Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My ooVoo Day With... A Videoconference Social Experiment

ooVoo is a cross platform (Mac and Windows) software service that you can use free of charge to conduct multi-point videoconferences. The ooVoo web site describes it as "a multi-party online video communication tool... to have a face-to-face video conversation with friends, family or colleagues, no matter where they are in the world." It actually works a lot like Skype but you can have up to 6 people in a video chat on your computer screen much like the "Hollywood Squares" TV show. You can also record the call if you are on Windows.

Although it's public launch was in June 2007, I first heard about oVoo just the other day from a post on Robin Good's New Media News which caught my eye, "Video Conference with Leadership Author." I learned from Jim McGee's blog McGee's Musings that they would be using something called ooVoo to, "participate in an intimate video conference/chat with Allan Cox."

I followed the link and quickly downloaded the Mac version of ooVoo so I could participate in "My ooVoo Day With...", which ooVoo calls "a week-long experiment in blogger to fan interaction. Notable bloggers from across the 'sphere will host interactive conversations on hot topics, facilitated by the multi-person video chat technology from our friends at ooVoo."

Within minutes of downloading the software and registering, I signed up and took part in a video conversation with John Wall, co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee Podcast, along with 3 other fans who joined the call. We didn't get to talk much about new marketing strategies and we mostly discussed ooVoo, other conferencing tools and debugged the audio issues. I asked John how he got involved in My ooVoo Day With... and he said represents he was invited by Scott Monty of Crayon, ooVoo's marketing company. and as Greg Verdino of Crayon says on his blog, they "wanted to come up with a way to demonstrate just how cool, fun and useful ooVoo can be."


I have two more My ooVoo Day With... videoconferences scheduled this next week which I'm really looking forward to. One is with online video publishing guru Robin Good and the other is with Internet “it” girl iJustine.

I hope that ooVoo plans future events like this as it really helps build community and it's for a good cause too, as Greg Verdino conveyed that "ooVoo will be donating money in the hosts’ names to the charities of their choice. ooVoo and most of the hosts have chosen to pool their money to support the Frozen Pea Fund, a fund established to support the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign, in honor of blogger and cancer patient Susan Reynolds (who is one of the My ooVoo Day participants.)"

I plan to continue to explore using ooVoo, and who knows, I may be able to get my whole family to try it. We all use Skype for our individual calls but now we could try a multi-point videoconference.

UPDATE: One more related item I meant to add in the earlier post...

  • Correction: John Wall commented, "Scott Monty from Crayon invited me to the event, but I do not represent them nor have they paid me. I participated solely to meet some new people."
  • More ooVoo videos on YouTube