Interview with Mary Yuhas, Creator of Baby Boomers, the First Reality blog

Today’s interview is with writer Mary Yuhas. I first met Mary through the website, Scribd, and became intrigued with her writing. Now she has produced the first “reality blog”, called Baby Boomers - the first reality blog  which she introduced in November 2012. (You can also watch these videos on YouTube.)
First, here’s some background on Mary:

Mary Yuhas has written for the Sun-Sentinel, USA Today, China Daily USA, The Washington Times and Gulfstream Media, a group of design/lifestyle magazines. She blogs for The Sun-Sentinel,Get Local Delray Beach and writes for Harvard Square Editions.  

SARETT: What’s the basic concept behind Baby Boomers?   

YUHAS; Baby Boomers is about baby boomers.  But  instead of me writing their stories, these individuals tell their stories on video. The videos are from four to eight minutes long.

First, people tell me their story -- it’s usually a verbal conversation. Then I look it over and send questions. Next,  we meet and film and then I edit, edit and edit before posting. Soon I will be recording on Skype so I can film anyone, anywhere.

It’s similar in some ways to reality TV, but it’s not scripted in the same way. It’s real. I wanted to interview people from every walk of life and that’s what I’ve done. One man is homeless, one is a multi-millionaire, one woman came out as gay at 34 and so on.  I haven’t seen anything else like it on the Internet. I love filming people!

SARETT: How did you come up with this idea?   

YUHAS: It was a “God thing.” The idea just popped into my head. I went out and bought an iPad to take the video with, had a crash course on iMovie and how to edit film from my grandson, Art. I asked him if he’d stay with me at no pay and drop out of college to help me with the project. He wisely said, “No.” Seriously, it took one intense week to learn how to edit, and then I filmed my first video with David Aldrich.

SARETT: Can anyone contact you?
YUHAS: If you would like to share your story, contact me at  I cannot promise to get back immediately, but I would love to hear from everyone.

SARETT: How is telling the story different on video?  
YUHAS: That’s hard to answer. There are many different kinds. A lot of them are funny and often quite short.. My video stories are more journalistic:  we’re not trying to be humorous, although if we achieve that, that’s fine. Just tell a story. It’s similar to the type of stories you see on 20/20 or 60 Minutes.

SARETT: Do you use web analytics to learn about the audience?
YUHAS: Yes, Blogger provides them so we see daily how many viewers there are and what countries they are from. Today, there are more viewers from both Latvia and Germany than the U.S. Russians like the site too.  It’s amazing - the world is becoming very small, but that’s a great thing.

SARETT: Do you think there’s a difference between the “video” story and the written one?
YUHAS: it is more powerful when an individual tells his or her story. For example, I could write about David Aldrich or Ken Parker and their incredible stories and the unbelievable odds they have overcome. But when you see people telling their own stories, it makes it real.  You are there with them.

As soon as people catch up with “smart TV” technology[merging of TV and computers], video is going to be what most people will want to watch. Once it happens, it’ll happen fast. I’m predicting that usage of smart TVs will take off around Christmas this year.

SARETT: What other projects are you keeping you busy?.
YUHAS:  I’m in the final stages of editing a memoir called Quit and Be Quiet, my story of growing up with a severely mentally ill mother, my traveling salesman father and my little brother, “Frog.”

Learn more about Mary on her LinkedIn Profile.

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