Psst… We’ve Got an Announcement!

With all the buzz about new Facebook Pages Apps, the revolution to blog commenting, and the fact that we spend most of our work day on it (don’t worry we wont tell your boss), it seemed fitting make Facebook our June topic. Stay tuned next week for the sneak peek at our questions and talking points for June 2nd’s Brunch… and don’t forget to follow Blog Brunch’s Facebook while your at it. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

Hot Tips on Webcasting via Anna Watson Carl

Anna Watson Carl pens The Yellow Table, one of our favorite sites for everything from recipes to everyday inspiration! But the one thing that really rocks our socks is the grace and ease she portrays on her webcasts and videos. Anna is definitely a person we look to for advice, so enjoy some of her wisdom on webcasting!

"Video is always something that has both fascinated and intimidated me. However, when I did my first video ("How to Host a Dinner Party”) I just pretended like I was sharing tips with a friend, and focused on keeping it fun, informative, and brief. (Drinking a pre-shoot glass of bubbly helps!) Fortunately the first take turned out well, because I had 10 guests coming over for dinner right after we got done shooting!!

Overall point: Relax, have fun, be yourself, and don’t beat yourself if it doesn’t go perfectly the first time–practice makes perfect!”

For more about Anna, check out her videos or follow her on twitter.

Hot Tips on Webcasting via Katie Linendoll

Katie Linendoll is beyond talented and has a natural air about her that makes it virtually impossible to think she is anything but cool. We love how she makes being on camera feel so effortless and her method of creating entertaining on-air segments… so listen up future Webcasters, Katie Linendoll knows her stuff!

"Take advantage of video blogging resources!  It can be seriously painful to ask a friend film you and then 9 tries later its still not a keeper.  Use a gadget like Swivl that will be your personal cameraman.  You simply place your device in the cradle, wear the Swivl marker and the device will follow you.  Awesome!"

"I don’t care how well you know the content if you are presenting material be diligent and make an outline.  Have a plan!"

"Any content can come across boring if you don’t pop it with your personality and share examples or stories.  People will remember those the most." 

For more on Katie Linendoll watch some of her videos, check out her YouTube or follow her on Twitter.

Hot Tips on Webcasting via Alison Faulkner

One of our favorite May quotes came from a fantastic blogger who really knows her Webcasting, check out how Alison Faulkner manages her viewership/comments:

"Ask for critiques from people you know love you and want what’s best for you. And if you’re a sensitive person (like me!) disable the YouTube comments! Only you can be you, and you’re awesome." - Alison Faulkner, of The Alison Show

Find Alison on YouTube and Twitter too!

Hot Tips on Webcasting From Shauna Miller

We are thrilled to be bringing you the best tips and tricks that some of our favorite Webcasters have to offer all throughout the month of May! First up, we have Shauna Miller from Penny Chic, a blog about style without maxing out your credit cards (something I think we could all benefit from)!

"When it comes to videos, there needs to a fine balance between authenticity and structure. When I first started doing videos, I thought I could just wing it and figure it out as I went. I used the excuse that a more "organic" approach would seem more "real". It was a huge wake up call when I went back to edit everything and saw I was missing certain shots, and in some cases wasn’t happy with what I said.  Regardless of what the video is about, you should have a shot list and a story board to make sure everything is organized ahead of time. The authenticity comes into play in how you communicate the story. Regardless of how much planning was involved, it can look completely natural if you simply have a conversation in front of the camera that delivers the message you’re hoping to achieve through the video. To put it simply, plan as much as you can and speak from the heart. That’s the recipe for creating both an authentic and clear video."

Big thanks to Shauna for her pearls of wisdom! To learn more more about Shauna, check out Penny Chic and her YouTube Channel or follow her on Twitter!

Webcasting Recap - May Brunch

This last weekend we all had a blast talking all about Webcasting! Everyone had amazing answers, thoughts, and ideas about how to make not just a good video but awesome videos! We just couldn’t wait to share this recap for all of you that couldn’t make it this month and those who may want catch back up on all the goods. We hope you enjoy! Thank you to all of you that participated. Many new faces and we love that. 

Q1: The Producer Hat: What’s step 1 to webcasting, how do you initiate the idea, and how do you organize concept and production?

Livingforpretty: It has to be a concept that lends itself to the medium. An outfit post may not be ideal – but a tutorial is perfect.

HitchDesign: Think big, and then narrow it down to the best idea. Sleep on the idea and let it cultivate itself.

