NaVloPoMo. It's a Web 2.0 mouthful and an event I am both dreading and excitedly looking forward to. (Inter)National Vlog Posting Month is a spin off from NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month which is the blogging derivative of NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month, an annual event where writers make a goal of writing a novel in a month by forcing themselves to write a little every day. Ok, take a breath.
Rupert Howe of Twittervlog.tv (check out his videoblog, it's really a treat) was inspired by the persistence of writers during NaBloPoMo that he wanted to give videobloggers an equal kick in the pants. So last year, a few days before the annual writing bonanza began on November 1, Rupert suggested we follow suit and make a video a day for the next 30 days as well.
It was a daunting suggestion for many videobloggers--including myself, and I have posted more videos in the past four years that I can even count. Actually, I sort of counted, and I'm hitting the 700 video-glass ceiling, but at least I was able to spread that out over several days, weeks, years. Rupert was suggesting we post a video every day for a month. Have an idea (it doesn't have to be good), record, edit if you feel like it, compress if you know what's good for you, then post, and don't forget to watch everyone else and link to your video on the Ning Social Network and tag properly so we can keep track on Mefeedia or Technorati. AYE! You're kidding, right?
Videobloggers have been known for making rules for themselves to keep their posts consistent and their ideas fresh. From the birth of videoblogging in early 2004, there were a handful of folks who started the ritual of Videoblogging Week. Post a video a day for a week. Doesn't sound too tough, but it got people to collaboratively post all at the same time and with the idea that anything was possible. Put 30 seconds up there, walk us through your day, edit a masterpiece today, post crap tomorrow, play a game with another videomaker, create an esprit de corps. Videoblogging Week happened and was documented in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
In January of 2008, another insane idea popped up by Rupert and Amsterdamian vlogger Ze Nuno- to post a video every week for all of 2008. They called it Semanal, meaning weekly in Portuguese. Semanal was also a challenge to get us to document and keep track of everyone using a more open source approach than Ning (which is closed and, wtf, they don't let you export your content). We built a WordPress blog and installed the vPIP plugin that allowed comments to have embedded QuickTime and Flash videos play right there by just pasting a raw link. A lot of vloggers prefer QuickTime over Flash, and this was a way for anyone to just paste their video file link (no messing with embed code) and have it play in the comment section. We also built custom fields so participants could paste their blog post permalink so followers could easily click over and comment there. It was a fun challenge, tweaking the blog and plugins to fit our project's needs.
Of course, as video makers, we had triple duty in the span from November 2007-April 2008 when NaVloPoMo occurred, Semanal began, and Videoblogging Week was announced (randomly and whenever someone feels like it should happen and emails the Yahoo Videoblogging list or Twitters it). I was still recovering from November's NaVloPoMo and 2008's Semanal so that in April, for the first time, I could not complete VB Week 2008. After posting two videos, I just couldn't do it. I happened to be moving across the country and helping a friend tear down a barn to build a house at the time, so that didn't help my motivation.
In fact almost every year, Videoblogging Week falls at the time my lease is up and it's time to move. 2005 found me moving away from Boston for the first time in my life to New York City. 2006, Jay and I had just moved to San Francisco from New York. 2007 we had moved from the city to a little intentional community in the suburbs of SF. 2008 it was back to the East Coast and, well, I was tired and only posted three videos. I'm always a little annoyed and very grateful that these events coincide because I would never take the time to fully document my moves without the added pressure of a collaborative project.
NaVloPoMo takes that idea just a little bit further, pushes you closer to the edge, and is every bit as rewarding. This year I imagine we'll have more people participating than ever, as these things tend to expand exponentially with time. I'm going to try my damnedest to post a video a day for all of November 2008. Should be a good one since the election is going to be in the first week. I encourage anyone to pick up their video camera, shoot some footage, post it wherever you post your videos, and tag it VloMo08. Check out the Mefeedia page to see who is active. Now you can even search the whole wide web for VloMo08 starting November 1st. Good luck!
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