My Debut: Video Blogging. I Really AM a Dork.

We all have our strengths. One of mine is words. I love them. I love thinking about them, rolling them around in my head, lovingly putting them into sentences, crafting paragraphs out of sentences, arranging, rearranging, editing, massaging, making them perfect. I love words.

I also love speaking. Big groups, small groups, one-on-one one, you name it, and I love it. I was a Coms major in college and reveled in every bit of that experience. Give me a room full of people over a math problem any day. Might explain why it took me five tries to finally pass College Algebra, huh? My point – we’re all good at something and sometimes it makes sense to move outside our respective comfort levels and learn something new. Plus, I truly believe that video blogging is — and should be — an integral part of smart social media strategies, so if I’m going to talk the talk and tell my clients how important it is to vlog, I’ve got to walk the walk. I’m just that kind of gal.

For me, video blogging is a whole different milieu. Don’t get me wrong – I’m so not afraid of a camera. I’ve been on TV a hundred times. Had my picture taken a million more. You don’t do what I do and not have considerable media exposure. But, when it comes to sitting down alone in front of my FlipCam and doing a video post – goodness, but I’m my own harshest critic. Anyone relate to that concept? I’ll bet so.

Here’s the thing. Whether it’s your first blog post, your first presentation in front of a group of people, your first sales pitch or your first video blog post, it’s probably not going to be perfect. But, the only way to get started is to take the first step–get over your insecurities, take a leap, and get the darn thing out there. Or, as I learned at Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker’s SOBCon event, the veritable think tank of the social web, launch the damn thing, then tweak it.

And so, without further ado, I’m launching it. My first video blog post. Sure, I cut off the top of my head – but I wanted you to see the necklace I was vlogging about. Sure, I could’ve used some lipstick but, guess what, that’s what I look like. Not always perfect. Sure, I need to learn a few tricks, and I especially need to learn how to edit, but what the heck, I’m putting it out there, warts and all, so that you can see that we all start somewhere. I’ll work on perfection next time. But, until then, I’m not afraid to show you my first effort.

And, in case you missed it because you were (1) blinded by my beauty, (2) entranced by my words or (3) counting my many wrinkles, my cool necklace is from the folks at Survival of the Hippest, and you can stalk them on Twitter at @TheHippest.

So there, I’ve done it. Gotten over the hump. Launched the damn thing. I’ll get better. But there’s gotta be a starting point. Now it’s your turn. What are you procrastinating about? What are you dragging your feet on? I double dog dare you to launch the damn thing. And then tell me about it so that I can give you a virtual pat on the back. And maybe even buy you a beer.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeCascio Joe Cascio

    How did you know I was procrastinating?

    So, just tweeted you that I got interested in social media from watching, meeting and then emulating Steve Garfield back in 2006. I don’t vlog much anymore, but I still post once in a while to Joe’s Video, Etc. http://joesvideoetc.blogspot.com. The thing that drew me into vlogging was how personal it is. People who watch your video feel as though they know you, and that’s a big thing in social media, establishing that personal connection with your followers and readers. So yay for you Shelly and thanks. We’ve been connected on Twitter for a while, but it’s great to see you “in person”, so to speak.

    JoeC
    ps. yes, please do put yourself in-frame, smile, laugh, be spontaneous, don’t apologize, and always remember that good audio is the *most* important thing in making good video!

  • http://stevegarfield.com Steve Garfield

    Hey Shelly,
    Great job on this first video! Love it.

    The audio was very clear. The camera was still. And the lighting was good.

    You are very comfortable in front of the camera.

    You had an engaging story to tell that included the fact that it was your first video blog post AND you wanted to share something you are excited about.

    All good.

    I love that you included a lot of text to give readers a back story and explanation of what’s in the video. Many people don’t do that.

    I’ll have to agree with those that are saying you shouldn’t point out problems, like, “I hope I didn’t look stupid” or the title, “I reall AM a dork.”

    I kinda like the title. ;-)

    Your readers might be interested in my book on how to do online video, Get Seen, they can find info at :

    http://stevegarfield.com/getseen

    It gives lots of tips on how to shoot videos like you did here.

    Great job, looking forward to the next one and recognizing you in public hte next time we see each other.

    –Steve

  • Amani Channel

    Great job with the video. The cut off head thing isn’t any big deal. I’ve done it as well on videos. If you’re recording in 16:9 and not 4:3 it is very easy to do. The audio was good, you were centered, and the lighting worked.

    Keep it up.

    http://www.twitter.com/urbanreporter

    ac

  • markwilliamschaefer

    Damn. Now I have to do it. You did a great job Shelly.

  • http://twitter.com/purplehayz purplehayz

    Mazel tov on doing your first vblog post! I think you did a smashing job! I could hear you plainly and clearly, the length and timing were great, you used pauses pretty well for emphasis.

    Minor quibbles:

    - Either zoom into the necklace or replace part of the video with a closeup photo of the necklace.
    - Overlay the text URL when you say it (both of these are dead easy in iMovie)
    - Don't apologize – guess what, we all know its hard, and we all will give you so much slack you can't believe it – if you don't apologize, most people won't be able to name something you did “wrong” 5 minutes later (from Toastmasters and Scott Berkun, if you're wondering:-)

    And I'm procrastinating cause I don't have anything to say (but I did post my international competition speech for Toastmasters on my blog – does that count as a vblog post LOL?).

