Monday, March 19, 2007

The Power of "Personal Video" -- All You Need is You and a Web Cam

As readers of my blog know, I frequently discuss the power of what I call "personal" video -- that is, video that is primarily captured spontaneously by a web cam (rather than television or motion picture video or other video primarily captured via a camcorder and then uploaded to any number of sites, such as YouTube).

Why is "personal" web cam captured video uniquely powerful and impactful?

(1) personal video is easy -- anyone can do it, so long as they have a web cam (and the world is changing rapidly in this regard, as web cams increasingly are becoming embedded in hardware -- 2007 is a watershed year in this regard as all of the major PC OEMs are going this way, soon to be followed by CE companies and the mobile world);

(2) personal video is spontaneous -- whether it is live video interaction (a video call) or recorded video (a vlog post), most personal video is unrehearsed; this factor alone makes it uniquely compelling, since these personal videos capture the state of mind of the person precisely at that very moment;

(3) personal video is intimate, emotional, human and ... well ... "personal" -- because personal video is primarily captured by a web cam, the subject matter almost always is the videographer himself or herself who is "up close and personal" on the screen; this means that emotion comes through loudly and clearly; "personal" video becomes uniquely impactful accordingly both for live interaction (video calling) and for recorded videos (bringing social networking sites to "the next level" by adding this previously missing -- yet critical -- "human" element to the social networking experience); and

(4) personal video has no intellectual property issues -- unlike other kinds of online video which is fraught with IP issues (witness the current Viacom/YouTube litigation), personal video is not about third party content such as television or movies; rather, personal video is precisely that -- it is "personal" -- it is about THE person who is using it to interact both live and with recorded video. This means that personal video is "baggage-free" from an IP perspective, a critical point in this day and age.

At SightSpeed, today is a watershed day for the company. We have always focused exclusively on personal video via our industry-leading SightSpeed services (best in class real-time communications services). But, today, officially, we launch our new service called Vlip at -- Vlip also is about personal video, but it represents the flip-side of SightSpeed. While SightSpeed is primarily focuses on the private live communications side of personal video, Vlip focuses primarily on the public community and recorded video side of personal video -- in essence, Vlip complements SightSpeed, and SightSpeed complements Vlip. Now, our company truly represents the full spectrum of personal video services.

We are excited about this new prospect, and I will discuss the power of personal video more this week at the Video on the Net conference at Spring VON.