Academic vlogging

The what, why and how of academic vlogs

Much is said and written about the power of video for everything from brands to academic research. The impact of video is clear but in the last 10 years few academics have used video and vlogs to promote their research. All that could change as the new generation of early career researchers, presumed digital natives, start to leverage main stream social networks and use the many newer academic social networks.

Here we share reflections from one academic on the use of vlogging in academia and the result of an undergraduate’s year long research on how to start your own vlog.

Academic Vlogging II 
Carl Gombrich presents a very insightful vlog sharing his perspectives on vlogging for academics. He questions whether you really need to write in a certain way to communicate knowledge thoughts and ideas. He goes on to quote James Clerk Maxwell, a 19th Century mathematical physicist

“Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express. Let them make the effort to express these ideas in appropriate words without the aid of symbols and, if they succeed they will not only lay us laymen under a lasting obligation, but we venture to say, they will find themselves very much enlightened during the process and will even be doubtful whether the ideas expressed in symbols will have ever quite found their way out of their equations and into their minds.”

Gombrich suggests that Maxwell says translating symbolic language into ordinary language is a productive process that helps in the conceptualisation of what you are doing mathematically. Grombrich goes on to suggest that this is applicable to the humanities too, and that if you have an idea you should be able to express it in simple language.

Grombrich’s vlog is just under 10 minutes long and is really worth watching all the way through, as he considers the notion of academic writing and what it means for the academic register.


How to Start Your Own Vlog 

As an undergraduate Laura Richardella chose to study vlogging for her communications senior seminar project. The result is a well-structured nine part series on how to start your own vlog. The subjects covered are:

  1. Introduction
    What to consider when starting a vlog
  2. Previous research
    Laura talks about the research she conducted on media richness theory, social presence theory and vlogging. She outlines the definition of a vlog.
  3. Vlogging styles
    Laura categorises vlogging into several styles and explains each one with links to examples.
  4. Set up/Equipment
    Laura’s key point is to work with your resources. She covers everything from your setting to lighting and encourages viewers to consider what they are trying to communicate to their audience. She suggests using an appropriate, and if possible consistent, setting.
  5. Appropriateness and content
    This vlog article points out that the most popular vlogs have a more relaxed natural style. We have recently come across an excellent example of this style via @piirus_com from @Emma_Cole1. She has also done a short vlog for @piirus_com on why and how to set up your own academic vlog.
  6. Media Richness
    Laura’s definition of media richness is personalising your message in a way that is appropriate for your audience.
  7. Social Presence
    Laura talks about how to acknowledge your audience using social media.
  8. Additional Advice
    Laura covers things such as scheduling, using different channels, collaborating with others interested in your area.
  9. Recap
    The take away from Laura’s work for us at GA Jobs is that vlogging is a good to encourage a conversation with your audience.

All of Laura’s vlogs have references and links below them.

We’d really like to hear back from our audience about vlogging projects you are part of or are considering. Get in touch with us on Twitter with@Academyjobs using #acvlog.

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