Vlogging as we know it did not exist back in the day. Like YouTube, a platform that is continuously evolving, vloggers have raised their standards in the past couple of years and are now producing high-quality content, not unlike professional films and music videos.
But that wasn’t always the case. Most vlogging enthusiasts have wondered about how vlogging was created, and we will go back as far as 2000 in order to give you all the information you might be curious about.
In this article we will:
- Explain how vlogging was created in the first place;
- Discuss the first known vloggers in the history of vlogging;
- Explain how the creation of YouTube and the YouTube Partner Program changed the game for vloggers around the world;
- Talk about how Vlogmas changed the game;
- Examine what the future of vlogging has in store for us.
And now with that out of the way, we’re time-traveling to the very beginning of vlogging. The setting is Los Angeles and the year is 2000.
Who Invented Vlogging?
Truth be told – we can’t pinpoint exactly when vlogging was created. There’s always the possibility that vlogs have existed in their current format for decades, but their creators didn’t upload the content on YouTube.
What we do know is when and by whom the first vlog (judging by our current standards of what we deem as vlogs) was uploaded on the internet. You already know the setting of the first uploaded vlog, and the creator in question is Adam Kontras.
In January of 2000, he uploaded a vlog on his website along with a blog post where he elaborated on his recent move to Los Angeles. You might be wondering what the vlog consisted of. Maybe he filmed a very delicious dinner or an interesting tourist attraction in Los Angeles?
Well, not quite.
Source: Adam Kontras’ YouTube channel
Believe it or not, his first uploaded vlog consisted of a peculiar odyssey where Adam and his girlfriend smuggled their cat in a hotel that didn’t allow pets. You probably already know that cats had the spotlight on YouTube back in the day, but who would’ve imagined that cats were also the stars of the first ever vlog?
Titled “Talk about moving in the 21st century”, the vlog is highly entertaining and charming, and so is the poor, terrified cat who tried not to make any sound as it was trespassing on the hotel’s premises. Luckily, you can find the vlog on YouTube and watch it.
No one is denying the fact that the vlog would’ve been way more interesting had the two sneaky vloggers been caught, but we appreciate the rawness and suspense in the vlog as it is.
Coining the Term ‘Vlog’
Moving on from the cat escapades, the first person who coined the term “vlog” was Adrian Miles. In the same year of 2000, he created the term “vlog” as an amalgamation of the words video and blog. His videos have since been deleted from the web, and can only be found in an archive.
Andrew Baron and Amanda Congdon’s Rocketboom
Although they used a different format, Andrew Baron and Amanda Congdon are also considered among the first vloggers who explored the world of vlogging as early as 2004. Andrew Baron created a daily news broadcast called Rocketboom, where Amanda Congdon was the host. The videos were uploaded to their website, but some episodes can be found on YouTube.
The videos were short in duration – around 3 to 5 minutes long, and they were uploaded from Monday to Friday. The producers of the show included popular news stories, news surrounding the internet culture, reviews, and other trending topics. They didn’t have any expensive equipment, and their videos were quite low-quality, but they pioneered the amateur video news broadcasting. You can think of them as predecessors of popular YouTube channels we know and love today, like Philip DeFranco.
The Emergence of YouTube and the YouTube Partner Program
YouTube was created on February 14th, 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. As you can imagine, with the emergence of YouTube, vlogging became easier than ever. All a creator needed to do in order to become a vlogger was to film a couple of clips and then upload them to the website.
One of YouTube’s founders, Jawed Karim, contributed to the popularity of vlogs back in the day. He uploaded a vlog to his channel Jawed titled “Me at the zoo’ that consisted of, you guessed it, his visit to the zoo.
Even though the production standard of vlogs was pretty low at that time, they paved the way for vlogs as we know them today. Not to mention, these creators couldn’t imagine the marketing giant that YouTube would eventually become, so they kept their videos light and fun.
