The market for amateur video content on the Internet is growing rapidly. A creative and unique video weblog (also known as vLog) can attract millions of young viewers. Carana Renu also recently blogged about this opportunity.
Vlogging is the practice of posting low-budget home-made video on a blog website. User created content on the net is exploding. It even has big-media companies worried. People might stop watching their stuff (heaven forbid). People are already watching less TV and spending more time on the Internet.
More successful companies like Google have also entered the market. Google recently bought an up and coming video sharing website (YouTube) for $1.65 billion. Analysts estimate that the total market worth of online video in the United States alone will be $7 billion in 2010.
Technical background information
Media players like the Apple iPod, most smartphones and the newly introduced iPhone all play video content. Practically all computers can, of course, also play video. These devices can be set to automatically download video from the Internet for later playback on the go (using a process call podcasting and rss feeds). Many people watch vlog content they have subscribed to while e.g. on the train to work. They get the new episodes automatically delivered to their device as they are published. They watch the shows they want to watch, when they want to watch them. It is time shifted TV (with more interesting content).
Examples of vlogs
All successfully vlogs have a few things in common: they have their own unique style and personality and don't try to copy something that already exists. They are fresh, funny, creative and hosted by energetic presenters who genuinely care about what they are doing. A good length for a video 3 - 5 minutes.
Potential benefit of a Krishna conscious vlog
The Internet is the Maha-Brihad Mrdanga of our time. A normal mrdanga can be heard only in a small radius, while Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati's brihad mrdanga was book distribution. But books have to be printed and physically distributed. The Internet is not bound by physical limitations. Content can be distributed to an almost unlimited number of people, as long as they are willing to watch. More and more people are coming online every day, all seeking interesting and entertaining content. For example: 300,000 people download each episode of Rocketboom and 100 million videos are downloaded from YouTube each day! YouTube recently had an award competition for the best online videos of 2006.
Most Krishna conscious video content that I've seen freely available on the Internet is either low quality or very old. Some DVD material is much better, but suffers from very limited distribution and is too long for the short attention spans of today's youth.
A Krishna conscious vlog done correctly could have major local and global impact!
A show that covers issues local to the city will naturally attract views in that city and connect with the local population. Moreover, a member of the media (i.e. a person with a camera, distribution mechanism and audience) has a license to interview almost anyone. The vlog presenters could have access to the local celebrities, asking them relevant spiritual questions, selling them books and maybe even introducing them to Krishna consciousness. Another George Harrison would work wonders for KC. Of course, such a vlog would also help attract people to the local center or temple.
Vlog content could be be re-used globally as part of presentations anywhere in the world.
- Authoritatively smashing the bogus so-called spiritual activities
- Interviews with celebrities
- Ask a Hare Krishna
- Interviews with normal people on the street
- Highlighting the evils and dangers of birth, death, disease and old age
- Answering viewer submitted questions
- Teaching of yoga postures with KC commentary
- Enticing people with images of the prasasdam
- Video renditions of plays
- Covering of local news and current events from a spiritual angle
- Covering the festivals in a "news" style
- Teaching Krishna conscious philosophy and science (but keep it short, light and funny)
- The production quality could be too low, or the content could not be interesting enough for normal people and no one would end up watching the vlog.
- Someone creating a devotee vlog might not have had enough expose to the vlog medium to be able to style it in such a way that it is successful and attractive to audience.
- The hosts might will not have the necessary enthusiasm (which will come through in the video) and it will not be very attractive.
- Devotees might start, but, after a few episodes, loose interest/motivation and fail to produce new shows. The project would eventually fizzle out and disappear like many, many one-off hit videos that are popular one day and forgotten the next. The only successful vlogs are the ones that remain popular episode after episode.
Video blogging is a new upcoming style of media. A Krishna conscious vlog is a great, fun opportunity to communicate Krishna consciousness to millions of people. Someone should do it. In fact, everyone should do it.