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Blog + Video = Vlog

By Leslie Walker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 7, 2005; 2:20 PM

One gee-whiz product on display last night in the ballroom of the MGM Grand Casino signaled where the personal publishing trend known as blogging is headed.

Think video. Think regular Joes and Marys acting like Dan Rather, broadcasting personal video newscasts from their kitchen counters and living room sofas.

Mark Randall, founder of Serious Magic, shows the video-creation screen of his new video-blogging software program, which generates a personal video that looks much like a regular TV newcast or documentary. (Leslie Walker - The Washington Post)

Vlog It, a new video-creation software program, helps people create a video blog or "vlog" with TV-quality graphics, transitions and titles. Users type in text, picking from pre-designed templates and then talk away in front of their computer or laptop, looking directly at a Web cam attached their monitor. The software records them, compresses and formats the video, and then automatically arranges fancy overlays and transitions. When done, bloggers upload their resulting video file to a blogging Web site. (Click here for a version of this posting that has a photo of Vlog It in action.)

"Video blogging is personal version of newscasts, documentaries and even Reality TV," said Mark Randall, founder of Serious Magic (www.seriousmagic.com), the Folsom, Calif. company that created the software. "We try to make you look good."

The results were impressive, partly because the company already makes professional video-editing software for the TV industry. The VLog It program goes on sale in four weeks at $100, Randall said. (Here's a link to Serious Magic's Vlog site.)

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