Company review: Seesmic - a new type of conversation

Aylon Steinhart · June 26, 2008 · Short URL:

It used to be that in order to engage in a face-to-face conversation with someone, you actually had to meet face-to-face, but the times they are a-changin’. The idea of posting videos online is not a new one, most of us have probably seen the wonders of the hysterically laughing baby or the finger-biting-Charlie.

But Seesmic is working with video posting to go beyond the simple post-and-watch structure.

Seesmic is a user-based video posting network which essentially enables face-to-face conversations, over the web. With Seesmic, conversations do not take place in real time; the name of the game is video responses. A user sees a video he or she wants to discuss and posts another video in response to start or continue the conversation. Sounds familiar? Well, video responses are not a completely new thing, but Seesmic has developed the edge in something that is critical, yet often unreached, in the cyber world: simplicity.

If Seesmic succeeds it will in large part because of its ease of use.

For every action a user might want to take, there is a conveniently well-placed button. If you want to reply to a video, hit the ‘reply’ button which will send you straight to your webcam recording screen. If you would like to follow a person’s video postings, click the ‘follow’ button on their profile; the more people you follow, the more users on your friends timeline, which updates you about their new video. If you would like to start your own thread, upload a video, or post a URL, big surprise, you have buttons for these actions too.

With features like personalized profile with customizable information sharing, personal inbox for private and public videos posted to you, and the direct video option which sends videos to single users, the Seesmic structure allows for both public and personalized Web interactions. A combination of socializing, networking, debating, and simply learning  from others, Seesmic has a lot to offer, just through its own users. It is, for these reasons, no surprise that Seesmic has been successful in receiving backing from a number of investors  including Atomico, the investment vehicle for the co-founders of Skype. 

The potential for Seesmic’s development is huge, with video posting and responses becoming more and more popular on the web today. I could see Seesmic proving to the world that you don’t have to invent the wheel. Offering a better version of it can be enough for a startup to make it.  

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