PG Vlog: why I'm trying out videos
December 2016 (perspective of an assistant professor)
Over the past decade, I've written around 300 articles on this site. In the past few months, I've been experimenting with something new and different – creating video content, starting with podcast interviews and now expanding to simple vlogs.
Why make vlogs instead of writing articles? A really practical reason: I already do way way way too much writing for my job right now (see Shadow Writing), so I don't have much leftover energy for recreational writing. However, I sometimes still get an itch to write, so the solution I've adopted for now is to quickly record my thoughts as 10-minute YouTube videos.
A 10-minute video is comparable to a 1,500-word article, which would normally take me at least 1.5 hours to write and polish. The most important thing for me creatively is to get ideas out of my head and into the world, regardless of format. Thus, if something takes me only 10 minutes, I'm much more likely to do it than if it takes me 1.5 hours. In short, if I don't convey those ideas in video form, they may never come out since I don't have enough free energy at the moment to write them as articles.
I know that many of you would prefer to read than to watch videos, but I can always have those videos transcribed into text articles later. And I also do believe that some kinds of information are more effectively conveyed through video rather than text. Plus, I'm having fun experimenting with a new format!
Another compelling property of video is that I can later convert them to mp3 files and turn them into audio podcasts to reach an even broader audience.
So in sum, video is a super-flexible format since it's so quick to produce and can easily be turned into text and audio later.