Sunday, April 09, 2006

Day Seven - Conversation

Watch the video

Well, we've finally reached the end of Videoblogging Week 2006 and boy is my psyche tired.

I've been watching videos all week, commenting far more than usual, and trying to get my mind around this whole thing we call conversation. 

Killer B responded to Michael Verdi's experiment 2 video with a video that begins as a counter but soon turns to the idea of conversation and community.

This is a response to Killer B, a confession about my feeling surrounding videoblogging, community and commerce. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting comment to "killer B"''s video. It is sad that a more or less formal classification of vloggers into A- and B-categories seems to have evolved.

I think the point that geographical location of a vlog does matter is thought provoking since it is supposed (in theory) that geography should not matter for an Internet phenomenon. Carl Weaver stumbles onto Steve Garfield or Amy (Welcome to Amyville) in Jamaica Plains, while in a small town in Southern Canada there is no-one to meet.

As a European, my own vlog project remains outside the world of A- and B-classifications, and I'm quite comfortable with that.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hi kristian,

i don't really think of A list and B list so much as i think of who talks and who listens.

thanks for listening. and commenting. it's very much appreciated.

you've gotten me curious about bitlab malmo now...hmmmm...i'll have to go check it out right now!

7:23 PM  
Blogger B said...

Anne, thank you so much for talking to me. I'd make you a video back, but I really wanted to respond, and this was quicker. Some of this is rhetorical, but I wanted to answer everything you said that made me want to talk back.

If we aren't a part of the conversation or don't feel that we are, how do we change that? Do we even want to change that, or are we content to talk amongst ourselves?

I'm sorry you had a bad message board experience. I've heard a lot about the drama and chose early on to steer clear, but sometimes I do think I'm missing out and wonder if it wouldn't get me more into the conversation, whatever that means. But you're finding that maybe doesn't matter?

I started vlogging as the direct result of a real life friendship with a fellow vlogger, and since then, I've become real life friends with a few in my area. You are RIGHT ON: geography is only eliminated by so much. I'm sorry there aren't more of us in your area because I won't lie: it's damn fun if you're like-minded vloggers. And I know I'm lucky to forge through the screen and meet people in real life. But mostly, I didn't initially know these people, which seems like an important distinction to make somehow.

It's also very much an economics issue, and people don't seem to get that. I invested in my camera a few months ago, but I'm aware enough to know I'm lucky to be able to just go out and buy one. I know a guy who teaches video blogging in third world countries, and I simply cannot understand that. The people with whom he's working are so limited financially, if you, Anne, can't be sure you can make it to a conference, for instance, how will someone in an African village vlog on their own once this urban white guy leaves? Not to go into a debate about that, but even on our level, it's about money to begin with. I'm so glad you said that because like most things, if it isn't your personal problem, I'm afraid people won't address it.

I'm starting to wonder if participating in a timely manner is actually not what we should be doing. It seems like there's a formula, like only post once every two days or less, or your massive content (like mine) just gets ignored. I'm sure there's more going on than too much content, but it's something to consider...I wouldn't doubt the heavy hitters have this strategy figured out.

I made a video a while ago, trying to figure out why we vlog, and I mentioned that there's a saturation point. Maybe the group has reached that, and that's part of the problem. Now there are too many of us to be a small community, so by default, these sidelines have been created.

I'm doing my master's thesis for film school about female vloggers. Stay in touch because I really want you to be a part of it. And I really hope I see you at VloggerCon. I'll be there. Thank you again for talking. This is a really important conversation.



5:32 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

I'd love to a part of a film school thesis on female vloggers. i have plenty to say about that! grins

we're going to try our best to get there but it'll cost us something like $1500, all told, and we live from pay check to pay check.

i am continually disappointed by geography.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I arrived late so I was able to collapse the whole week into one sitting. I was most impressed with the last video, that's the girl I remember!! Thanks for pointing out economics and shifting the focus to larger issues. I think you will be part of many conversations in the future.

Love the new camera by the way, that's some sexy lighting as well.


p.s. I am very intrigued by the yahoo postings and may try and check it out.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Carl Weaver said...

Hi, Anne.

Economics: right on. Sure, it's easy for me to say that it's cheap, because I bought cheap used equipment, but then there's other stuff like a computer, broadband connections, email, etc. Cheap to us, in North America, is not cheap to most people in the world.

What Brittany said about vlogging in developing countries is important, but I feel mixed. On one hand,m some of these places are working on feeding people, fighting disease and getting electricity and clean water to people. On the other hand, I think it's good to show them options for where they could be someday. That introduces an ethical problem, though, when the countries start making decisions of computers vs. feeding more people. All governments make those tradeoffs, but we do not like to think of it.

About the concept of being at a party and not being heard, I agree that it sucks, and I am lucky to be close to the Boston area so I can meet with others who have similar interests. However, part of the solution is to build community somehow if you feel like you don't quite fit in for one reason or another.

I started Worcester Diaries ( to do just that. I decided that even though I don't fit in in my own city, I would try to explore it anyway and show what people don't often admit is here - greatness. So far I have learned that some people get a lot out of it and one of the videos I did got someone attention in a local newspaper. These are all good things. And through doing this, I am starting to teach others how to videoblog and tell their own stories.

It's hard work, but you can make your own party where you are. It's not the same, but it's something. So you aren't in NYC or San Francisco or Boston. Tell us about Penticton. You and Devlon have stories to tell.

