The Future Of Vlogs

With the growing popularity of web video platforms such as Youtube, more people are taking to uploading self-made videos online. From resembling daily log-entries, vlogs have evolved to cater to specific audience interests. Many users have developed vlogs to cover subjects such as their hobbies and interests.

User LifeAnnStyle vlogs about her craft hobbies:

User ReadUnlimited films herself reviewing books on her vlog:

Of course, these creations blur the lines between the classic vlog entry and other types of online video (eg, the how-to video, the review video, etc)However, in this genre, users seem to have the freedom to be as specific or as broad in the subjects featured on vlogs, as they are on regular blogs.

Nevertheless, there are benefits to a vlogger sticking to certain “rules”. If gaining subscribers or viewers is one of the main goals of a vlog, then it’s worth noting that several of the more successful vlogs are those that have consistently dealt with certain subjects or those that have been created in a particular style. These gather an audience that grows familiar with the vlog’s content and style, and grow to be distinctive.
Given the vast amount of content that’s found online, the ability to stand out in this way is a huge advantage for a vlog.

An example of a vlogger who’s gained a devoted audience in this way is ViHart. Her channel features a number of videos that all deal with Mathematics and Music. Additionally, she has a quirky style of presentation; she uses quick narration over a choppy video that usually focuses on her colored markers as she writes out explanations for complex “mathemusical” concepts.


The format of a vlog allows producers to be quite creative with it. Some in the film industry have taken advantage of this and incorporated the vlog into longer entertainment productions,  eg. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog – a musical tragicomedy miniseries in three acts.
The film is about Dr. Horrible filming entries for his video blog while giving updates on his schemes and responding to various emails from his viewers.

The film was hugely popularity among viewers on the internet, and eventually was adapted into a TV series, and a comic book. These developments hint at the many ways vlog content can possibly evolve in the future.

It might be worth keeping an eye out for vlog references in pop-culture. They definitely have the potential to become the next big media phenomenon if worked with creatively.

The Future of Fanvideos

Over the past few decades, fanvideos have evolved to entertain viewers in new and exciting ways. In the beginning, videos were simply a compilation of clips that portrayed the relationship between two characters. If you were lucky, there might have even been some sappy music. Today, however, the editing abilities at the fingertips of even the most amateur video creators have expanded to an incredible level. Fanvideos have continued to depict couples as they are, but they have also branched off into categories of videos where the editing tells a whole different story than what the original show depicted. This is referred to as AU, or alternate universe. Fans now have the software in front of them that enables any story to be told, whether it is what actually happened or what they wished had happened.

So will people ever get tired of fanvideos? That is like asking if people will ever get tired of romantic comedies. Chances are good that the fanvideo genre will be around for quite a while. The videos allow creators to gush over the relationships they love and enable them to put all of their favorite moments into one short video. As the attention span of today’s youth gets smaller and smaller, it is no wonder that fanvideos, a genre that shows all of the “good stuff” in a matter of minutes without all the junk in between, continue to remain popular.

The future of fanvideos is anybody’s guess, but the genre has ample room to grow and evolve. As long as people continue to get behind the couples who drive television shows, which there is no evidence to say otherwise, fanvideos will continue to be popular. The current length, about three to four minutes, will probably stay the same, as it allows for a montage of clips without going over the average youtube user’s video length preference. Personally, I will be happy if fanvideos stay just the way they are right now. It is a comfort to know that, with just a few clicks, I can be swept off my feet by those unrealistic relationships that we are just so unable to resist.

The Future of Public Service Announcements

 The genre and style of public service announcements hasn’t changed considerably over time. The way they existed in the 30s and 40s is very different from the way they are now, however their intent has always been consistent, as they serve a very specific social purpose. Originally PSAs existed as extended short films with the purpose of bringing about social awareness of a cause. They were heavily focused on concerns with the war effort, and were almost a type of propaganda. There are also several different approaches in delivering PSAs, as many have played all around on the spectrum between comedy and tragedy, so as of recent there have been very few revolutionary concepts introduced into PSA production.

