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New book offers advice on how businesses can use Internet video

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 18, 2010 09:28 AM

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On January 1st, 2004, Steve Garfield created one of the world's first videoblogs at his Jamaica Plain home. The first video he posted? A short Quicktime clip declaring 2004 "the year of the video blog." 

Since then, Garfield has been one of the pioneers and proponents of what might be called "citizen-vérité" video for the Web: slice-of-life vignettes, talk-to-the-camera reportage, and live video streaming from conferences, without the typical "big media" sheen.

Garfield established a reputation as someone willing to help others figure out the right camera, software and services to start videoblogging on their own (usually doing it for free, sometimes as a paid consultant to companies.) Garfield became the Boston correspondent for the satirical daily news show "Rocketboom," and started making videos for Boston city councilor John Tobin, whom he dubbed "the first US elected official to vlog." ("Vlog" being the short-hand, of course, for videoblog.) At local events, he'd be the one streaming live from his cell phone, or explaining the merits of the new Flip point-and-shoot video camera. Garfield also helped convene the monthly Boston Media Makers gathering, now starting its fifth year of Sunday brunches at Doyle's Cafe.

His first book is out today, a compendium of his advice on shooting compelling video for the Web: "Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business." The book is part of a series about "the new rules of social media" from the publisher John Wiley and Sons that is being edited by Lexington resident David Meerman Scott, who wrote the foreword for Garfield's book.

Garfield, who earlier in his career was a radio producer on Eagle 93.7 and WFNX, has set up a social network for the book with lots of free material, including some fun videos he shot while researching it.

Here's Garfield chatting with "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon at the Consumer Electronics Show:



Garfield will be speaking on a panel this Thursday on the future of journalism, and at the sold-out WordCamp Boston this Saturday. On February 6th, he'll be at PodCamp WesternMass, at Westfield State College.

(Disclosure: Garfield interviewed me via e-mail in the process of writing the book, and I spoke with him while working on my most recent book, so this post could be considered the worst kind of log-rolling...except that I try to cover anyone in the local innovation economy who publishes a book.)

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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