Loic LeMeur’s video startup, Seesmic, has finally opened up to the public after being a hot beta invite for some time now, but I have to admit that — while I think it’s great that Loic has managed to raise $6-million from a host of luminaries in the Silicon Valley scene — I still don’t really get it. It’s not just Seesmic either. I don’t get Qik or Mogulus or Ustream or any of those other video things either.
Maybe it’s just that I’m too old (hey, you kids — knock it off back there) and/or too ugly and uncharismatic to get the appeal of video multicasting. Let’s face it, I’m no Loren Feldman. And that’s kind of my point. Most people aren’t Loren Feldman or iJustine or (God forbid) Robert Scoble. Maybe people using Seesmic just want to talk with their friends, and that’s fine. But I don’t see it as being a huge deal, really — or a compelling business, for that matter.
After all, as Valleywag has pointed out, we’ve had video mail-type apps for a long time now. I remember using video chat as far back as 1996, and I didn’t really see the point then either. It’s fun for awhile, but the appeal seems to wane relatively quickly — at least for me, anyway (and apparently for Frederic at The Last Podcast as well).
I’ve said it before — I just don’t think video is as compelling a medium for discussion as blogs are. Video can start discussions or conversations, and Loren’s vlog is a great example of that, but it doesn’t really lend itself to the back-and-forth that makes blogs so appealing — plus, you can’t search it easily, or scan it quickly the way you can with text.
People keep posting Twitter messages saying “I’m streaming live — come chat with me!” and yet I never do. Why? Maybe I’m busy, maybe I just don’t feel like it. The point is, no one ever posts on their blog: “Hey, I’m blogging right now — come comment on my post!” Blogging is asynchronous in that sense, I guess, and that makes its appeal a lot broader, I think. But then again, I am a print guy :-) If you think I’m wrong, feel free to let me know.