  Despite this there have been two relatively large changes in PSAs which have helped to influence their style. First the length has changed drastically from the 40s and 50s. Back then PSAs were more like short films which took up a portion of broadcasting airtime. Now they almost exclusively exist as commercials, with story lines confined to a 30 second to minute long time span. This has forced PSAs into having to deliver an entire story arc with an effective message in an incredibly short amount of time. Another development that has spurred within recent years is the use of sincerity and graphic depictions. The worst PSAs are those which come off as melodramatic, and many “serious” PSAs have ended up being this way. Good examples of melodramatic PSAs would be Brain on Heroin ( The message falls flat in these commercials and become humorous, which defeats the purpose of the advertisement. Recently the Montana Methamphetamine Project hired Darren Aronofsky to create a series of PSAs(The most powerful in my opinion are the ones titled Friends: Mother: and Desperate: These 30 second commercials are intense and genuinely dramatic, and are in my opinion some of the best PSAs created.

  I think that PSAs are still very relevant within popular culture, as they are often recreated, referenced and parodied in many different formats. They also are able to inform people of issues and concerns they might not be aware of, thus they still having a valid purpose. I am most interested in seeing PSAs with improved writing quality (like the Montana Meth Project) as they are jarring and well done pieces of short film. Humorous PSAs have already been well established and I think are a lot easier to pull off, which makes the possibility of good dramatic PSAs extremely appealing to me. PSAs are also developing a presence of the internet and some informal viral PSAs  that were created have been very effective. This one ( plays off of the make-up tutorial genre to deliver a powerful message about domestic violence. Videos like these are able to reach an entirely different audience, and are a great format for PSAs to develop.

  In terms of where PSAs can go from here, I think it would be interesting to see PSAs made for issues beyond what they are made for now. PSAs often take on obvious evils like drug use, unsafe driving practices and other miscellaneous hazards. However, I would like to see some PSAs informing viewers on structural violence or other greater aspects of our society which have birthed a plethora of problems. The format of the PSA has such a large potential for bringing about change, yet I don’t think those capabilities have quite been realized yet.

The Future of Amateur Sketch Comedy

Sketch comedy has changed over the years as the culture changes around it. This adaptation is on the one hand necessary so that audiences continue to find the jokes and situations funny and relevant and on the other hand reflects a change in the culture of the people making it — even if the audiences were identical or for some reason not considered during production, someone who grew up in the 70s would make a very different sort of sketch than someone who grew up in the 00s. In the same way, changing times and cultures will continue to affect the genre going forward.

Artistically, the biggest change that has happened for sketch comedy was the introduction of recurring characters. As far as the audience is concerned, this allows for the “inside joke” kind of reference that makes viewers that have seen the previous adventures with the repeated characters feel included in a different way from traditional sketches and creates a dedicated following that seeks out related sketches for the same reasons that people read all of the books in a series. For the creators, it allows for characters to be more fleshed out, more three-dimensional, and lets the writers build upon their previous work in an otherwise impossible way. I think that producers will continue to build sketch upon sketch in the future; it has recently become more popular, and I think that it will become even more common in the future than it already is. I do not think that it will be more common than stand-alone sketches, however, or even that it will become as common.

In the amateur realm, the advent of the internet was huge in allowing for the distribution of non-professional work. I don’t know how video would be more easily accessed than by web videos (though you can never really imagine changes like that — I’m sure that before CDs nobody imagined how to distribute music better than cassettes), but if there is a way, the forward trend will be for increased accessibility. From a production standpoint, as better cameras become more affordable, the video quality of amateur sketch comedy will increase. For example, you can already see the difference in production value in Julian Smith’s (we’ll use his work since we’ve already referred to it several times over the course of the manifestos) first video ( compared to his latest ( In the far future, if 3D becomes better and more accessible, it will likely make its way into sketch comedy (I’m thinking holodecks from Star Trek).

Sketch comedy isn’t going anywhere. Its resilience to change with cultures allows it to remain relevant and accessible to new generations, and its disconnect to other material means that it is not tied down to any preexisting material means that its future doesn’t depend on the continued popularity or knowledge of that earlier work. If becomes unpopular, it can very easily reinvent itself so that it is again. The amateur production and proliferation of sketch comedy will only increase in the future as well, as access to the necessary technologies (computers, cameras, editing programs) increases. I would like for sketch comedy to focus more on the sociopolitical commentary side of the spectrum than on the escapist humor side simply because I think that art (which is what sketch comedy is) should exist for a reason other than its simple existence. But there is certainly value in comedy for comedy’s sake, and I think that it should, and will, continue to be produced for both reasons.

