Video blogging (or vlogging or video podcasting) is the new trend of posting and distributing personal video and stories over the internet. It has increased in popularity among nonprofits as a very effective tool to share stories, reach constituents and communicate online. But there are still many nonprofits that are hesitant to even try it because of misconceptions and fear. So here are seven good reasons why your nonprofit should consider using videblogging:
1. Share stories of your non-profit’s programs or work. One of the great things about videoblogs is that it offers an interactive way of sharing your non-profit’s story. It has much more impact than dry texts on web pages or even fancy brochures. Video also helps you capture human feelings that words can’t always do such as a facial expression and the tone of voice.
2. Communicate with others. Videoblogging offers a richer experience than text blogging because it combines movies, sound, images, and text and makes the things we see on video seem more real. You and your supporters are passionate about your cause - and video is a much richer medium to communicate that passion.
3. Viral distribution. Videoblog content is much faster than traditional media like TV and cable, delivering video to web sites instantly. Websites like YouTube have demonstrated that an interesting videoclip can go viral and reach audiences of many thousands - at no distribution cost to you!
4. Affordable and easy to use. Videoblogging is growing quickly because it’s easy, fun to do and a very effective way to communicate with others. New technologies are also making video really easy to produce, so anyone can create a videoblog.
5. Build awareness. Videoblogging is a great tool for creating awareness and bringing about change. Use it to showcase your nonprofit’s programs, why people should care about what you do, and of how you do it. Students for a Free Tibet use video on their blog extensively to document protests and other events: Here are a few good examples:
6. Increase donations. It’s easy for people to act upon the stories and causes they experienced through your digital story by giving right away. Here's one organization that videoblogging has helped increase their donations.
7. Build an online community. Videoblogs can help you build an online community just as a text blog can. Videoblogs can be fed and distributed through RSS and allow users to leave comments similar to replying to a post on a blog. Unicef is doing a great job with video podcasts.
Getting Started with Videoblogs
Now that you know all about the benefits you can get out of vlogging, getting started is easy. There are many tutorials, tools and guides that will help you out. Here's a few good resources that we've found.
Beth Kanter has a good resource on how nonprofits are using online video sharing sites with examples and links.
Netsquared has a great post about vlogging and digital storytelling for your nonprofit as well as examples of interesting vlogging projects. They also did a great interview about videoblogging with Irina Slutsky, a video blogger and tech blogger in San Francisco.
Techsoup also has an online event about this topic to learn more about vlogging and digital storytelling.
Freevlog and VideoEgg are excellent resources. Their video tutorials are free and you'll find a lot of information to help get you started.
Videoblooging.info is another good guide. It describes video blogging, provides links to popular video blogs and helps visitors figure out how to start their own video blog.
Video hosting services
Blip.tv provides free hosting for videoblogging and podcasting.
Ourmedia is a hosting service that provides a venue where you can upload video and create a vlogging community.
YouTube is another free hosting service to showcase your videos.
Vlogging directories and readers
FireAnt is a good website to list your vlog and attract viewers. It is a video aggregator and comes with a bunch of video feeds.
iTunes Music Store allows you to add your vlog to their list of video podcasts.
Feedburner provides media distribution and gets your media out there in the Vlogosphere to audiences for blogs and RSS feeds.
nptech nonprofit web2.0