I’m not sure why I never wrote about this here before – god knows I’ve ranted about it enough on Twitter and to those deranged few who have had the misfortune of meeting me face-to-face in the Flesh-o-sphere – but I despise “vlogs”. Kill it with fire hate them.


I hate everything about them, from the name to what they actually are.

This post started from a discussion that popped up after I casually lamented the fact that the word “blog” actually caught on. It’s a stupid word, and I feel stupid every time I have to say it out loud. Writing it is only slightly better, and I still feel dirty.

“Blog” used to mean something, even though it was a stupid word. Now news websites have “blogs” that post… well… news. They’ve managed to completely blur the line, as if some douchenozzle in marketing said “ZOMG Blogs! We have to have blogs! Some internet marketing expert guy said blogs were the future and we don’t have any and I don’t know what they are but we need them NOW.” Opinion blogs on news sites I get. News blogs on news sites, not so much.

The only thing worse than “blog” is “vlog”.

But the word completely aside, I hate “vlogging” because it’s fucking lame. I can’t cmd+f to find the actual content I’m looking for, I can’t skim the page to find only the bits I need, I can’t copy+paste the bits I need into my notes, and I’m forced to look at your ugly fucking face rambling on and on, taking 6 minutes to tell me something I could have read in 20 seconds.

Sure, it’s easier to create a “vlog” entry than to actually write and spellcheck, and people will be more willing to forgive your fourth-grade grammar if you’re speaking instead of writing. But unless you provide a text transcription of your “vlog” to accompany the video I will never watch, I will never hear what you have to say. If you do provide a text transcription, then you’re just a narcissistic douche, instead of an inconsiderate narcissistic douche, which is arguably much better on the douche scale.

My time is precious, and I’m not going to waste it watching you babble while feeling like people care who you are because you’re on video. I care about who people are because of what they say and what they think, and if you make me sit through your “vlog”, I will never find out what you have to say because my browser is closing before your pre-roll has finished loading.

I don’t give a shit about your personal brand, or putting a face to the name, or anything you apparently think I care about. I care about what you have to say, and even then, not enough to work that hard at finding out what that is if you make it difficult for me.

The only videos I care about are ones with adorable cats and/or guys getting nailed in the junk. Preferably both. If your idea of contributing to the internet is switching on your webcam and talking at me for 5 minutes, I hate you.

There. I think I’m done.

You have no idea how tempted I was to make this a “vlog” post. But then I’d have to put makeup on. And pants. And I’m on vacation this week, so fuck you.

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I’m a tech geek/dev/infosec-nerd/scuba diver/blacksmith/sword-fighter/crime fighter/ENTP/warcrafter/activist. I'm the CTO at Mass Mosaic and the CEO of Grokability, Inc. in San Diego, CA. Tweet at me @snipeyhead or read more...

  • Penddraig AKA GothNinja

    LOL. You really should have vloged it, who cares about pants :o)

  • from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) book:

    «Inconsiderate Narcissistic Douche Disorder (INDD), also known as Internet depression or Internet blues, is a mood disorder in which people, who have normal mental health throughout most of their life, experience repeatedly symptoms of stupidity when publishing awkward video content on Internet.

    Once regarded skeptically by the experts, Inconsiderate Narcissistic Douche Disorder is now well established; epidemiological studies estimate that its prevalence in the adult population of the US ranges from 60 percent (Emofornia) to 97 percent (New Douchebag City).

    INDD was first formally described and named in 2010 by Alison Gianotto and colleagues at the National Institute of Internet Health.»

    • haha! I less-than-three you. completely. 😀

  • I’m sorely tempted to make a video of a guy getting nailed in the junk by a cat.

  • A local TV news program ran commercials about a year ago advertising their new blog. The commercial ended with the voice over guy saying “so BLOG ON to http://www.blahblahblah.com!” in that super excited voice that goes along with knowingly saying something trendy. You could practically hear him off camera saying, “Blog. Am I saying that right? Blog? Buh-log.” It was a great moment in facepalm.

    The proliferation of video in place of text on the web really irks me. I do most of my surfing on breaks at work, so I don’t have the time or availability to sit and watch a video to get 5 seconds of interesting fact. I understand that it’s a natural progression, and I know that I’m probably the old man shaking his fist at a cloud here, but it still makes me angry.

    What IS avoidable, though, is the blind linking of videos. I’m looking at you here, Twitter. I see this a lot, where someone will link/embed a video with no context, giving me no reason why I should want to watch it. I mean, it could be the greatest thing ever, with the secrets of life and whatnot contained therein, but I won’t know that if you don’t tell me. And if you don’t tell me why I should want to watch a video, odds are I’m not going to. I have better things to do with my time. Like leave rambling blog comments!