The Future of Video Game Commentary

There are a lot of good things happening in the genre of video game commentary right now. The live streaming site Twitch is finicky, especially when large audience congregate on one live stream, but constant advancements in computer technology will surely allow commentary via live streams an increasingly viable option for more and more people to both produce and watch. Additionally, the production value and effort put into E-sports and video game commentary is becoming better and better all the time.


Here is a video showing a Korean Dota 2 tournament with some amazing production quality:


Here is an article talking about the U.S. government recognizing League of Legends as a sport, which adds legitimacy to esports and contributes to the health of the commentary genre:


This article talks about a South Korean Starcraft player being given an athlete Visa:


However, it is not all news is good news in the world of video game commentary. For the large majority of commentators that rely on youtube as their video hosting site. In recent months, youtube has implemented a strict and volatile new system that makes it very stressful for commentators and Let’s Play producers. The new Content ID system requires that many youtube commentators must submit their video to be scanned for copyright material before it is uploaded. If they do not do this, they risk getting a copyright strike against their channel, which can cause them to lose their partner status (ability to make money from advertisements).


Additionally, there is a new system that allows people to file copyright claims against other people and claim ad revenue from the videos in question until the claim is resolved. This has led to many people impersonating game companies on youtube and making copyright claims in order to steal ad revenue from videos. The most blatant example of this is when a copyright imposter by the name of “TombRaider” filed a copyright claim on videos released by the channel for the developers of the Tomb Raider video games. Not only did youtube take a very long time to work out the solution, even with the developers themselves providing proof that the claim was false, but the fake name was allowed to steal ad revenue from the developers for the duration of the claim.


Here is a great video by a video game youtuber “NerdCubed” explaining his thoughts about youtube’s new system:


Personally, I think video game commentary will survive even the strictest of youtube copyright crackdowns. Even if video game commentary did not evolve for a while, it would still retain audiences because there will always be new games and tournaments for people to commentate on. As streaming technology increases, video game commentary will only get better and bigger. Also, E-sports in general are becoming a huge hit across the world. During the grand finals of the last International Dota 2 championship, Valve (developers of Dota 2) reported over 1 million concurrent viewers, and next year should be even bigger. Personally, I think that video game commentary is on a great track right now. The only thing that could get better in my opinion is that Let’s Play producers sometimes put too little effort into their videos, and leave in parts where they get stuck in the game for long periods of time, or fail to warn about spoilers for the plot of the game they play. Other than that, I am excited to see just how big this genre can get!

The Future of Amateur Disaster Footage

Amateur disaster footage arguably has its roots in yellow journalism, the graphic and dramatic coverage that has graced the front pages of newspapers since the late 19th century. With the advent of photography, coverage of gruesome events became a lot easier, such as with Jacob Riis’ photojournalism project, How the Other Half Lives. The new dimension of movement was extremely important in developing this genre – video documentation of horrific events was incredibly valuable.

Now the genre is becoming easier, more widespread, and more comprehensive. With video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, the motivation for sharing footage has increased. With applications on smartphones, ordinary citizens can film and upload footage in minutes. Applications such as Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat use a video capture capability with a limited duration, giving rise to the “video tweet,” an ultra-short, unedited video. The quick versatility of these videos make them integral to the genre amateur disaster footage.

In the future, tweets, blog posts, and videos will get shorter and shorter to accommodate the lightning-quick speed of data. Disaster coverage will always be in demand, due to the inherent fascination for horrific events humans have. I predict that disaster coverage will become shorter and more graphic. It will also be easier to upload and search for. Developers will create smartphone applications to group these videos, in order to inspire and help activists.

Ideally, the spread of disaster footage would be controlled. These violent images can be incredibly disturbing and traumatic and when shown to a broader audience, such as young children, can cause significant emotional damage. We as a society need to understand the detrimental power of these videos and create restrictions on the audience.