ParkerEtc: Brainstorm how you’d portray what you want to say in a visual form. Outline the shots, write out a script & stay on topic

Mspinkandblue: Knowing what you’re capable of, if u have a great idea but you’re not able to execute (bc of budget etc.) – consider adjusting

TheCuisinerd: webcasting is like a thesis paper. Make a script to outline topics, order and key phrases.

Chelsea_Costa: For me, a storyboard outline is important. Old-fashioned pen & paper helps get my projects going. 

nessabirdie: sometimes I just start shooting and edit later. 

ParkerEtc: Choose a topic you’re knowledgeable on. Keep your audience in mind as you create content.Balance entertaining & informative.

Livingforpretty: Determine the scope of the project. Some projects need planning more than others and extra help and hands. 

Jaclynkilfoyle: @ParkerEtc Like the idea of writing out a script and staying organized. Might help ease you into a new medium 

HitchDesign: Coordinate everything by finding all the pieces you need to make your idea come together. 

poppylindsay: I think that creating notecards is an excellent way to stay on track if you aren’t comfortable reading from a script.

HitchDesign: You should spend more time in production than actual execution. Good planning is key.

TheCuisinerd: Create a camera angle shot list so you cover all the details especially for DIY 

Theyellowtable: Remember you are the expert. Your video should be on a topic you are very comfortable with so you can have room for spontaneity. 

Somekindofstyle: Perhaps ask good friend to assist you on your 1st #Webcast

livingforpretty: Location is key – be sure to pay attention to the background and extraneous sound like water or wind. 

Ladyandthefox: Make sure to have plenty of eye contact! Engage your viewers into what you are trying to convey! 

poppylindsay: Everyone should take time to plan it out. Being over-prepared is better than being not prepared at all. 

sister_mag: Also good to see how outfit looks on camera and how you can move in it.

theyellowtable: I’m a big fan of collab efforts. Help your friends and they’ll help you! I cook for my photog friends/they shoot for me :) 

HitchDesign: Do trades with people. Talk about how the whole thing will pan out in your relationship and make sure it is good to both.

Q2: Is it worth going viral? How much should you budget for your projects, and how do you track/know your return on investment? 

sister_mag: Depends very much on the external help you need, i.e. if you have to pay for stylists etc. 

ParkerEtc: Think format. Assess if what you’re trying to share fits into an interview, instructional or just a dialogue video.

mspinkandblue: If its something ur trying out–get what u can w/trade (editors, props) if it works increase budget, costs, & level of ideas.

mspinkandblue: Also if you see a higher demand for your brand after you broadcast your projects; something’s working - create more. 

TheCuisinerd: A2: you can’t make a viral video. But You can make a video that goes viral. 

monicaleeart: I use my office studio. If you over complicate it-you will stop before you start!

Ladyandthefox: If you put your heart and soul into, that is what matters most. It’s only worth going viral if its a result of that!

sister_mag: If you put a lot of effort, time and money in it, you should also plan some activities to get it out.

jaclynkilfoyle: To go viral try sharing it on video sites like Vimeo and @Chill to get feedback. 

ladyandthefox: iMovie has always been the easiest for me, being a Mac user! 

TheCuisinerd: Always keep a video under 3 minutes, you want to keep engagement. 

Livingforpretty: imovie is great for beginners – very easy to use and can turn out a great product. 

Chelsea_Costa: The idea of “going viral” depends on quality. If it’s amazing, it will get shared, and the rewards will come. 

sister_mag: If you have blog, integrate it. If you do video about topic, identify opinion leaders in field & contact them.

poppylindsay: Sometimes you don’t have to invest at all! Find someone you want to collaborate with and borrow each other’s talents for free!

Monicaleeart: Don’t worry about length; if you have something great to say, people will stick around. My interviews are 30 -50 mins! Yikes!

Mclarkedesign: You should spend just as much time communicating and promoting your work as you do in preparing for it! 

Mstetsondesign: do you prefer YouTube or Vimeo? I know YouTube has more users/visitors, but I prefer Vimeo’s interface; prob the designer in me.

monicaleeart: I host my bandwidth myself on @wistia It is worth it. I have ownership of everything.

HitchDesign: I always feel like Vimeo has higher quality videos.

monicaleeart: You can purchase music (cheap) at @Pond5.

Ladyandthefox: I almost started using Vimeo, but like that more people utilize YouTube and view it! 

Q3: Knowing your “voice”: how do you insure your brand or personality translates into the video or podcasts you’re creating?

Livingforpretty: It is hard when exploring a new medium. The key is to always be yourself and to make sure your content fits.

