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Summary:

I’ve been joining a number of video microblogging sites (Seesmic, Phreadz, 12SecondsTV, Utterz, ViddYou) and maneuvering for alpha invites for several more (Hictu and what else is out there…?) but I still haven’t gotten into the groove. More than anything, I am wondering about real business […]

seesmicI’ve been joining a number of video microblogging sites (Seesmic, Phreadz, 12SecondsTV, Utterz, ViddYou) and maneuvering for alpha invites for several more (Hictu and what else is out there…?) but I still haven’t gotten into the groove. More than anything, I am wondering about real business applications for video microblogging. I can immediately rattle off the business benefits of microblogging, especially via Twitter, because the adoption rate with essentially text microblogging sites is still way ahead of audio and video ones. And when it comes to networking for business, for example, size does matter.

So when you add audio but even moreso video to the mix, you end up with a much smaller pool of potential contacts. Not everyone feels comfortable enough in front of a camera, much less broadcasting their video image to others. So is video microblogging nothing but a fun way to waste time and procrastinate from work? Or are there really going to be business applications for these sites once they get out of their alpha and beta phases?

Here are some of the ways I see video microblogging could possibly be used for work, but I’m open to any and all other viable suggestions:

phreadz1. Enhanced comments. If you are going back and forth with a client, you could video your responses to one another and have a record of the dialogue that is much easier to follow than text where misunderstandings can be rampant.

2. Time zone busting. If you are working with others in another time zone, coordinating video Skype calls might be too much effort all the time. With video microblogging, you can record your thoughts then when you get up the next day, your colleague’s video thoughts are waiting for you.

3. Easy demos and feedback. You can’t beat a video when it comes to demonstrating something when you can’t be there in person. You can record a demo of something, and then put it out to your team for feedback. Then again, most of what we do is on the Web and screencasts may work better for many of us.

I was at the BizJam Seattle conference this week and I asked about some potential business applications of video microblogging for Web workers. “Use it for how tos for your products and to show examples of your work,” answered Jim Turner of One By One Media.

4. Cheap video. It was only a few years ago that many of us avoided doing video because of the production expense. Now using the little built-in camera on your laptop is perfectly acceptable recording equipment for Web broadcast quality.

“Press releases are dead,” says Saul Colt of Freshbooks.com, who was also at BizJam. “You can use video microblogging to announce new information, use it for customer testimonials.”

Some Other Pros of Video Microblogging

  • Web-based. Doesn’t require special software to download or configure.
  • Fairly easy. It is pretty simple to get up and running on a video microblog as long as you have your computer camera and microphone working correctly in the first place.
  • Archives. You have a video record of recordings and threaded video “conversations.”
  • Motivation. If you know you are going to be on video, you’ll probably be a little more motivated to look your best and to act your best.

Some Real Cons of Video Microblogging

  • The Gaps. Video microblogging is not real-time unless you are using some of the live video broadcasting sites which then aren’t really video microblogging.
  • Bandwidth Issues. You simply must have a fast connection to get any semblance of video and audio quality.
  • Privacy Issues. How private are these video microblogging sites? Even if you can keep your account access limited to clients, vendors or members of your team, what are the chances of a privacy breech?
  • Bad Hair Day. Let’s face it. For those of us that work at home, do we really want our colleagues to see us? Isn’t the beauty of working from home that we can wear our pajamas all day and not have to brush our hair (or shave)?

I also posed my question to Leif Hansen of Spark Social Media, and he brought up a good point. Some of our potential audience may be in a work environment where they cannot watch video so keep that in mind – who is your audience?

But, Leif added, “there is still a lot of wow factor with video microblogging. If you are a Web worker, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing with it.” He pointed to the positive reaction he gets by adding a video welcome greeting to each person who joins his Ning network. “They always say it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen!” He’s been using Seesmic and Eyejot.

So what do you think? Is video microblogging just too cool to be practical or can you see useful business applications for it at this stage? Do you have an example online of how you are using video microblogging for your work? Or are we just having fun and wasting time?