    Also, pants are never necessary for a vlog. At least, that’s my theory. YouTube keeps rejecting my videos for some reason, though.

    • Totally feel you. Except, of course, unless it’s a video *I* post to Twitter, ‘cuz you know that shit’s going to be *hilarious*.

      • Yes, your shit is always hilarious. And smells like roses, too, I hear!

  • Rabbit

    Love your writing style, haha.

  • I agree and disagree with this. I don’t like vlogs because I’m not a video person. I prefer books to movies, magazines to television shows. However, not everyone is like me. Some people absorb information better from video than from text. My husband is this way. He can watch something and pick up on what he needs from it, but has to read that same thing three or four times, or aloud, in order to get the same benefit from text.

    In that regard, I disagree with your assessment of those that post both the video and a transcript. If my husband and I go to the same blog after the same information, one that posts both will provide both of us with what we need.

    You did make one other point, though, that I think bears commenting on. Many vlogs are little more than talking heads. If you insist on using video on your blog, at least strive to make it interesting visually. If I want talking heads, I’ll watch the news.

  • Awesome to see that someone else finds video posts extremely annoying. Not having the ability to do CTRL-F is a biggie for me. Also what if one wants to take notes? Video tutorials are the worst in that regard.

    I live in a podunk town with broadband that’s an nth of the speed than most people have. If I watch a video, everyone else is reduced to dialup crawl or no page load whatsoever. So I just typically pass on the video posts unless it’s something I *really* want to see.

  • In particular, sites that offer tutorials in video format can pucker up.

  • Edward Rendini

    My blog’s title had the word ‘blog” in it. Then I read this. Cried a little. Then changed the title. Need a shower…or two.

  • Jeremy

    I have to agree and disagree. First, I just want to say that I enjoy reading your posts. They are useful and entertaining. I feel that a vlog can be justified if it contains interesting video content. Everyone hates the five minute teenie bopper webcam entries, I’ll agree to that. However, suppose they are posting about events, happenings, music and the like. It could be much more interesting to see some of these things in a video format. For example, they could be running a site that gives reviews on local talent, or traveling, sports, or performing arts. Static pictures and text will word, but sometimes things are much better displayed in motion. Thanks for your posts and keep up the good work!

  • Totally agree with you on vlog and even the rest of it- I felt the same way when ‘blog’ came around… Horrible word.

    As I have at the top of my website (which probably shows my age) :

    Ok, I hate “buzz-words”. You didn’t surf here. They are “diaries” not “weblogs”. Links are selected and followed, not ‘clicked”. There is no super-highway (apart from the road you drive along), and this page isn’t under construction – I just haven’t had enough spare time to waste on creating it.
    So, if you need to go “surfing”, “click”, and hear “drive carefully”, I suggest you first get into your car, tap your fingers, and then drive to the beach.

  • TL;DR but I agree. CTRL+F ftw!

  • Astro

    So, how do you feel about Podcasts then?

    • I’m actually alright with podcasts, probably most likely because I’m never actively searching them for a specific answer. Podcasts (at least the ones I subscribe to) tend to be more discussion-based, covering concepts, opinions, etc. I have never needed to copy+paste code, for example, out of a podcast. Any podcast that might reference a specific bit of code or math or something like that would have posted it as errata anyway.

      I suppose it comes down to how and from where people consume information. I subscribe to a podcast because, in general, I am interested in the topics they cover – however I’m not looking for one specific piece of information. When i do a google search for a specific answer and I’m forced to sit through a video, I get crabby. Video tutorials as the only form of support documentation on a website is also unholy, again because I’m looking for the answer to one specific question.

  • Juan Jose Olmos M.

    i’m gonna translate this text and show it… because i can!!!!! jajajaja VLOGS SUCKS

  • Tc

    Wow. Lots of energy hating…

    • Anonymous

      The empty ‘hater’ non-response bang to schedule…

  • Anthony Perez

    I totally agree with you 100% my friend. I record, edit, clip together and post travel videos. I love it and enjoy doing it. Unlike most, I target my POV trips at about 40 min long opposed to most who only have highlights and are about 10 min long. But I am starting to come across 3 minute bullshit videos of every thing they do. Eating Canadian hot dog, going to baseball game, flying to New York City, walking to Cab in NYC. Some people have some decent attention grabbing vlogs, at least the ones I stumble across in a search, such as accent tags prior to traveling to a destination but other than that, they are beyond annoying.

  • Boo Radley

    I disagree.

    New words are invented all the time. Blog is an ugly word, so invent a new one.
    News sites lowering their standards is no indictment on blogging. As you say, it is not blogging if it is a news article. You would make a better argument against the decline of the journalist. QED.

    As for vlogging, I disagree again. You say that you value podcasts as a medium, yet vlogs are no good because you can’t search for strings of text. Vlogging is part of what has replaced television. People subscribe to vlogs on sites like Youtube because they find those vlogs appealing.

    Take, for example, the EEVblog (Electrical Engineering Video Blog)on Youtube, where Dave discusses some nuts and bolts content in a video, featuring his funny head, and shows you inside his work space. He has decided to call it a Video Blog, which will mitigate your frustration, but we all know that we can condense that further into Vlog. This show would be a little under-polished for television but it is actually really great. You imply that he’s a narcissist for putting himself on camera, but that would mean that anything ever filmed featuring human subjects is unbearably self-obsessed.

    In summary, you dismiss blogs for being reinvented by journalists, and vlogs for requiring an attention span. But furthermore, you demand transcripts, and attack anyone who would provide one, saying that you would not access the content on principle.

    You are a hipster.

    • Hah – I am many, many things. A hipster is not one of them. Re-read my post. Absolutely every one of your comments is incorrect.

      “In summary, you dismiss blogs for being reinvented by journalists, and vlogs for requiring an attention span.”

      No, I dismiss news sites for separating news from blogs, when they are the same thing. I dismiss vlogs because they waste my time. Attention span is not the problem. Wasting my time to say in 10 minutes what I could have read (verbatim) in 2 is shitty.

      “But furthermore, you demand transcripts, and attack anyone who would provide one, saying that you would not access the content on principle.”

      No. I demand transcripts because you’re a shitbag if you don’t provide them. I said “If you do provide a text transcription, then you’re just a narcissistic douche, instead of an inconsiderate narcissistic douche, which is arguably much better on the douche scale.” I never said I would not access them on principle. If you provide transcripts, you are ONLY a narcissistic douche for doing a vlog in the first place, but you’re at least a considerate narcissistic douche. I cannot think of a plainer way to say this.

      Maybe if I had vlogged this, you’d have actually listened to a single fucking thing I said. But you didn’t. You drew your own conclusions, so I assume you’re a defensive vlogger. I wish you the best of luck and success (and I mean that, not sarcastically). I will probably never watch your vlog, but maybe some people will, and that’s good.

      Also, this article is 4 years old. Really? Vlogging has gotten slightly better (as have news blogs). Laci Green and the Green brothers (unrelated) have done a great job of creating engaging videos. They have raised the bar, and I accept it more now than I ever have, when it’s done right. That just didn’t exist back in 2010.

      That said, my actual complaints against vlogging (without transcripts) remains true. 100%.

      Keep up with me, kid. Or at least make it less obvious when you’re butthurt over a 4 year old article.

  • Alex Leonardi

    This is so not true. Vlogs are way harder to make because of the amount of editing it requires. And don’t give me the “blogs need a lot more research” crap, because if you want to blog about something it’s obvious that you have to know about it, so it’s your fault if you want to blog about something you’re completely oblivious about. That aside, the point of vlogs isn’t to give information. Vlogs are sort of video diaries, so the rant is just the vlogger expressing his personality, his opinions, ideas, thoughts etc… If you want information, watch a documentary!

    • Tom Vanwesemael

      “Vlogs take much time to edit” HAHAHA best joke I heard in a year. jumpcuts are made in a couple of hours.

  • Amy H

    For me, vlogs are too intimate. It’s like you cross some invisible barrier you don’t even cross with your real friends in life. Maybe I just don’t like getting so personal with people and like to maintain a professional distance, but vlogs make me really uncomfortable. Someone talking at you in a personal way for 5 mins straight can feel slightly confronting and makes me feel like running away. It’s almost like I’m having my privacy invaded. As long as it’s not real personal I’m ok with it. And as long as they’re not talking to me like we’re friends. Cause we’re not 😛 guess I’m just an introvert.

  • Dave Evad

    ~~”I’m forced to look at your ugly fucking face rambling on and on”~~

    LMFAO!! Exactly!! Some stupid damn trend of shoving the camera 2″ from their ugly mugs is getting ridiculous and rather pathetic. When you can count their nose hairs…. BACK THE FUCKING CAMERA UP A BIT!!

    Most have an idiotic entry that goes on for like 30 seconds so you have to FF past it.

    Even worse is this new style of watching them get up, shit, shower, shave and eat before getting on with the fucking topic… another 2 minutes of bullshit you have too FF.

    What is major surprising… is all the douchebags in the comments who praise them for this style of fucked up vlog. It’s like people are masturbating while watching somebody do stupid meaningless shit instead of getting on with the topic.

    Using a Youtube channel blocker, I just block any douchebag who has shitty vlogs so their channel never shows up in searches any longer.