YouTube started to become a success in every sense of the word; investors funded millions of dollars by the year 2006.
After a few years of lighthearted and low-budget fun, in the year of 2008, the YouTube Partnership Program was created. This allowed YouTubers to make money off vlogging and turn it into a career. It’s during this time that uploading videos to YouTube was taken more seriously than ever, so the number of YouTube creators grew in the years to come.
From what we can tell, vlogs were appealing for the audiences from the very beginning. But what is it about vlogs that attracts such large audiences?
The personal element is certainly a part of the equation. Vlogs are typically filmed in a home setting, the vloggers are talking directly to the camera, and they’re talking about common topics that people can relate to. Watching someone else share their interests, daily activities, and hobbies is rather intimate, and audiences feel like they are talking to a close friend rather than a professional content creator.
How Vlogmas Changed the Game
In 2011, the vlogging game changed forever.
It all started when a YouTuber by the name of Ingrid Nilsen decided to vlog every day in the month of August along with her boyfriend at the time, Luke Conard. They uploaded a different video to each of their channels every single day, and decided to call the project “Vlogust”, which, you guessed it, is a word that combines Vlogging and August together.
Their vlogs consisted of daily Target adventures, answering questions from their audience, discussing Harry Potter, and cosplaying.
Source: Ingrid Nilsen’s vlog channel
Ingrid was already a popular beauty YouTuber at the time, and her fans appreciated the fact that she created a new channel for vlogging purposes where she showed more parts of her personality, as well as her relationship with Luke.
When vlogust was done, they decided that their viewers shouldn’t be deprived of their vlogging adventures simply because a new month was on the horizon, so they decided to create a Christmas version of vlogust which they appropriately named “Vlogmas”.
Vlogmas followed the same format as vlogust, except the month in question was December, and their vlogs were filled with Christmasy activities and gaudy decorations. Each of them uploaded a separate vlog to their channels, and when December 25th rolled around, they showed their final vlogs to their subscribers as their own version of a Christmas gift.
Some creators went as far as creating their own intros for the vlogs and including a giveaway for their subscribers in each vlog. As you can see, the spirit of Christmas was well preserved on the YouTube platform.
The next year, Ingrid and Luke again participated in Vlogmas, but some of their YouTube friends decided to hop on the bandwagon and vlog every day of the month leading up to Christmas day. This is the point when the vlogging game was truly revolutionized. With 25 vlogs in a row, the Vlogmas participant’s channels started to grow immensely, which led to more YouTubers wanting to take part in Vlogmas. Each year, more and more YouTubers started doing Vlogmas on their own separate channels.
Some YouTube creators decided to vlog their entire year (VlogYear, and although practically nobody succeeded in uploading 365 vlogs in a row, the effort was greatly appreciated by their subscribers. With that, more and more people became interested in vlogging their daily lives, regardless of whether the holidays were around the corner or not. Slowly but surely, vlogs were starting to shape themselves into the powerful content we know them to be today.
Vlogging As We Know It
Nowadays, more and more vloggers are creating YouTube channels and filming themselves doing all kinds of activities, from putting on makeup to traveling the world. Statistics say that 44% of Internet users watch vlogs every month, so it seems like the audience is responding well to this video format.
If you spend at least an hour on YouTube per day, we’re sure you can name a lot of vloggers off the top of your head. Whether it’s Logan Paul’s Team 10 vlogs, or Casey Neistat’s cinematic masterpieces, or PewDiePie’s gaming videos, or Fun for Louis’ travel vlogs, all of us have encountered a couple of vloggers on the platform, and most of us have probably enjoyed watching them.
One of the most popular events created in relation to vlogging is VidCon. It’s a type of convention that occurs on an annual basis where YouTubers, artists, and creators have the chance to meet their audience. Fans can purchase tickets and meet as many creators as they want in the course of a few days.
The first VidCon happened on July 10, 2010. Since then, it has started a long-standing tradition of making it possible for any eager subscriber to meet their YouTube favourites.
