Introduction (Chapter 1)

Introduction

Communicate ideas. Foster creativity. Provoke self-transformation. These are just three ways the written journal (aka the diary) has proven its worth. In the past, journaling meant writing, even if pouring forth one’s soul on a laptop computer. Today, inexpensive video cameras and the YouTube phenomenon add a brand new dimension. For less than the cost of dinner in a fancy restaurant, you can wield a tremendously powerful tool for creativity, communication and self-transformation: The personal video revolution is here.

People tend to approach video from two different but complementary directions:

  • They video blog – that is create video for widespread viewing on the Net.
  • They video journal – that is create video for the sake of creative self-exploration (which could either remain private or become a video blog).

In this book we”ll explore the role of both. Following are examples of each.

When Hank Green moves from California to Colorado he and his brother, John, decide to go a full year without any text communication. Instead they video blog to each other. Their entries become the Vlog Brothers and are subsequently viewed by millions.

Meanwhile in New York, Claire V. lands her dream job in advertising and wants to capture her feelings. Using a pocket-sized camera, she videos herself in Central Park. Months later she reviews her entries on a rotten day and feels newly inspired. She keeps her video journal private.

Thousands of miles away in England, eighty-two-year-old Peter Oakley (known as “Geriatric1927” on YouTube), sits alone in front of a webcam in his living room. He tells the stories that make up the defining moments of his life and connects with a vast community of all ages beyond anything he ever imagined.

It’s impossible to represent the countless ways people use video blogging and journaling in just three situations. We have leapt from the text-based Information Age and landed in the highly visual Social Media Age. Each day people redefine what video looks like, sounds like, and what it means to participate.

Added to the above is the dawning realization that our culture (not to mention planet) seems to be rocketing through its most dramatic shift in recent history. This is apparent on every level from personal to social to environmental. Events in one part of the world have rapid and often unforeseen effects on entirely different locations.

On the one hand, we are more interconnected than ever. On the other, we are bombarded with media that lacks connection to our lives. This can cause us to shut-down on an emotional and spiritual level. Personal video beckons us to abandon the sidelines and re-engage.

Today more people (mainly in the developed world – at least for now) have access to some type of video equipment than at any time in history. Video isn”t quite as cheap as a stolen ballpoint pen and the back of a Starbucks napkin, but at this rate, it won’t take long. Today anyone can easily create video and deliver it to a massive audience. Yet a surprisingly small number of people take advantage of this potential. For example, according to Internet researcher, Jakob Nielsen, less than one-percent of YouTube visitors create videos for the other ninety-nine percent who watch.

Not only is video under-utilized as a tool for self-expression, it is even more under-appreciated as an agent for self-exploration and change. In the past few decades, written journaling has proven its ability to enhance creativity and provoke personal transformation. Video journaling offers similar possibilities as well as its own exceptional potential. The only requirement is the willingness to leap into new territory. This is less about the so-called “video generation”, and more about your personal video regeneration.

Naked Lens shows how you can use video to:

  • Awaken creativity and inspiration
  • View life from a transformed perspective
  • Conquer camera shyness
  • Increase mindfulness and achieve true on-camera presence
  • Gain a deeper level of self-understanding
  • Create meaningful video blogs that engage viewers
  • Jump ahead of the fast approaching video revolution
  • Connect self to world with the possibility to change both

If you already record a video blog or journal, the Eight-Week Workshop will add an enriching new dimension. If you have never videoed yourself, but have always secretly wanted to, then read on.

Buy Naked Lens now at Amazon.com for $14.58 in paperback or on Kindle.

There is also an e-version available (identical aside from its digital format) for just $9.99.

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