Sister_mag: Choose a topic that relates to your brand and core topic.

HitchDesign: Realizing you are your brand is key. Make sure whatever you do reinforces your reader’s brand perception.

Monicaleeart: That comes along with knowing yourself! relax and don’t worry about being anything but you!

Chelsea_Costa: Just as with blogging, stay true to your sensibilities! People want to see you, not an altered version of you

NessaBirdie: Stay authentic; may have YouTube role models, but stick to my own voice!

HitchDesign:  just remember it isn’t a diary… well unless that is your brand

ParkerEtc: Talk as you normally do, like having a conversation with a friend. Your writing voice should transition into your video voice.

JaclynKilfoyle: Setting shots up like you do with your photos & possibly similar graphics for intros and endings.

Monicaleeart: it is OK to shine! It is OK to have a big personality. Come across brightly and you will stand out more.

HitchDesign:  Make sure how you dress and present yourself feels like what you talk about on a day-to-day basis

DBSweet: I think if you take an existing post series you already use and make that a video, your readers will identify with that.

PunkyandtheCity: I think if you’re trying to be something you’re not, it shows. It doesn’t come off as natural and people don’t connect.

ParkerEtc: Video is another way for readers to get to know you, so be YOU. Practice your dialogue and let your personality show thru.

Poppylindsay: It is important to always use a topic that you discuss on your blog. Think of it as talking about it versus writing about it.

Monicaleeart: PS humor is ALWAYS a good thing. It is also ok to laugh at yourself!

Mspinkandblue: try different things- get input from people who r familiar w/ur brand & love it before u publish (don’t do it just to do it)

ParkerEtc: All video components (your tone, grammar, visual elements, backdrop, music, styling) should all point back to your brand.

ArtfulDesperado: when doing it you should feel like you’re talking to a friend – that way it’ll flow naturally.

Ladyandthefox: note what to look forward to in upcoming videos so that your viewers will keep coming back and get a sense of your niche!

Theyellowtable: Remember, keep it CLASSY!! Even if your personality/brand is edgy, keep in mind future employers or in-laws can watch…

Mstetsondesign: I think asking friends/viewers for keywords of how they’d describe your brand/blog would be great; might help give direction.

ArtfulDesperado: Also you should add some bloopers once in a while, people wanna see the person deal behind the cam! It makes you more… real!

PunkyandtheCity: Vloggers present an extended level of vulnerability. Readers become viewers. Stay true to yourself & that is very commendable!

Q4: What standards or key ingredients keep you tuned into a podcast, video or series? (What makes something worth watching?)

Sister_mag: interviews!

HitchDesign:  Keep it short and sweet and to the point.

TheCuisinerd: Focused content = focused audience

Mspinkandblue: honesty, unique topics & STORYTELLING! Simple things can be story worthy its all about the delivery – make us root 4 ur story

Ladyandthefox: Pure honesty. Be yourself, laugh a little, and say what you mean. Establishing a bond with your viewer is foundational.

ParkerEtc: Visual Variety. Bring in editing tools, music and varying shots to add contrast to the video in order to keep viewers attention.

HitchDesign:  Get the information out and make it fun and entertaining.

Chelsea_Costa: A quick, steady stream of awesome information and an engaging person giving it to me!

JaclynKilfoyle: A video with bright lighting, sweet simple music and great visuals always keeps me interested.

HitchDesign:  Think of what keeps you interested and take notes from there

Theyellowtable: It should be fun, relatable, informative, & a dose of humor helps. But quality (of sound, editing, and image) is key.

ParkerEtc: Think about what keeps you tuned into a video. Take notes on those and learn how to incorporate skills in your own way.

ArtfulDesperado: idea: I once saw a dude with a travel blog vlogging with his iphone! It was cool, you felt like you were his adventure buddy!

ArtfulDesperado: Have a theme! Don’t post random videos with no sequence or actual goal, mayb make a lil’ story board to help u keep track.

ParkerEtc: Have a tripod or steady handed helper. No one wants to watch a ‘Blair Witch Project’ version of your hair tutorial video

HitchDesign:  Don’t over style. Keep makeup and dress simple and real.

Q5: Do you see webcasting in your future, and do you think this medium will be seen more in the blogging community?

