Vlogging: How to vlog: I

Vlogging: How to vlog
: I just discovered this amazing software from Serious Magic called Visual Communicator that makes it easy to make TV. And it costs just $99. Add a good webcam (that is, one for $80 instead of $50 — here’s my new notebook cam) and you, my friend, are a TV pundit.

Click on the “more” link and learn how…

The software comes with a few crucial bits of functionality:

: First, it has a teleprompter, so you can write a script and read it while looking at a webcam. If you tried to make TV before, you had to memorize a script or wing it and say, “like, y’know, I mean” a lot while you thought of the right words to say. No more. You have a script, just like a TV anchor, a TV reporter, an Oscar host, or a presidential candidate.

: Second, it allows you to incorporate graphics with nothing more than a click and a drag. I put in pictures of the WTC designs with little effort. Once I actually learn what I’m doing, I’ll do a smoother job of it but the point is still made.

: Third, it comes with green-screen technology (and the $139 version comes with a green backdrop as well as a quality microphone) , so you can put an image behind you (as I do in the WTC vlog). So just like a real TV anchor, you can act like you’re in front of the White House or backing up to the New York skyline.

: Fourth, because you can cue your graphics to your words, you don’t have to go crazy writing scripts that time-out exactly. You write your words and add graphics; you rehearse; you record; you’re done.

It is incredibly easy.

See an online demo here.

Once you make the video, you save it as a Microsoft Windows Media Player file (no, not a Real Audio file), and just put it up on your server (as Anil Dash instructed me) and you’re done. God help any of us if this becomes popular; the bandwidth costs will kill us. But it is easy.

And as bandwidth increases out in the audience, this will become only more popular.

This is eye-opening technology. It does for video what Quark did for publishing and Blogger did for punditry. It brings video to the masses.

Dan Rather, beware!