The joy of glogging
- 27 July, 2013 11:10
Google's experimental Google Glass headset enhances your experience of living by putting photography, apps and the Internet "right there."
But as a writer recently Glassified, I've discovered that it also lets you share your experiences with the world by making blogging, photo blogging and vlogging (video blogging) more intimate, immediate and available.
It's a whole new medium that takes blogging to the next level.
How Glogging works
Google Glass is worn like a pair of glasses. A clever prism mirror bounces light from a tiny screen into your right eye while still allowing that eye to see through. It looks like picture-in-picture TV, but for real life.
Your far-flung correspondent glogging hands-free on the streets of San Francisco.
A camera faces forward and pictures and video can be shot with a button or voice command. You say: "OK, Glass: Take a picture" or "record a video."
Glass pictures and videos automatically show up privately in your Google+ photo section. By simply "Sharing" them, they're published. You can add words, links and other content if you like.
You can also post instantly directly from Glass. While viewing a photo or video in glass, tapping brings up a "Share" option. Another tap shows you the addressing of who to share with, defaulting to your most recently shared contact. These can be people, or Google+ circles, or "Public." Choosing that last option makes it a blog post.
It takes less than five seconds to take a photo and share it publicly on my Google+ stream.
If you want to write something, you can combine Glass with a phone, tablet or laptop to quickly write a post to accompany your photography.
I've discovered that glogging is not only a new medium in its own right, but an incredibly compelling way to communicate. Here's why.
Glogging is more intimate
Each evolving transition, from clay tablets, scrolls, letters, telegraph, telephone, mobile phone, email, blogging, photo blogging and vlogging moves away from stiff, formulaic formality and toward more intimate, personal communication with others.
Glogging takes the historic increase of intimacy one step further.
Before Google Glass, the most intimate mainstream form of communication was vlogging, or video blogging. Vlogging creates the feeling that the viewer is hanging out with the vlogger, conversing with him and being part of his life. (If you haven't seen a good vlog, check out this recent episode from LockerGnome CEO Chris Pirillo's vlog.)
With vlogging, the camera puts the viewer into the room, seeing the vlogger "over there." Glogging enables the viewer to share the perspective of the vlogger. When you watch my video glog, you don't see me. You see what I see and hear what I hear. Vlogger Joe Miragliotta recently used Google Glass to vlog his experience of Disneyland -- roller coasters and all.
The shift from blogging to glogging is comparable to the change from old-school video games to first-person shooters, which is now the most popular kind of console video game. With first-person shooters, you don't see your own character on screen, you see what that character sees. Your character's hands, for example, are visible at the bottom of the screen holding weapons and other objects and moving, say, when the character is running. When other game characters make eye contact with your character, they make eye contact with you as the player.
The same is true of glogging. The glogger's hands are sometimes visible at the bottom of the screen, and eye contact can be shared with an audience. Video glogging is the first-person-shooter perspective for vlogging.
As with video games, this change creates a more immersive psychological experience for the viewer,.
Singer-songwriter and newly minted glogger Daria Musk coined the phrase "scalable intimacy" to describe Google+. But it's also perfect for glogging itself, even if you do it with Glass but post on other social networks. It feels intimate -- the moments captured may actually be intimate -- yet these intimate moments can be shared with thousands or millions.
Here's an example of the profound intimacy possible with glogging from developer, entrepreneur and blogger Gina Trapani's Google+ stream. The difference is subtle, but powerful. Babies don't look at cameras like this. This is how they look at their mothers. This private moment was experienced by more than 43,000 people so far.
Another glogger named Breon Nagy captured his marriage proposal to his girlfriend. (She said yes!)
Most people don't want to share such intimate moments with the public. But for those who do, glogging makes it possible.
Glogging is instant
Live TV tends to be less polished, less produced than recorded TV, but it's more compelling because it's happening right now.
Similarly, glogging can be more compelling than blogging or vlogging because it, too, can be live.
Google Glass lets you launch an instant, live Google+ hangout (group video chat) using a simple voice command. Doing this not only makes vlogging live, rather than just recorded, but it points the camera at what you're seeing rather than at you seeing it.
For example, if an earthquake struck right now or if I witnessed some other breaking-news style event, I could either be broadcasting it in a hangout within a few seconds, or I could start recording or shooting pictures instantly, and post them in a few seconds.
At the personal level, if a baby is about to take his first steps, a parent could instantly share that event live with the whole, extended family in real time (and still have arms free to help the baby).
Glogging changes how you think about blogging
Tech journalists go to product announcements and blog about what they saw. Glogging lets viewers be there and see new products through the eyes of the blogger. Here's tech journalist Andy Ihnatko discovering the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera phone. The glogging format gives you a deeper experience for unboxing, exploration and how-to videos because you're not performing for the camera like a TV news reporter. You just roll video and your own experience is shared.
More to the point, Andy is a print journalist who might not have recorded video of his demo at all if not for Glass.
Glogging invites sharing of experiences that would normally go unshared, vastly expanding the range of experiences that can be blogged.
Glogging changes where you can blog from
With blogging, you have to stop doing before you start blogging. But with glogging, you can do things and blog about it at the same time, even when those activities require both hands.
People commonly video-record performances. But glogging enables performers to record from their perspective, too.
Glogging lets you communicate with your hands
Face-to-face communication isn't just verbal. It also involves hand gestures, which are part of your communication. Glogging will often capture your hand gestures during conversations recorded with glass. You can also deliberately use your hands in both photos and videos to point things out or signal your approval or disapproval, as TV reporter Sarah Hill likes to do.
Hand gestures can make photo and video blogging more human, natural and interesting.
Google Glass invites glogging
To a certain extent, to use Glass is to glog. Just about everyone lucky enough to be part of the program spontaneously starts posting their experiences, even if they weren't big bloggers before. Glass-captured posts are auto-hashtagged with #throughglass, so it's easy to see all these posts on Google+.
And don't forget lifeglogging
Blogging is by definition communication, publishing and shared. Lifelogging is the capturing of events from your life for your own memory whether you share it or not.
Google Glass naturally creates not only blog posts, but also personal lifelogging posts visible only to you. Lifelogging has traditionally been a lot of hard work. But lifelogging with Glass is so easy you almost have to work not do to it.
When others look at my Google+ stream, they see my deliberate public blog posts. But when I look at it, there are twice as many personal posts as public ones, documenting my personal and private life for posterity and photographic memory.
Google Glass is expected to ship sometime next year or the year after that. When it does arrive, I predict it will transform blogging, photo blogging and video blogging.
In fact, glogging is a brand-new medium of communication that we're just now starting to understand, explore and develop.
You can follow my own glogging adventures on my Google+ page.
Mike Elgan writes about technology and tech culture. Contact and learn more about Mike at http://Google.me/+MikeElgan. You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on Computerworld.com.
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