Ladyandthefox:  A5: Hoping to integrate it more with my blog. It helps us virtually connect/understand each other better if we can’t physically!

mspinkandblue: A5: Yes! U can draw readers & offer new types of content- I love “seeing” blogger’s personalities/matching a voice to a blog

ArtfulDesperado: A5: Oh definitely, having different media on your blog makes it a power house! Keeps your content dynamic and fresh

ArtfulDesperadowebcasting opens a whole new door of opportunities. So much u can do with it Tutorials, journals, Q&A, a day in the life of, etc

Our Missing Piece: Amy Anderson

Megan and I are thrilled to officially announce Amy Anderson as the third and vital piece to our Blog Brunch Team. It seems as if Amy has always been our biggest cheerleader; understanding our brand, message and aspirations for the future better than anyone, adding her to our “family” only seemed natural. Amy’s years of experience and incredible creativity round out team and we know that she will be an invaluable member to our staff.

Welcome Amy!


Katie and Megan

Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Brunch This Weekend!

Hello Brunchers!

Happy Monday! We hope you had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to this Saturday’s Blog Brunch @ 10 AM PST/ 1 PM EST focusing on a near and dear topic – PERSONAL PROJECTS. Whether you’ve started a profitable project or have a side passion project, each and every blogger has knowledgeable experience of starting something from scratch! We hope you come ready to share and learn some of the great things that can arise from a project!

*Our community is growing at a rapid pace and yes the tweet-up Brunches move fast, so if and when you feel as if you are overwhelmed, here are a few pointers from some of our Brunchers:

  • Have a Browser/APP Standing By: We recommend either HootSuite or Tweet Deck, so you can make columns with the hashtag #blogbrunch ready along with a column from when people mention you by your twitter handle. If you do not want to install a desktop app, you can use browsers like TweetGrid. 

  • Prep Your Answers: On Thursday the Blog Brunch will be emailing the set questions prompted during Brunch, if you have your answers ready to go you will have more time to interact and ask questions of your own.

  • Don’t Read Every Tweet: It’s okay to engage with only certain conversations during Brunch, or to follow one or two threads during the discussion – don’t worry, there is a recap the following week on the Blog Brunch Blog for you to digest all that you missed.

  • Use the Hashtag: Please remember to use the tag #blogbrunch during the tweet-up in order for others to reply and respond to your Q and A’s. (if you are prepping your answers don’t forget to include #blogbrunch so you can estimate 140 or less characters.)

    If you missed last weeks “big announcement” or wanted to give your feedback with the Blog Brunch survey, head over to the Blog Brunch Blog for our latest updates. Mark your calendars; this will be a Brunch you won’t want to miss!

    Happy Brunching!

    The Blog Brunch Team

    Welcome Sister Magazine!

    The Blog Brunch Team feels strongly that it’s vital to celebrate the success within our community! Today, we want to raise our glass (or mimosa) to Bruncher’s, Toni and Thea over at Sister Magazine who took the digital magazine world by storm with their first issue!

    Featuring some of our favorite subjects; food, fashion and in-depth success stories, Sister Magazine is a must read for bloggers all over the world.
    Sister Magazine describes itself as perfect for “all the widely interested, ambitious, well educated and independent women who are interested in all the exciting things both in digital as well as the analogue world,” we couldn’t agree more ladies! Well done!
    If you have any exciting news that you would like to share with the other bloggers in the community, feel free to mail the team at hello@blogbrunch(dot)com

    Big Announcement: We’re Going Live!

    Since the very beginning of Blog Brunch we’ve seen a “big picture!”  We get emails everyday from our wonderful Brunchers anxious to hear more about our growing community and the things BB has to offer… so we thought we would remove the veil of secrecy and just plain tell you what the next year holds for Blog Brunch.

    Live Brunches: Tweet-Ups are fabulous (and they are not going away), but from the very beginning we always envisioned real live Brunches.  No two cities will be the same, and each topic will range but all of these physical Brunches will include a fantastic meal with a small group of local bloggers, great conversation, and a speaker to write home about. Our mantra for these Brunches is to act as a platform in your city for you to connect with local bloggers and learn vital information for your creative businesses at a minimal cost.

    New Site: Without giving too much away, our new site will act as a resource to bloggers and a home base for you to connect, interact and engage with bloggers all over the world! This project of tailoring a site built-just-for-you is a labor of love but is worth every late night and moments arguing with our adobe programs ;)

    Now you know the scoop we want to hear from you! Because so much of Blog Brunch is about you all we want to make sure we hear where you want Live Brunches, what you have enjoyed the most, and just give us any feedback you want! We are really open to hearing your thoughts!! Fill it out here

    We hope you are as excited as we are for all the wonderful things 2012 hold for Brunchers!