History of Educational Vlogs

To understand the origin of educational vlogs, it is first important to note that the true meaning of “vlog” stems from the contraction of video and blog. Thus, in order to trace the history of vlogs, we must first look at how blogging came to be such a prominent pastime. Since the beginning of time, humans have found pride in writing things down. We record everything from accomplishments to food recipes, and the idea of journaling thoughts and ideas goes back hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Even the Bible is mainly just a recollection of events, told from the perspective of different witnesses. It’s only natural that in the shift to the digital age, we move our paper journals into digital formats, and eventually publish them online.

With the shift from personal diaries to blogs comes a huge lack of privacy and an assertion of vulnerability; it took a while for people to really get used to the idea of publishing their thoughts online. This shift from private to public journaling is said to have occurred on a very specific date: the earliest blogs claim that they originated during the events of 9/11. The news stories were so overwhelming that people began searching for explanations online, and thus started the idea of spreading information through more personal narratives. According to educause.edu, the genre of blogs was named by Jesse James Garrett, the editor of infosift, who compiled a list of websites that were link-based commentaries. And thus began the popular genre that remains incredibly prominent in this digital age.

The first official video blog created was made by in the year 2000 by a man named Adam Kontras, who wanted to journal his move to Los Angeles for his friends and family to see. Adam still uploads vlogs on a regular basis, and recently wrote about starring in a documentary about the history of vlogs because of his revolutionary video. Another key figure in the evolution of video blogging is Adrian Miles, who wrote his own short manifesto coining the term “vog” (later to be changed to vlog) and defining what the videos should consist of. This became the template for others to follow, and helped start the idea of vlogging before YouTube even came into existence.

Though vlogs existed before YouTube did, vlogging did not become popular until nearly 2006, when the world-changing video site came into picture. The site YouTube was founded in February of 2005 as a free video-sharing place, and encouraged people of all ages and backgrounds to publish videos for the public to view. People began to become entranced by the idea of digital videos as a means by which to spread ideas, and the genre of vlogs skyrocketed. Now, famous vloggers get millions a views a week and earn money from YouTube’s ads. Many popular vloggers turn down offers from big TV networks because the television salaries cannot compare to the money and freedom that YouTube has to offer. The success of vlogs and those who create them was unexpected, yet they continue to get more and more popular in our internet-obsessed world.