More about videoblogging

My videoblog is out of action until I resolve my laptop problems. But I recently received email from a Unitarian Universalist who’s thinking about making some hip new online UU video, and wanted to know how to go about doing it. So in lieu of the usual Friday video, I’ll repeat some of the advice I gave to him, in hopes of tempting more of my readers to start making online video.

Question: What’s a good resource to help a newbie start making videos fast?

Answer: A book worth getting is “Secrets of Videoblogging” — it’s a year old and so a little dated now, but the info on compression (codec) is worth the cover price alone. This book also has a good overview of everything from storyboarding, to legal permissions, to technical stuff.

Once I got that book, I just started making videos. At first, I threw most of them away. But it’s really pretty easy to make a short video. So I guess my advice is to just start making videos and see what happens.

Q: What tools do you recommend for making online video? — camcorders, editing software, hosting sites, etc.

A: I use a consumer-grade camcorder, which is more than adequate for the quality you get once you convert a video file for the Web. I have no worthwhile advice on camcorders, because the models change so fast.

For editing software, I use iMovie ’06 on a Mac platform. (iMovie ’08 is apparently a worthless piece of crap, so be warned!) On a Windows machine, Windows MovieMaker is supposed to be perfectly adequate, and essentially equivalent to iMovie ’06.

I upload videos to ( It’s free, and I think they do a better job than YouTube — but YouTube is more than adequate, and has the potential of getting you lots more traffic.

Q: How about making videos for my church’s Web site?

A: First, look around at some of the videos that other Unitarian Universalist churches put on their Web sites, and you’ll see how easy it is to make really boring videos. Too often, the videos on church Web sites look like they were created by a committee (which they probably were), and they are often insipid and dull. And sermons do not translate well to online video, in my opinion — unless you have a professional videographer doing the work.

Q: Any last thoughts?

A: Remember that it takes a fair amount of time to make an online video! It could take me six hours to make a three minute video (two hours to develop a concept and shoot video, four hours to edit and upload).