The Future of Painfully Bad Music Videos

One thing is for certain, people and celebrities alike have noticed an increase in negative media turning them into massive tabloid stars overnight. There have not been many “Painfully Bad Music Videos” as of recently, but there have been music videos that use very controversial images and material to make a statement and brew conflict. For example, Miley Cyrus’s performance at the 2013 MTV VMAs was without a doubt one of the most repulsive musical acts in history. There was nothing sexy or seductive about the preformance and I think I speak for everyone in saying that everyone was a little shocked to see a once lovable Disney Channel star turn rogue and come out with a performance like that. But then again that was the point; shatter all prior assumptions and images of the stars innocent past so she can “reinvent” herself.

Now bear in mind that the video also has a majority of dislikes versus likes… but then again it also has 4+ million views in a little less than five months. Miley’s music video for her hit song Wrecking Ball has over 500 million views in just about 4 months, not to mention the endless number of parody videos on Vine and Youtube that glorify Miley even more. Again, though, notice the number of dislikes. There is almost a 50/50 split of likes to dislikes.

Now this may not seem all that relevant to “Painfully Bad Music videos”, but it is. It’s using bad publicity, or negative Publicity and turning it around to make millions and millions of dollars as well as being one of the hottest pop culture news topics. If there is one thing that tabloids and social media feeds off of more than anything, it’s OUTRAGEOUS or JAW-DROPPING gossip/drama. That’s how painfully bad music videos started. They took something that was bad and made it worse, with the intention of attracting attention. There really is no end to the material that could be used to negatively glorify oneself, which is why I do not believe this method of becoming famous will end–I actually think it will get bigger.


The Future of Fake Movie Trailers

The future is bright for fake movie trailers. And by bright, I mean exactly the same as the past and present. The strength and weakness of the fake trailer genre seems to be the same. There is not much change in the genre. Fake trailers will always just be trailers for movies that will never exist. As long as real movie trailers continue to stay the same, (which for the most part they have) so will fake trailers. That’s the key.

As a genre, fake trailers mimic the real trailers. Without that mimicry, the genre falls apart. The to examples above from movies made decades apart are a bit different, but serve the same purpose. Reveal the main characters of the two films and the plot without giving away too much information. Talk about the director and the actors, use some dramatic music, and some particularly beautiful shots from the film. That’s the formula for a typical and successful movie trailer.

The same goes for fake trailers. Trailers, unknown or in real movies or tv shows, follow the same general outline as the real movie trailers linked above. That’s why the future of the genre looks to stay the same. As real movie trailers have remained similar for decades, it can only be assumed that they will continue to do so. For this reason, the upstart genre of fake movie trailers will continue to remain the same for the foreseeable future.

The genre should stick to its roots. It began as something for fans to do in their free time. Now it has made its way into media like television and film. Fake trailers have millions of views on the Internet. All of the genre’s success stemmed from sticking to its roots. And nothing about that should change now.


The Fail Video as a Genre

The fail video has evolved slightly. Many of the beginning videos were single videos of one person failing in some way. As it grew in popularity, people started making compellations of different fails into one video. This made it easier for people to watch many of them at once. The fail video can be connected to many different genres such as sports, instructional, news, and basically any other that includes someone messing up. Almost any video has a potential for failure and if one occurs, then it becomes a fail video.

It seems as though the fail video will continue to be popular. There doesn’t seem to be too much further potential for it as it is already well known and there isn’t much room for it to evolve into something else. Sometimes there are waves of particular fails that people get interested into. One specifically is people failing the cinnamon challenge. The cinnamon challenge when people attempt to swallow a full spoon of cinnamon without coughing it back up. Almost everyone who attempts it, fails to do it. The failure is typically amusing as people are unable to control their reactions of trying to swallow cinnamon and they are usually extreme. People do not watch these videos to actually see people swallow cinnamon, but they watch them to watch the various ways people fail at it in a funny way. Some of the funniest ones are when people who look put together or tough completely lose it attempting this challenge. The cinnamon challenge video went through a phase of popularity a few years ago when many people would watch them. This inspired more people to attempt it themselves and post their failure on the Internet.

