it just occurred to me (while porting over more old posts) that Queer As Cat, the YouTube channel, has been a thing for 5 years now as of May 11th.
a week before that i made a really long, convoluted “Pros & Cons” list about blogging vs vlogging over on LiveJounal. the post itself is viewable only to those who have friended me on LJ, but among the pros and cons were:
BLOGGING VLOGGING PROS PROS anonymity: it’s much easier to blog while still “in the closet” to family. ease of conveying info: i think it’s easier to get more across with fewer words through speech/gestures/etc compared to what it would take to convey the same thing in text. clarity/organization: it’s easier to be organized and clear about ones thoughts through writing. find-ability: youtube is already home to a HUGE community of LGBT and queer vloggers and with the inclusion of certain keywords in my vids i can easily become a part of that without any real promotion on my part. when it comes to written blogging communities and being found, things are infinitely harder. ease of reference: i think that it’s easier to reference past topics etc in a written blog. edit-ability: it’s very easy to edit a mistake that you find in a blog entry after it’s been published. CONS CONS time required: the time required to type up a good blog entry is less than required to make a good vlog, but at the same time a wall of text is boring and hard to digest so more time would have to be put into graphics, illustrations etc. plus a blog requires maintenance if it’s self-hosted. time required: making a really well done vlog is time consuming because it requires not only coming up with what you want to say, but potentially several takes to get the final video(s) recorded plus potentially lots of time to edit & then upload the vid. walls of text: some of the topics that i’d like to talk about would probably result in a wall of text. who wants to read that? only the most interested of people… lack of anonymity: i’m not “out of the closet” to my family and there is the potential, however slim, that someone will recognize me and out me to my family before i come out on my own. public speaking: i am not extroverted or socially inclined AT ALL and public speaking is not something that i enjoy, so how will i cope with talking about very personal things in front of a camera/to strangers? emotions: when i get to talking about something that i feel very strongly about i tend to get emotional and can easily get carried away… lack of edit-ability: once a video is uploaded there is no way of editing it other than adding in captions/notes. even with captions/notes, though, what you actually said will always still be there as if recorded in stone… you could take down the video and reupload it, but then you would lose everything connected to the previous video.
as you can see, according to my logic at the time (some of which was admittedly faulty in hindsight), blogging was The Way To Go and vlogging probably wasn’t worth it. bearing in mind that i had already created Queer As Cat the Tumblr blog prior to even considering making a YT channel, i could have just used Tumblr to blog more “properly” (as opposed to using it only to reblog, as i had been doing up to that point). even years later, i still more or less use Tumblr primarily for reblogging because even more so now than was the case back then, putting my thoughts into writing that passes as ‘intellectual’ out on the web is stressful for me.
anyway, as i continued on to write in the LJ post, despite the obvious drawbacks that come with vlogging, ultimately i still wanted to try vlogging because:
- it’d be useful as recordkeeping for myself, first and foremost. it has been great looking back through my lj entries overtime and seeing how i’ve grown and changed, but being able to ACTUALLY look back at my self through video would be so much more awesome. especially as i am considering the possibility of physical/aesthetic changes in the future.
- i feel like there really isn’t enough out there by/for/about/etc “people of color” in the LGBT/queer community. people like to think that ethnicity has nothing to do with things, but it (or rather the culture tied to it) really does (at least for some people).
looking back on the first video that i made (along the majority of the videos tbh), i cringe for a million different reasons now, but in the end i’m happy that i did take that first step into vlogging. i never expect to be still doing it 5 years later, let alone to have as many subscribers as i do, but i can only imagine what life would look like for me today had i not started vlogging.
5 years feels more like 10 years when i look back at the contents of the videos themselves, but 5 years from now– when the videos are actually 10 years old– hopefully i’ll still be going at it, video documenting stuff for my own benefit (as well as others) regardless of whether an actual need for it exists or not. an actual need beyond my own, that is.
from both of us here at Queer As Cat,
here’s to the years to come.