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Amanda UnBoomed

Monday, November 21, 2005


Wow, a lot of drama going on at the yahoo videoblogging group this weekend. Andrew and Michael Verdi seem to be having a bit of a showdown.

If people really knew Andrew, they would know he would never say "I think personal videobloggers are valuable" if he didn't mean it. It's not just something he uses to buffer whatever statement he makes next. He truly believes it. As do I. He likes to critique and discuss and push the envelope and sometimes those discussions turn heated and ugly. That's too bad, because it clouds his true intent.

It's not a secret that both Andrew and I happen to prefer shows. That's just our taste. That's why we say we'd love to see more of them. There is a difference between what you consider valuable and valid and what you prefer. We recognize, respect, and watch the vlogs of personal videobloggers.

What is sad is that not everyone in this community can give us the same respect in return. Even if you don't like us, which is totally fine, just let us do our thing. I don't get why, for whatever reason, there are people on the yahoo list (a small group of people, but an agressive bunch) that have attacked us from Day 1. We came into the group like any other two people new to vlogging, asking for advice and support and we got downright verbally abused by 3-4 of the list's loudest citizens.

My only wish is for us all to be able to exist in harmony. Why is that so hard? There are infinite possibilities for vlogs and aren't we lucky that the internet can house them all?

Last May I was quoted in this AP Article as saying: "We wanted to have a creative video blog that would be palatable. A lot of the video blogs out there are by someone in their bedroom, half-awake. Mainstream America is not gonna want to watch that. We wanted to get people watching stuff online, to get people interested in this new medium."

I standby this statement. I do not believe that most personal vloggers will ever have a large mainstream (mainstream meaning people who don't blog, podcast, videoblog) audience. Maybe it's possible, one day, and I would hope for that, but I don't see it as likely. This DOES NOT mean I believe everyone wants a large audience. That's clearly not the case. And it does not mean I think that everyone should do what we are doing with Rocketboom.

Below is my original post from the Yahoo Videoblogging list archives regarding the "palatable" quote:

I don't expect mainstream america to be interested in Amanda UnBoomed,
at least not right now. I'm not convinced that most of America is
interested in that kind of content-- yet. Amanda UnBoomed is my
project that I work on whenever I have time and for my own amusement.

Like Josh said, the audiences for Amanda UnBoomed and Rocketboom are
obviously very different. You are talking about two very different
things. UnBoomed is niche (mainly my viewers are other videobloggers
and my friends and family), while Rocketboom is more mainstream.

I think personal videoblogs are interesting, Ryan, including yours.
But I do feel that mainstream (mainstream meaning people who are not
involved with all these new forms of expression: blogs, podcasts,
vlogs) folks have a difficult time wrapping their heads around
personal videoblogs-- at least at this early point in this medium's
existence. My hope is that this will change.

Rocketboom can help to facilitate that change by bridging the gap
between TV and videoblogs. It's a starting point for a lot of people
when they first try to get into this medium. And it's a format that
they are familiar with because of TV. My hope with Rocketboom is
that when people new to videoblogging watch it, it will inspire them
to watch all types of other videoblogs. I want people other than
bloggers, podcasters, and other videobloggers to watch videoblogs.


  • At 9:45 PM, Blogger Chuck said…


    You're the first vlog that I've come across and I've appreciated the wit and creativity that you've introduced to the web. It's even made me contemplate starting my own vlog in the future.

    Being somewhat new to this format, I was wondering if you could suggest a handful of vlogs that you think are on the cutting edge of this new aspect to the web? Any help would be appreciated!

  • At 10:25 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    Hey C.L. Wynn, check out "The Short List" on my sidebar. Those are links to some of my favs.

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger Chuck said…

    Cool! Thanks bud!

  • At 8:05 PM, Blogger Teresa said…

    Hey Amanda,
    When you are doing something creative and innovative there is going to be those critics.
    But Rocketboom is doing what is doing...
    and it is doing it well.

  • At 10:00 PM, Blogger Dave H. said…

    I'm hoping that one result of the rough talk between andrew and michael on the videoblogging list is that we'll learn how to talk about this stuff more carefully. It's kind of easy to see where each side of the conversation can go wrong, and i don't think anyone doubts either side's sincerity and love of the medium. Rocketboom is exciting and creative and "popular." Video "diaries" are authentic and unpredictable and fascinating. neither of them are the second coming of christ, and of course there is room for all of it (and more). I'm sorry you guys are caught up in the controversy, it can't be pleasant. Thanks for staying in the game and caring enough to keep talking.

  • At 11:24 PM, Blogger Gary said…

    I love Rocketboom and in interviews Andrew has talked about the hours that go into producing it each day. 8-14 hours per day I think he said?. So pretty much a full-time job. But I understand it makes no money so far.

    So is it really surprising that almost no video loggers are producing 'shows' like Rocketboom and the most they can manage is an unedited single shot to camera about some aspect of their daily life?

    I'd be interested to hear your take on this.