The root of the fail video is people messing up at pretty much anything possible. Most of the time the people failing are caught completely off guard and their vulnerability is exposed. These videos will always exist because people will always mess up. Humans will always make mistakes because that is in their nature. Looking at past trends of people getting amusement out of watching others fail and the fact that it is so popular today, it seems as though this genre will always exist. One thing is certain; there is an infinite amount of material for it to continue. There are variations of the fail video that go through waves of popularity, such as the cinnamon challenge, but ultimately it seems as though people will continue to gain amusement from failure. Personally I enjoy watching the different types of fail videos that exist and hope it continues. I watch the yearly compilations that are made and spent an unhealthy amount of time watching people fail the cinnamon challenge. I have embarrassing moments of my own and like to be reminded every now and then that other people do as well.


Below is another yearly compellation of fails and a failure at the cinnamon challenge.


The Future of Song Parodies

Clearly, the genre of song parodies has evolved greatly since the times of Bach and Mozart. However, the style and message in which Bach and Mozart wrote their parodies is almost the same. Artists in this genre are still taking popular music of the time and giving it their own spin, whether it be a slight variation in the melody or their own personal lyrics. Weird Al has made a career off of taking the latest and greatest songs, not changing the beat necessarily, but altering the lyrics into a completely different and often ludicrous subject.

The genre of song parodies certainly has a future, as people will always be looking to poke fun at the most popular songs of the time. As long as pop stars are spitting out records, they will always have the trusty parody songwriters to counter their hits. However, the future might be a little bit different from the past. Lately, song parodies have also started to include not only popular songs, but popular videos on the internet. These parodies are the latest fad in the 21st century, as hilarious news interviews and quirky commercials are turned into legitimate songs.

I don’t think that the genre has to evolve too much to remain interesting. My genre is purely based off of other people’s work, so it all depends on the mainstream artists to keep producing hit records, which in turn will allow artists like Weird Al to keep producing song parodies. It’s hard to imagine people getting bored of song parodies, as they are always original and never the same. With each new hit comes a new parody, so there are never any duplicates or repetition. Whenever I notice a song getting very popular, I get excited to see what parodies will be made of it, cause there is bound to be at least one hilarious one.

Personally, I am very excited for the future of song parodies. While I hope the genre stays true to its roots (Bach, Mozart), I am excited to see what advancements will take place in the viral videos category. It’s not like only one of the two genres can exist, I believe they both compliment each other nicely and can coexist just fine. The future of of song parodies has nothing to worry about, for as long as music remains fresh, original, and creative, so will the parodies that follow them.

The History of Review Video


If we look at the history of review video, it actually developed alongside since the invention of web video. There are people writing review articles ever since the start of public market, and it has gradually became a scene of reviewing as consumerism and global market developed. It is hard to actually trace down the first ever review online video, however, the trend of posting reviews as video has been popular popular since the 21st century.

 To know the history of review video, we need to find out why people write review in the first place. The popular belief is that most reviews come from a handful of serial reviewers who dutifully give feedback on all of their purchases. But in truth, most reviews come from first-time writers. In fact, 76% of reviews across the network come from someone who has not previously left a review on that site. There are new influencers joining this content revolution each day, so what motivates them to take the time?(

The reason people make review video

Once we start writing reviews and posting them online, it is not a hard transition from articles to videos .As video camera became less expensive, cell phones started to carry well-function front camera, review writers were were able to revolutionize their way of reviewing product and actually putting all the information they trying to convey into a video.


After the first person posted their video of reviewing a product, audiences are quickly drawn to this new form of information, since a large number of people from the first group of audiences started to film their own reviewing videos. Then, one by one, novice kept joining the team of producers and filming a review video became a habit for some people as mentioned above.

Beside from the increasing number of producers, the technology used in these videos has been improved gradually.

Look at this video from 5 years ago…

A review of Nokia 8310 Filmed With A Nokia 6120 Classic. Can’t imagine if a review video CAN be this bad, right?


And a glance of an average level review video from last year.

In general, the quality of review video has been ascended as the overall standard of making online videos. Addition to that, since more people start making review videos about all sort of product, just try type whatever item closest to you right now into the search box of youtube. It will absolutely blow your mind that there are people already made a video commenting it.