  1. These new services are just another way to communicate so the uses are endless and especially useful in a controllable virtual environment like the web.

    With such low barriers to entry, the playing field is more level than ever and I phor one am looking phorward to the phuture ;)

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  2. [...] and finds some uses for cheap, personal, asynchronous demos and comments in her work. Check out the full story on [...]

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  3. I was an early alpha user on Seesmic and found that it was mainly being used as a social conversation tool. That use is still holding strong today even now that they’re out of private beta.

    I think one additional con is the “off the cuff” nature of video messages. Not everyone can deliver a clear and concise message off the top of their head in a professional way. Without some decent experience in front of the camera, an involuntary nervousness tends to take over and the quality of what gets delivered sometimes suffers. Vanity will also come into play causing multiple re-takes before posting which isn’t so great for efficiency and time management!

    Ultimately, crafting a precise and meaningful answer with text will be much more professional – even when its limited to 140 characters. Even though I’d love to see video messaging make a surge into the business space, I don’t think it will be spreading too quickly.

    -Jeff, PerkettPR

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  4. If you have to ask if there’s a real use for business I think you’ve already answered your question.

    I disagree that quick product demos or howto videos are what these tools are aimed at – screencasting like that is already covered by other tools (screenflow etc) that are fine for that too.

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  5. Although Viddyou (not ViddYou) originally started out as a videoblogging site when we launched in April 2006, we evolved our focus in late 2007 towards premium personal video. Viddyou is focused on HD, (first to bring 1080 to personal video) high resolution and high bitrate video.

    Privacy is a critical component with online video and we recognized that from the start. Viddyou offers custom privacy groups that allow you to specify exactly which of your contacts can see what. (If you’re logged into Viddyou go here: http://www.viddyou.com/manage?mode=friendgroups)

    If you create a “Girls I Trust” group that has 5 people in it, apply that to a video of your night of fun with them and one shows it to someone else that’s no different than one of those friends telling a secret you shared with them. Privacy controls only go as far as the people you’re entrusting your privacy to.

    The closest Viddyou gets to “twitter-like” is that we’ll automatically update Twitter when you post. Viddyou is a versatile service that supports videoblogging, video based user created communities, HD//high resolution video, and more that’s beyond the scope of a response here. In short – we’re not a Seesmic, Phreadz, or the others mentioned.

    (Yes I’m painfully aware that I need to massage the marketing to make this all very clear which is what I was doing when I caught this article mentioned on NewTeeVee…)

    Best.
    :: r ::
    Co-Founder//Creative Director
    Viddyou Inc.

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  6. Video micro-blogging still has a ways to go, but just like when Twitter came out most people questioned the actual business use and functionality. Personally I do feel that video micro-blogging for business could / will / should catch on, especially when it comes to communicating with customers. A quick video update from a CEO of a company, tour of a factory, sneak peek at new product, highlighting a key customers or worker…I can think of a million ways a company can use video micro-blogging to benefit their brand.

    IF anything video micro-blogging can be better for a business as there will be less “noise” when compared to text…

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  7. I dont even understand the Twitter theory… Now there are Videos too.. Damn!

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  8. Video Micro Blogging is the natural evolution of micro blogging. With video you can express much more than with text only and having this feature available, for example, in the comment section of your blog lets people express themselves much better. Not only with realtime video taken from their webcam, but even by enriching their comments with YouTube videos and so on.

    We believe that video micro blogging is definitely the next step in interaction among social media consumers.

    Luca Filigheddu, CEO, Hictu.com

    p.s. if you want an invite, just drop me a line or leave a comment on my blog http://www.lucafiligheddu.com

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  9. [...] to Use Video Micro Blogging If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!WebWorkerDaily, the popular blog which belongs to the GigaOM network and [...]

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  10. Aliza Sherman Monday, July 14, 2008

    I don’t agree with Rick that if you have to ask about the business application of a technology, then you’ve answered your own question.

    I seem to recall in the mid-1990s that business people were questioning the business application of something called the World Wide Web. And so many people said it would never ever last.

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