Published in The Gazette Feb. 17, 2007
“The first time I visited a blog, about a year and a half ago, (it had) heavy texts without pictures or other visual elements,” Boisjoly explains. “It didn’t really catch my attention. At that moment I thought blogs were not for me.”
But her opinion changed last year after hearing about Marie-Chantale Turgeon, who was experimenting with adding a video element to her blog.
“I was convinced that starting a blog was the best way for me to fill the creative void I felt since I finished school,” Boisjoly says.
So instead of writing long posts of poetic prose about her experiences, she picks up a video camera and brings her audience there with her. Recent videos include an iPod DJ battle, an igloo festival at the Old Port, and interviews with some Montreal bloggers.
There are also some text posts, mostly in French, but the videos are the star attractions.
Now Boisjoly is encouraging her friends, and even her mother, to get their own blogs.
“Since I started blogging, it’s been a good excuse for me to go towards people, talk to them, listen and record,” she says. “It’s also been an excuse for others to talk to me.”
Sample post: “Burger au fromage à la crême, plaza St-Hubert, dégustation de rince-bouche (???), tests de micros, flattage de chat, questions, réponses. Des bouts filmés, des bouts enregistrés. Pendant que Tchendoh ajustait ses micros, j’ajustais l’image. C’est drôle parce que quand je filme quelqu’un je pose peu de questions. Mais quand le sujet c’est supposé être moi, je réalise que j’ai tendance à faire le contraire.”
Tell me about your blog
My name is Veronique – known on my blog as Véro.b. I come from St-Barnabé Nord, a small town of less than 1000 inhabitants located half way between Montreal and Quebec City. I came to Montreal ten years ago to study Creative Arts at Champlain Regional College, and then Communications at Concordia University. I live in Montreal and love the city and its urban lifestyle since then.
I’ve been working for the same company for 8 years. I’m in charge of marketing and graphic design, but I never talk about my job in my blog. They are two different aspects of my life that I want to keep separate. The blog is very personal and because of my job position, I do not want it to interfere or change the perception people have of me. I think it is professional to do so, although it is sometimes difficult not to mix both.
The first time I visited a blog, about a year and a half ago, that particular blog (that I can’t remember the name of) had heavy texts without pictures or other visual elements. It really didn’t catch my attention. At that moment I thought blogs were not for me. Then, in March 2006, I read an article about Marie-Chantale Turgeon’s blog and podcast and was interested by the mix media she was experimenting with and presenting on a daily basis on her «self-producing» platform.
After a few visits on her blog and others that she referred to, I was convinced that starting a blog was the best way for me to fill the creative void I felt since I finished school. I knew a bit of HTML and it was great fun to personalize my template and research video uploading services available online. I discovered Stars-of-the-Web (MC Turgeon’s and Chris Car’s project), Vimeo and its creative community, Youtube, and other services and started uploading simple footage that I already had digitized but never had a change to show to most of my friends.
Soon, other bloggers started to talk about my blog and linked to me. I was invited to my first Yulblog meeting by Marie-Chantal Turgeon, where I met a very open and sharing community that help me learn to know and understand the blogosphere very quickly. This is where I met Patrick Tanguay (whom I friendly refer to as Yulboss), Julien Smith (inoveryourhead.net), and dozens of other Montreal bloggers, many of which have become my friend in «real life».
The first post was written on March 4th, 2006 and it explained the reasons why I was starting this eponymous blog. The title was «Qu’est-ce qu’un blogue». Ever since, I’ve been curious to meet bloggers, exchange with them and learn from them. I did many portraits with bloggers and I started to work on a documentary about them. I’ve also convinced a few friends to start read blogs and to start their own. My mom is also thinking of starting her own blog. The desire to communicate in this non-intrusive manner with people who are curious and sometimes share our interests is very attractive.
Although my blog goes in many and very different directions and is more exploratory for now, not as focused as it could be – if I wanted to attract and retain more readers, that is – I always try to capture moments of our life as they are. I always think of one of our great, yet not known enough filmmaker, Jacques Leduc who did «Les Chroniques de la vie quotidienne» in the 70s. With grants from the NFB, him and his friends were able to shoot hours of footage of life as it used to be then. Not télé-réalité, just life as it was. I see blogging as a similar approach. I must say that my friends have been very generous in allowing me to film then during parties, or when they went shopping for a $242 underwear kit on a first date!!
My blog is a place where I can share my otherwise never-to-be-seen videos, new music I find interesting, daily thoughts. Since I started blogging, it’s been a good excuse for me to go towards people, talk to them, listen and record. It’s also been an excuse for others to talk to me.
In spring, my interview for Velvetpanda with Thomas Augustin from Malajube received a lot of attention. However, after a while, in spite of the fact that Thomas did like the interview, he asked us to remove it from Youtube. Too many people kept on watching it, and comment on it, and he didn’t like the idea of having a video of himself available forever on the web. This is an issue that pertains specifically to the web, the ephemeral become somewhat perpetual. We respected his sense of privacy and removed the clip right away. I keep teasing him about it ever since though…
I count an average of 150 visitors per day, which is not a lot. The most visitors I had in one day was 500 in think. I was happy when I had 15 visitors, I’m surprised to have so many today. My visitors are mainly bloggers, friends, music and video artists interested in the local scene.
Since I started my blog, I moved it from the free Blogger platform to my own server. The name changed from vero-b.blogspot.com to vero-b.com. I wanted to create independent pages (like the vlogging section, still under construction) and have the possibility to host my own videos or mp3.
I certainly want to continue vlogging for a while. There’s many things I still want to experiment, like recording at least one audio podcast. I have a list of people that I’m supposed to meet with to do video projects, like Seba from the band Gatineau. I have hours of yet to be edited footage of portraits, iPod Battles, concerts and other nightlife scenes. If only I could blog full time!