Use conversational video to bridge the gap between journalist and reader

Letters to the Editor haven’t just gone the way of e-mail: between Twitter, Facebook and blog comments, engaging with readers has never been easier. But with the invention of VYou, a “conversational video” platform, everyone from bloggers to MSM reporters have begun to adopt a multimedia solution for inspiring conversation between journalist and audience.

How does it work?

VYou works like this: anyone can set up their own video profile, which is then used as a platform from which other users can ask questions or pose conversation topics. Much like the Q&A Tool Formspring, users can control whether they want questions to come from anonymous users, or only those who are registered. The user then records a video response to that question, which anyone can watch. What results is a video diary of questions and answers, which can be threaded into full-scale conversations. According to the VYou site, the idea is to make “the experience feel continuously live even though the content is stored.” And it seems to work—log on to any member’s channel and you’re immediately hit with a feeling of intimacy that text-based communication like Twitter and e-mail can’t always provide.

Who’s using VYou?

Recognizing the value of VYou, news organizations like Hearst and The Daily Beast have begun to create branded channels that aggregate the VYou profiles of their writers. Journalism Schools have also hopped on board: the faculty, staff and student journalists of the J-School at University of Colorado Boulder have their own channel.

Why should I use it?

Whether you’re a freelancer or staff writer, creating a VYou profile can help you put a face behind your byline, strengthen your digital persona and closely interact with your readers in a meaningful way. The profiles are also fully embeddable, making integration into your website seamless.

VYou is a new start-up still in beta, so there are bound to be a few browser kinks, but creating a profile is as simple as signing up and recording a video welcome message.