Thursday, November 16, 2006

Video Social Networking & Video e-Commerce-- "Click to Video Call" Web-Based Features: Web 2.0 is Here and Now

In some of my earlier posts, I raised and discussed one of my favorite topics relevant to my space -- i.e., how video interactivity can take the so-called "social networking" experience to a whole new and revolutionary level. Several of my fellow bloggers chimed in with their thoughts in this regard, many of whom indicated that they agreed -- but underscored that for this to happen, video interactivity would need to be done in very Web 2.0 fashion -- i.e., via "click to video call" web-based functionality (with no software download needed).

Let me be clear -- I couldn't agree more in the context of social networking (and in the context of video-enabled e-commerce and e-services as well -- think "click-to-video call" offered by small businesses on their web sites as an example). For video interactivity to really take hold in these environments, it must be very very easy to use. Think of MySpace, FaceBook, and others with video. How cool would it be for users/members if they could easily add "click-to-video call" interactivity and "click-to-record" video functionality to their profiles and to the overall experience?

Well, they can -- today, they can already add great looking 30 frame per second video, with perfect synch and no latency via "click-to-video call" buttons. In other words, NOW, members of such communities really can "connect" -- video adds a powerful new form of online interaction (as well as a powerful new way for members to show the world "who they are" and their individuality via a video vignette that is part of their profile).

Interestingly ... and, yes, here's a plug for SightSpeed ... SightSpeed already has full "click-to-video call" functionality, although most people don't know this (in fact, I just had an analyst call today, and this was surprising news to this person -- and, significant news from their perspective). VoIPGirl recently devoted an entire post to SightSpeed's "hidden" click-to-call buttons (and pointed out step-by-step instructions on how to easily add this web-based functionality). VoIP Lowdown also talked about this just the other day.

Well, this will soon change -- web-based "click-to-video call" and more will soon deservingly be getting much more visibility in the overall SightSpeed experience. It is simply too compelling for reasons noted above to stay buried any longer. That was our mistake ... VoIPGirl and others, thanks for bringing much-deserved awareness to this.

Try it out -- let me know what you think (in fact, you will see one of these "click-to-video call" buttons on the right-hand column of this blog). And, of course, it is completely FREE!

(for a further interesting discussion of "click-to-call" with video as part of a broader Web 2.o world, see the article "VoIP Mash-Ups in a Web 2.o World" by Marc Robins (Chief Evangelism Officer of Robins Consulting Group) in the November 2006 print edition of "Internet Telephony."