A few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of not only “growing where you are planted,” but also of “planting seeds elsewhere.” One of the discussion streams that occurred as a result of that post was HOW, exactly, can one grow relationships with others across the miles. For that reason and also to highlight the value of utilizing technologies as tools for networking, I want to focus today’s post on internet video applications that can be especially useful for networkers. In particular, I want to cover the vlog and VoIP.
- Vlog. A vlog, or a “video blog,” is a take off on a blog whereby instead of utilizing only the written word, it takes it up one notch so that the recipient receives both the words and the video — to see facial expressions, voice inflections, mannerisms, etc. from the person doing the “talking.” I recently learned about vlogs at a one-day conference I went to called, “The Business of Writing.” One of the speakers, Leah Stella Stephens, or “StellaBelle” as she is more commonly known, talked about the importance of utilizing video to convey messages. StellaBelle has built an enormous following on YouTube through her channel, StellaBelle, and now has the ability to convey her messages through words, costumes, makeup, eye contact, facial expressions, etc. She believes that video is much more powerful than written blogs because there is a chance for the creator to better express him/herself and share a bit of personality with the viewer. I love these ideas in concept, though I admit the jury is still out for me as to whether I am better able to express myself via video than in writing. To give it a go, I recorded this vlog (my first!) for you, dear reader… if you are so inclined to be a viewer, too, please check it out and let me know what you think. Your response(s) will help me to decide whether this is a viable form of expression for me in the future!
- VoIP. VoIP or “video over internet protocol” is a way to have calls and video discussions with others over the internet. For purposes of this post, I refer to VoIP very generically — I don’t know enough about the technology to comment on exactly what is taking place or how it is different from other types of video technology — I could comment, but I’m sure I will get the details wrong! It’s not even important for networkers. What is important to know is that typically, these services are offered at no or low cost and enable the user to have very direct, virtual face-to-face conversations — using either voice only or voice and video — across the planet! Some of the best known products associated with VoIP are Skype, FaceTime and Google Talk. I for one am a huge fan of these services. Personally, I use Skype to get to know current and prospective customers in international locations. It helps us to know more about one another when distance and language can sometimes serve as barriers and helps us to accomplish our goals. In a more social sort of capacity, connecting or reconnecting with friends and family – far and near – is so simple using phones and computers outfitted with these applications. It is the next best thing to being there in the room with them!
Are you using video services to communicate your key messages? I would love to hear from you. As one just getting started with the use of this medium, I could use a few pointers! Please share your ideas, observations and advice with the CLC community.
P.S. — Yesterday, I announced a special deal… order copies of Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking from my site and shipping is on me! The personalized inscription is free, too! The book makes a great stocking stuffer… be sure to pick up a copy for yourself, too. Hurry… offer ends Sunday at 11:59pm Central time.