  • At 3:07 AM, Blogger FOIL said…

    Amanda I really think that vlog / shows are the next evolution. I agree with you 110%. Yes there are in a sence mindless (not that you were saying that, but I am) vlogs out there that have nothing in value for my interest and I don’t think that average-American is going to sit and take the time to listen to someone talk about how they finally cleaned their car and find a soda cap that somehow is special to them. It's just not gripping. Anyway, great job!

  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger Gary said…

    Yes but let's get down to the nitty gritty of this... I have worked as a video editor and it's pretty standard for it to take one hour to edit one minute of video. Add the time preparing, writing, shooting and encoding and you wind up with 8 hours to create a 3-minute show. Plus you have costs.

    Who are the people who have this amount of free time to devote to doing this even weekly, let alone daily. Particularly if they are releasing the shows under some kind of Creative Commons licence.

    It just isn't going to happen unless it turns into a full-time paid job for those people.

  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger Cornie said…

    Hey this blog is not about vtc

    I have been doing hours of research on "video conferencing" and it brought me to your blog on Yahoos. Anyways, Amanda I was reading your blog and I think it is really cool. It’s really a pleasure reading your posts! Keep up the great work.

    Keep blogging away :-)

  • At 12:35 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    Back in May of 2005 I was first exposed to vlogs. At that time, I didn't really know, or understand what a Blog was much less a vlog. The first vlogs I experienced were Rocketboom's, Josh's, Michael's, Annie's, Shannon's, Ryan Ozawa's, Ryanne's etc. IT WAS WONDERFUL! To be able to put moving images online, and have the support of a community -- to see a wide range of just lovely stuff, and to have the world see my stuff, that was just too incredible! Now, for me, I find it very difficult to hear justifications from opposing factions stalwart in their opinions as to the purpose and or direction of vlogs -- from both the content advocates, to the personal, both sides of which have had wild success in their own ways. It becomes difficult because the initial sense of wonder I first experienced being exposed to this incredible form of expression, and creativity, gets drowned out with all of this hindsight posturing! And I have to remind myself of my initial innocence, as I continue to wrestle with the future of my own vlog. I must say thank you Rocketboom, and Micheal, and Ryanne, and all vloggers for being there. I would not be out there too, if it weren't for ALL of you!

  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger The Bam & Share Show! said…

    As a member of the Yahoo Videoblogging group I have been reading all those posts and just wanted to give you my two cents here. First of all, the bottom line is the fact that Rocketboom is entertaining and it's well produced so it's enjoyable to watch. Your show made me and my partner realize that vlogging could be a 'show' format and we started our own rock n roll style show. Rock n Roll TV

    I believe that basically there are two types of vlogs: the vlogger and the video internet show. (some are calling it a vodcast) But at the end of the day, anything that is well-produced is going to have a bigger fanbase because it is simply easier to watch! That doesn't make the vlogger style personal shows any less valid or wonderful. It's just a fact in mainstream entertainment values.

    In the world of music, I still love my collectible demos.... with out of tune vocals and sloppy guitars...because there is passion in there even if it's a little less perfect sounding. But I also love the same song on a well-produced cd/album where they took a little more time and had better recording gear.

    It really boils down to the intent, equipment and available time of the vlogger. Our intent is to produce an entertaining show about rock music that exists that doesn't get seen on MTV. Along with poking fun at celebs a bit! It seems Rocketboom presents the news in a way that's never been done! I can't wait to see how you guys keep changing and developing. As for personal vloggers, I believe they offer an intimate view of their lives which can be inspirational on many levels. There is definitely room for everything!

    If the internet is a highway, then vloggers have just begun clearing a path. We've got a loooooong way to go!

  • At 11:19 PM, Blogger Paul Mendoza said…

    Rocketboom is an awesome site and you guys have done a great job with it. I haven't found anything like Rocketboom before and I'm not suprised that the people didn't like what you guys were doing with video blogging because now you've made video blogging mainstream. Video bloggers are the people on the most cutting edge of technology at this point. So much so that its not mainstream but you're attempting to do so and I think that scares them because now they'll have to improve the quality of their shows to match yours if they ever want to get a large number of viewers.

    Stay creative and don't stop taking risks with your show. It's whats going to keep you on top!

  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Mr Topf said…

    Hi Amanda and other readers,

    first something about me: I am quite new to all this video stuff and Rocketboom was one of the first shows I encountered and is one of the shows I also regularly watch. It also inspired me to start again myself with video and put things online (see

    So I don't really understand why one needs to differenciate between video blog and video podcast or a "show" and so on. It's sort of a new medium and IIRC Michael Verdi also asked why there is such a hurry to define things.

    I personally just pick the stuff I like and these is certainly Rocketboom but maybe also some personal video blog. Both just depends on whether I think it's interesting to me or not. And this has not really something to do if it's edited or not.

    Personally I might start with some personal stuff like some shots of a party or whatever and then I start editing. But this is just my personal taste in order to get the things a little more condensed. I also know that it's a lot of work and not really everybody's thing.

    But that does not really mean that the one or another is bad or good. It's just as always: The consumer will decide.

    And here we are on the positive side compared to commercial TV, because there are no or small costs involved and thus also stuff not that popular can survive and this is good!

    (and now I go reading this yahoo thread ;-)

    Merry Christmas to everyone!


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