Steve Bremner

Author, Podcaster & Writing Coach

Why I Am a Podcaster Instead of a VloggerThis post is a 5 min read

Why I am a Podcaster Instead of a Vlogger

Recently I had a spiritual epiphany one day and I thought “man, I should write a blog about that!” This happens quite often, as my archives can attest to from time to time. More often than not, stuff slips my mind, or I don’t actually find the time to write it out.

That actually happens more than how often I blog, just in case you’re wondering.

Then I realized the particular realization I had would take quite some time to unpack, so I decided instead of writing it out, why don’t I podcast it?

Again, this is something else that also happens quite often if I have a suitable guest to discuss it with (*cough cough*, Dave Edwards or Stephen Crosby, *cough cough*). But again, due to the work involved in preparing a 30 or 60 minute podcast recording, these revelations are fewer and farther between than the blog posts are.

So I started putting my thoughts down in the way I normally prepare some long-form points for a script of sorts to keep me focused when I turn the mic on and record.

Then I realized I need to get this revelation of mine on the internet much faster while it’s still fresh manna.

I need to make a YouTube video. Yeah, that’s the perfect form for this!

But I don’t really have the conditions to make a good video anywhere in my apartment. Not at my desk, and certainly not at my dining room table close to the living room window. Sure, I’ll have natural light, but what about good sound?

So I decided since I see so many people put absolute rubbish-quality videos on YouTube that go viral, I decided my standards don’t need to be high since a maximum of twenty people will watch this in the end.

I took my Kindle Fire Tablet, went to a nearby park, sat under a tree, and filmed myself for under 8 minutes. The quality didn’t turn out perfect, which was what I expected of course. I then tried posting it online later that day.

The upload failed.

So I tried again over night doing so directly to Facebook and then I went to bed. When I checked the next morning, I noticed it failed part way through.

I decided going the YouTube route again. After nearly 2 hours, it froze and then crashed.

So, I decided to upload the video to my podcast feed, and I figured I’d give the link to Dave Edwards, one of my co-admins for the Fire On Your Head podcast page on Facebook, and have him upload it there like he did in the past for me with another video.

Wouldn’t you know it, it crashed again.

So I gave up and haven’t uploaded the video in two weeks.

This experience, by the way, is a great summation of why I do audio podcasts and not video. With my third world internet connection, audio is much easier to deal with than video, at least when it comes to file size.

The bigger the file, more time wasted when it fails.

Audio vs Video Podcasting

Photo credit: Church Tech Today

Coincidentally, last week I read a post by Paul Alan Clifford over at Church Tech Today called Audio vs. Video Podcasting: What Your Church Should Use and Why.

The author and fellow Google Plusser I’ve been been following for a while now sums it up quite nicely. In this post about what churches should do for syndicating their content, he gives reasons why this missionary with a paltry 3 MPBS of internet bandwidth makes an audio podcast and doesn’t have a YouTube channel.

For me, it’s easier to produce, and it’s much faster for me than even the terribly poor quality videos I’ve made are.

There are two main reasons I stick to only writing blogs and making audio podcasts:

  1. As a podcast consumer, I mostly listen to audio, anyway &
  2. As a podcast producer, it’s much easier to produce audio than it is to produce video.

As a consumer, ask yourself this as Paul does in his post:

When you’re out for a run, can you watch video?  When you’re driving your car, can you watch video?  When you’re working at your computer, can you watch video and still be productive?

No. In all those situations, you can listen to audio, though.

Again, just as a consumer, I’m confronted with the reality that normally a video requires more commitment from me than just listening, but also asks me for my attention. I’ve also noticed most of the videos people give me, aside from Eric Gilmour and Dr. Stephen Crosby who are excellent at short bite-sized content (3-5 minutes), I’ve noticed a lot of the YouTube channels I’ve been asked to check out don’t seem to know this trick.

When I see a video show up in my newsfeed on Facebook I click on it for a moment to see it start buffering to give me an idea of how long it is going to be. If I see it’s 10 minutes long (give or take), there’s scant possibility I’ll even watch it. If it’s two hours long, trust me, you’re really asking a huge favor of me if you want me to watch it.

Planning on sending me hour long videos when the preacher doesn’t even use Powerpoint or a white board or anything that having recorded in video format would be beneficial? Maybe at the most I’ll put it on in the room and listen to it, but otherwise, I already have a lot of “face time” in the course of the day where I’m in front of a screen or a device and want to find ways to diminish and not increase that time.

I’d rather consume content like mp3s, as do many other podcast consumers.

Clifford also goes on to say in his post,

Audio is easier to edit. It’s easier to distribute. It’s easier to consume.

This is where many churches are missing out. Because audio is so much easier to consume, stripping the audio from the video and releasing it as a stand-alone podcast will likely increase the people who consume it.

Doing the opposite will likely cause you to lose subscribers because the people who only listen when their eyes are occupied will quit downloading it if you only distribute videos.

That’s exactly right.

So, that’s my answer to those of you who ask from time to time why I don’t have a YouTube channel. I hope this helps explain why!

About Steve Bremner

Steve the coffee drinker is a Canadian missionary to Peru, who after raising up disciples to flow in the power of the Holy Spirit within a missional community named Oikos for many years, now helps people bring their own ideas and messages to life through books and audio productions. If you like Steve's blog, you'll also like his books and audiobooks. Note: this post may have contained affiliate links of which the author receives a small commission if you purchase something recommended in the post.