    Keep it up, can't wait to see what you'll do with this new (for you) medium. – Bob

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Fernando. I've got vuvuzela on my brain after watching soccer the past few days. The bloopers were rampant – I just powered through them and ignored (I'm a woman, we're good at ignoring!).

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Mark …. will be waiting for your debut!!!

  • ShellyKramer

    Bob,

    Your tips are wonderful and I shall implement them forthwith. And, as much as I love writing, vlogging is infinitely easier … so I shall certainly not make this my last attempt. I need to spend some time at the Apple store taking advantage of the training that they do so often – I know some of this stuff is so easy, just need to make time to learn it. Another promise to myself — will definitely do that.

    Thanks again for the tips, the compliment and your kindness – your friendship is something I'm grateful for on a daily basis.

    Shelly

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Fernando. I've got vuvuzela on my brain after watching soccer the past few days. The bloopers were rampant – I just powered through them and ignored (I'm a woman, we're good at ignoring!).

  • sharonhayes

    Loved it Shelly! Excellent job!!

    haha looking at other comments, seems like you're encouraging some of us to make the leap into video blogging :)

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Fernando. I've watched so much soccer this weekend so the vuvuzela is still ringing in my ears. I'm not sure that is a compliment — but knowing how much you love me, I'll choose to take it as such. I still remember one of your early videos and all the bloopers and how much I loved it — next time, I'll leave all the outtakes :) ))

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Joe. Well now I'll be stalking Joe's Video blog and waiting for your next installment. Vlogging is awesome and it is really so easy to do, once you get the hang of it. Sort of. Well, you know what I mean. Easy to do it, edit (note to self: must learn to edit), post and move on. I'll definitely be experimenting more and know that you will, too ….. <gauntlet officially laid down>

    Always nice to see you – thanks for stopping by – and for the kudos. Your kindness is much appreciated!

  • ShellyKramer

    Hey Sharon – thank you!!! And yes, I am. You already ARE fantastic – a vlog will make you even more so!!!

  • sharonhayes

    I've joked with some male friends that for guys, it is so much easier. Don't need to worry about makeup, hair, what they are wearing, lighting and cleavage yes or no haha

    You're welcome & thanks toots!

  • ShellyKramer

    You are so correct, Sharon. But then maybe the lesson here is that we need to worry less about looking “perfect” and more about just having a great message. So hard, I know, but I'm resolved to try and worry less about what I look like (or what I think I look like) and more about content. <crossing fingers, squaring shoulders> <it's still hard!> <why are we women so hard on ourselves, anyway???> <dammit>

  • fjfonseca

    Of course it was a compliment #fact

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks Steve. I actually am a fan of snarky headlines and wear my dork crown proudly, so those statements are meant to be attention getting (marketing gal that I am) and not apologetic — and I think you got that. Love your book and, based on the huge amount of feedback I got from all my friends about wanting to start vlogging, I think you should me a copy for a review – I'll bet I can sell a few for you :) )

    Thanks again for stopping by and for your comments – always appreciated. And I look forward to our next 'conference encounter' :) ))

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks much! Your comments lead me to your Twitter page and then to your website – love what you're doing and am darn glad to know you … oh the beauty of the online world. Thanks again – much appreciated.

  • ShellyKramer

    #KnewThat

  • ginidietrich

    I finally watched this (I've had it open for days so I screwed up your analytics). I LOVE IT! First of all, you are NOT a dork! Secondly, you totally cut off your head, but it makes it so much more real. Thirdly, I love your candidness and approach. And lastly, I LOVE your China cabinet!

  • http://twitter.com/trontastic Levi Wardell

    Okay see, there you go again forcing us schleps to step up our game. How am I supposed to continue with my laziness when people like you continue to kick ass and take names, trying new things, and continuously raising the bar??? :)

    Great job Shelly. Keep rockin.

  • http://twitter.com/JasonVerhoosky Jason Verhoosky

    Shelly- I love that you jumped in head first and joined the ranks of the video blogger! I love the put it out there, and tweak it later approach! It shows who you are, gives it a very “real” feeling, and lets your readers get to know you for you.
    As for learning to edit, it will come when you truly need it. Make learning a part of the process and it will become one of the things that you love to do!
    Keep up the good work, and I hope to see video more regularly on your blog!

  • http://twitter.com/trontastic Levi Wardell

    Is it bad that the first thing I noticed was the awesome China cabinet too? :)

  • ShellyKramer

    LOL. Everyone loves the turquoise china cabinet (except for my husband). My selection of that spot was strategic :) )) Thanks Levi!!

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks, Jason. Appreciate the kudos and the thing about putting it out there is that you've kinda sorta got to deliver. All part of my plan. it reads like this: The risk of public humiliation motivates slacker!

    Thanks so much for stopping by – you're the best!

  • ShellyKramer

    Get going, dude. I'm the veritable Queen of Slackers and if I can do it, so can you. I'm watching now. And am a fantastic nagger. Just ask my husband.

  • ShellyKramer

    Thanks G. Now that I've shamed you into actually coming by my blog. <Hahaha> I keep your site open for days, too, stealing all your ideas and scraping content, so we're even. <even bigger Hahahaha>.

  • http://twitter.com/Singing_Moose Grayson Braxton

    Great! Congratulations! You did it! :-) I feel inspired to attempt it myself!

  • http://www.randomshelly.com Shelly

    I am so behind in reading – so I just watched this – I think you did an excellent job! You are not a dork… and that is a cool necklace!

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