A couple of different activities occur during VidCon, such as meet and greets, panels, and singing sessions.
Source: Zoella’s vlog channel
Vlogs As a Digital Marketing Tool
On top of being fun to watch, vlogs are also a great digital marketing tool, and more and more companies are starting to sponsor vloggers. What started as an innocuous hobby that included law-breaking cats is now a full-time career.
This also brings the question of whether vlogs have shifted from being personal video diaries to tools that promote industries and businesses. While there might be more sponsored vlogs nowadays than there were a couple of years ago, it doesn’t mean that vlogs are nothing but commercials for certain brands. There are still many people who upload vlogs for the sake of sharing their adventures and activities with large audiences.
Vlogs have become extremely high-quality and artistic productions, and the standards of uploading vlogs have certainly been raised, so more and more industries are willing to invest in video marketing. That being said, one thing has remained the same – in order for vlogs to be appealing to the general public, vloggers should let their personality shine through so that the vlogs can be more intimate and transparent. As viewers, we love seeing glimpses of other people’s lives, but the creators need to be authentic in the first place so that we can relate to them.
The Future of Vlogging
Now that we’ve discussed the history of vlogging, it’s time to see what the future of vlogging has in store for us.
New social media platforms are created on a regular basis. Existing social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are putting more emphasis on videos. Where does that leave good old-fashioned vlogging on YouTube?
It might be the case that platforms like TikTok will eventually replace YouTube as the be-all-end-all of vlogging platforms. With over 800 million active users, TikTok is certainly a strong candidate for the job. TikTok is a platform that allows you to create a profile and upload videos up to 15 seconds long. Needless to say, these videos don’t have the ability to fully replace certain types of vlogs like daily vlogs for instance, but it might allow its users to capture segments of their lives and interesting moments that are worth sharing.
If TikTok does replace YouTube in the future, vlogs will suffer certain structural changes on top of their length. Many kinds of vlogs like weekly vlogs will fail to translate well to TikTok, so they will become obsolete.
We have yet to find out whether TikTok will be able to replace YouTube’s long-lasting tradition of being the perfect platform for vlogs.
Starting to vlog has never been easier. All you will need in order to create a vlog is yourself, some kind of device to film yourself and your activities on, editing software, and Internet access.
Once you have decided what kind of vlogs you want to film, all you need to do is film a couple of clips and put them together in editing software. Once the edits are done, simply upload the video to YouTube.
Since smartphones have high-quality cameras nowadays, you don’t even need to have an expensive camera and special equipment to become a vlogger. All you need is yourself and your ideas.
Vlogging is the act of uploading video logs to a platform such as YouTube. The term “vlog” is a combination of “video” and “log”. There are several types of vlogs out there like family vlogs, daily vlogs, cooking vlogs. All of them have one thing in common – the vlogger uploads a video where they talk on a certain subject or do a certain activity. The type of vlog someone uploads will depend on what kind of channel they have.
There are many ways you can make money vlogging nowadays. The first thing you need to do is to become a YouTube partner. There are certain rules and regulations that come with this, so make sure you read YouTube’s guidelines beforehand.
Once you start monetizing your vlogs and putting ads on your videos, you will start to make money. Other ways of making money on YouTube include landing sponsorships with certain companies, creating merch, and using affiliate marketing.
Тhe amount of money you can make through vlogging will depend on a couple of different factors. The more subscribers and views you have, the more money you will make from people simply watching your videos. Other factors include how many sponsorships you accept, the number of affiliate links you provide, whether you offer any other services like ebooks and consultations, and so on.
There are many big YouTubers who have made millions through vlogging and uploading YouTube videos, such as Zoella, Casey Neistat, and Pewdiepie.
We really hope you enjoyed our article on the history of vlogging and found it knowledgeable and entertaining. Will you be joining the vlogging game any time soon?