History of PSAs

  Public service announcements originated roughly around the start of the second world war. Their purpose was to disseminate information through television (and radio) in a fast and efficient manner. The first PSAs come from the United Kingdom through Public Relationship Films Ltd. in 1938. These short films focused primarily on general safety practice throughout daily life. Richard Massingham was the original original producer and actor in these films, and was eventually commissioned by the British government to create PSAs for the war effort. Massingham was the founder of Public Relationship Films, and was known for playing a hapless, dumb man unaware of certain social niceties.

Here is an example of a PRF video on sneezing:

Messingham’s films had a very humorous style, stemming from the optimism campaigns that the British government championed during World War II. Many of the videos made were on subjects of lifestyle, such as this one about tea preparation:

Public service announcements had a similar start in the U.S. as they did in the U.K. and were produced through the Ad Council. Since PSA’s were heavily involved in war time practice, after World War II the format had to  quickly expand to other types of issues. These involved subjects on public health, environmental safety and other such things much like the ones today. PSAs initially resembled short films, but slowly grew shorter as the nature of T.V. programming developed and they became more suitable for filling advertisement slots

 Currently, several different organizations use PSA’s to deliver messages to the public, and a majority occur as television advertisements or internet commercials. PSAs are so prevalent that they are commonly made and parodied in unofficial settings. Due to their relatively simple format and purpose, they are easy to recreate.

Here are some examples of PSAs made by middle school students:


The History of Song Parody Videos

The first known use of the term parody originated in 1587 on the title page of a parody mass by the German composer Jakob Paix. What Paix did was borrow another composer’s musical material, and by stating that it was a parody acknowledged the fact that the music was not his original work, just the lyrics. Parodies became rare until the 18th century, when Bach released “Cantate Burlesque”, which humorously made fun of of the florid da capo arias then in fashion. Since this event, parodies are more humorous than serious. Later in the 18th century, Mozart parodied many lesser composers and songwriters of his day in his piece “Musical Joke”. Theatrical music also began to take on the parody genre around this time, which included satirical songs set to popular music at the time.

Video Game Commentary: A Short History

Like other genres of videos, video game commentary has its own history that makes it unique. Video game commentary for E-Sports (Electronic Sports) treat video games just like any real-world sport, so the commentators for competitive games share the style of sports announcers that you might find in football or soccer. Many of the mannerisms you might find in sports casters are mirrored in video game commentators for big tournaments.

In what could be considered the first major example of popularized video game commentary in North America, the USA television network televised MLG (Major League Gaming) tournaments for the first time in 2006. This included commentary for the games “Super Smash Bros” and “Halo 2”. At this stage in its history, game commentary was not yet accessible enough for the average gamer to produce, so MLG had a bit of a monopoly over the genre for some time. This was also the only time anyone could ever view commentary as well, and because it was televised, only the most dedicated gamers could watch it. Professional Halo 2 matches were some of the most popular and well-remembered, and it was in these early years of MLG that Halo as a franchise enjoyed its competitive heyday. Initially, MLG only had commentary for Super Smash Bros. because the Halo 2 players yelling strategy to their teammates was enough to satisfy fans.

Korea was also a place that competitive gaming, and therefore, video game commentary, owes a lot of its history to. Since the early 2000’s, Korea has embraced gaming as more than a hobby. Korea was the first place to have an audience for video game competition and commentary so large that it was a viable way to earn a living. In the DotA (Defense of the Ancients) community, DotaAllstars served as a precursor for all the competitive DotA tournaments we have today. The first big tournaments were held in Malaysia and Singapore in 2005.

As far as the “Let’s Play” style of video game commentary goes, the term originated from the “Something Awful” forum website, in which someone posted their screenshots of them playing the famous Oregon Trail video game. However, as Youtube grew in popularity and new technology emerged, people could later make videos of themselves playing the games with their own audio commentary spliced in. Today, anyone with the Fraps screen recording program can record themselves playing a computer game, and simply dub over their own voice and upload it to Youtube. Today, the Youtube Let’s Player “PewDiePie” has over 20 million subscribers, which is the most subscribed channel on Youtube.

Here is footage from MLG Las Vegas 2006, with Halo 2 and Super Smash Bros. (with commentary)

This is a National Geographic Documentary about the early days of professional gaming in Korea (skip to 24 minutes to hear commentary)

Other Sources: