kind of media, and then separate platforms for distributing each media I too would be missing far too many chances to meet my audience when, where and how they want to be met. I would also be wasting other opportunities because I wouldn’t be able to use the right media for that place and that moment.