Sorry to take up so much space in your comments!

7:48 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...


nice to see you around again! we just bought a video camera so i'll be able to actually make some vids now instead of the poor attempts with cheap webcams and the like.

call me.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hi Carl,

we are planning on doing just that here in Penticton now that we have a camera. it really is beautiful here even if it is the largest small retirement community in Canada! we'll be posting those vids on Byte Me ( since i use this one for all of my insecure ruminations. hell. this blog isn't even a videoblog.

never apologize for taking up space, Carl. It's lovely to see you here. Take! Take!

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you speak more truth please? My neck is sore from nodding so much while I listened to you talk.

So, now I've linked to you on my site. I guess you are now in my own little party. Right? The party of me and those who havent got a clue (or dont care) that I've linked to them because I liked what they had to say. Then again, if you guys go to vloggercon, you shall be wining and dining with the a-listers.

Please remember us when you are partying with the "big boys and girls" and us b and c and d listers (err..I mean those who arent listened to) will be watching you from the sidelines and wishing we were there too.

p.s. I hope that didnt sound mean or spiteful? It wasnt really meant to be.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hi David.

Thanks for stopping by and for putting me on your vlogroll. i really appreciate it.

I often get myself in trouble for saying things because I can be a tad blunt. Don't know if you've noticed :)
I can't help it. I grew up in a very large, very loud household and if you wanted to get heard, you had to make it brief and to the point. Consequently, small talk is not my forte. I'm not a good winer and diner and I'm too conflicted with dualing emotions about the whole vlogging thing to make a good vlogercon cheerleader.

Are you saying that you can't make it?

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I would love to, I wont be able to attend. Life's priorities take precedence. Home renovations being the bulk of those.

Oh...dont apologize for being up front with what you say. It's refreshing. People who wrap up their words in nice pretty bows scare the hell outta me.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got into all of this for the sole reason that I was isolated, living in a small town in the Netherlands.

There is a lot of truth in what you say, and like everything, there are many sides to it. There are economic barriers to entry, along with the geographic boundries. NODE 101 (and anyone can start one) attempts to break both of these down.

I don't know what bad experience you allude to, but you also admitted to being a lurker for almost a year. It's really about playing the game, and being as active a participant as possible. Of course there is the "sidelined" metaphor, but with this video, you have actively involved a bunch of people into whatever it is we're accomplishing here. Circles intersecting. Shit takes time, and it ain't easy keeping up good content, but that is both the struggle and joy of it all. Yes, this is my first time here, but it is because you made this video. There is going to be frustration, but when isn't there?

I have a ton of lurkers, and still haven't figured a way to engage them. The world is filled with lurkers who often wonder why nothing is happening.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

good point on the lurking, bottom union.

i've begun to post more to the group so i hope that helps. having loadedpun helps too.

i've thought about trying a node101 here in penticton and may approach the tiny college about it now that we have a camera. it would be interesting to see if anyone shows up for it!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Devlon said...

You've got a good point bottomunion. We need to engage our local community.

It will be a challenge with a full-time job...but yeah, maybe we can make the first Canadian Node :)

10:34 AM  
Blogger Verdi said...

Here are my thoughts on community and geography.
I live in San Antonio, TX. - a very poor, conservative, low-tech city. We have a big tourist economy so many people here work minimum wage jobs in hotels, restaurants, and other service industries. Many people don't have computers and internet access at all never mind video cameras and broadband. When I first started videoblogging, there wasn't another videoblogger around for hundreds (if not a thousand) miles. It felt very strange at first to be so excited and interested in something that seemed to really be happening far away. When I wasn't at my computer there was nobody to talk to about this. So mostly I spent a lot of time talking to the 200 or so people on the email list. Then about Feb 05 I started thinking about taking a trip to NY to be able to hang out with a significant group of videobloggers. So I started talking about it with people and eventually lined up some jobs and some couches to sleep on. Then I got coupon for airfare and bought a ticket for $200. I ended up spending a month in NY. During that time, I interviewed videobloggers and hung out with them. Ryanne and I started collaborating on Freevlog and we planned out what NODE101 would become. I had a great time and cemented some friendships started online.

Then I got back to San Antonio and was all alone again. It pretty much stayed that way until I started the NODE in San Antonio. But even that wasn't instant. I spent many many days sitting there by myself (or with Juan Carlos) waiting for people to show up. Little by little I started getting the word out and people started to show up. 8 months later it's just starting to feel like a tiny community to me. There are a handful (6) people that seem to be "regulars."

The point of all this rambling is this - it can be a lot of work to build a community. The tiny one we have going here is still fragile. It's especially difficult for me sometimes because I'm naturally someone who's content working alone at home. It's a committed effort that gets me up and out of the house.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hi michael,

we are talking about the feasibility of starting up a node here as well. it sounds like san antonio is penticton's sister city!

here, we have a tiny, conservative commmunity. lots of wealthy people live here though. the cost of living is enormous because this is one of canada's vacation spots.

in the summer, we are crammed with tourists from all over the world. in the winter, everything shuts down.

many people in canada come to the okanagan to retire so the number of senior citizens is startling. we have some young people who are bored out of their skulls and drug use is rampant.

i think i'd like to target those young people and give them something to do other than crystal meth.

9:27 AM  

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