On Videomail

July 25th, 2008 | brainjuice

I noticed the other day that the new update of Twitter desktop client Twhirl includes support for the microvideoblogging service Seesmic. Microvideoblogging is probably a fairly absurd compound word, but it really does attempt to be a Twitter for video, in that it’s designed at least in part to facilitate both video statements and conversational call-and-response video. I think the limit on video length is a couple of minutes (can’t remember for sure, am at pub and basically can’t be bothered to check right now).

Flickr, of course, now supports short videos — 90 seconds, I think? Something like that.

And this week, I noticed a new entrant. 12seconds.tv. Applying the intent of Twitter to video. Like it says on the can: Twitter gives you 140 characters of text, and 12seconds.tv gives you 12 seconds of video.

I played with it a bit yesterday — tried three videos, only one of which played. But it’s a lovely idea. As is tying Seesmic into Twhirl, which puts “social video” (if you like) on your desktop.

I know a lot of people who love email because they hate the phone. But I also know a lot of people who’d rather phone, or send a photo, than write an email. And it’s that that has always made me wonder why videomail, in these broadband days of ours, has never made a bigger dent. Why I don’t get videomail in my inbox along with email.

Seesmic itself, I can’t get into. I don’t know anyone on the service, and clicking at random seems to either put you in the middle of a conversation you never heard, or gives you someone talking with an unhealthy level of excitement about how they’re going to eat a chocolate cookie. But if I had friends there, I’d doubtless be pleased that their sends were being interpolated with the Twitter device that lives on the desktop and pulls things down without my having to think about it.

12seconds may even prove workable for a more general populace, with its Twittery limitation. Regardless of its eventual fate, it’s an interesting iteration of the whole microblogging thing. And it’s one of the services that may eventually make my inbox more interesting.

(written on the Eee at the pub)


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis