Jun 192012

Here’s 8 web apps I’ve found to quickly and easily connect over a group video chat. You’d think with the internet maturing that there’d be more options for web-based no-download no-frills multi-user video conferencing. Granted, multi-point more-than-two livestreamed-duplex video feeds does raise the degree of technical difficulty exponentially. Of these free web apps, some are quicker to use (no registration required) instantly and some more reliable, your mileage may vary. ymmv.

With this genre of web apps, features and intended use cases vary greatly. For more audience interaction with a panel of video guests, there’s http://spreecast.com and http://vokle.com

For a web meeting with mini webcam videos around a whiteboard, there’s these: http://liveminutes.com http://anymeeting.com http://camdip.com/

Also see: PC World comparison of 5 group video chat apps

Any more choices for multi-user video conferencing out there?

[update 6/25] // 3 more group video chat web apps: http://www.icanhazchat.com
http://yowie.com http://www.yapchat.com //

Sep 252009

In this video conversation with Becky Knight, a sexologist and sex educator in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, we breach an often uncomfortable topic, “Why talking about sex is so hard?” Her website is www.livingsexuality.com and she twitters at twitter.com/livingsexuality

There you have it. Sounded to me like just do it, and start the conversation. No magical how-to. How have you talked about this subject with your peers? Your children?

Sep 022009

My 2nd wetoku interview of the day. And this turned out to be Michael Trent‘s 2nd wetoku interview too.

In this video, we find out how Michael became the infamous @churchbartender and why he didn’t quite make it to The Idea Camp DC Edition in person, though he did participate with The Idea Camp via the internet. We really need to find better language than “in real life”, because people did participate online in real life, even though they weren’t physically in the same room.

To make good on the title of this blog post, I used the brand-new private-beta web app called wetoku at wetoku.com and conducted this video chat there. The web app automatically records the chat, and provides the embed code that you can copy & paste into your blog or website. Very very handy! No need to download and install extra software. No need for post-production.

This kind of web app is something I’ve been searching for for months. So glad someone was able to put it all together! Thank you wetoku!

[update: unfortunately, wetoku.com went dark and offline in Q1 2011, so this video interview is gone too]

Sep 022009

wetoku is making it really easy to conduct an interview over the web between 2 webcam equipped persons.. here’s my first run at it with Tom Roepke of evosm.com student ministries. Tom blogs at samgamgee.org and twitters at @samgamgee.

part 1 above, part 2 below — talking about moving from blogger to self-hosted wordpress and a mention about #thenines free online conference for church leaders on 09/09/09 http://thenines.leadnet.org

The wetoku web app is in private beta, and I wish I could give out invite codes here. For now, you can get invite codes over at makeuseof.com.

[update: unfortunately, wetoku.com went dark and offline in Q1 2011, so this video interview is gone too; see my blog post How to stream and record video chat interview for softwares you can now use for recording video chats]

Jul 292009

Online Experiment #231. After a couple of tries of using twitcam.com to livestream in conjunction with my secondary twitter account @djchuang247, there were a few aha’s that weren’t all that obvious to me, especially with a minimalistic web page design. The minimalism does make it very easy to use, granted.
3 things and then 1 aside:
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Jun 042009

When I saw this recorded video of 2 people on webcams in 2 separate locations talking with each other, be it discussion or debate or interview, I started on a rampant search for how to produce that kind of a video.

(And, yes, I have contacted bloggingheads.tv to ask how they do it. Reply was “The video is produced with a mix of open source technologies”.) [update 10/07/12 - found this tech note from someone who participated on bloggingheads.tv -- "I would record myself on a phone call with a scientist or a writer, and then we'd both upload our Quicktime files to an editor who would sync the whole thing together."]

After months of searching, I have not yet found a working solution that fits the bill. I know bloggingheads.tv can produce it. I just can’t find a web app accessible to the masses, yet. The closest web app I’ve found is woome.com, but that’s for video dating, and I’m wanting a web app for general usage, be it personal or professional, free or paid. Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • easy to use – so a non-techie can use it
  • no software download or install (cross-platform, browser independent)
  • supports video chat for 2 users (from multiple locations)
  • records the video chat to be played on-demand and/or embed-able
  • bonus: live-streams the video chat + records it + supports a chat room for 100+ viewers
  • bonus: supports 4 simultaneous webcams for panel-discussion video chat + records it + audience

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Dec 152008

[update 12/17] As this chart shows,chart tokbox spiked as a trend on twitter just 2 days ago, when Tony Steward and crew gathered 50+ people for a group video chat, and locked up browsers everywhere. Watch this one — it could well be the beginning of a viral movement, and not an anomaly. Would be sweet to see another video from Lauren*. + catching on I tell ya, there’s a tokbox multi-user video chat at churchstaffbreakroom.com now. [/update]
[update 12/17 5pm PT] Tokbox is temporarily down. Another sign of viral movement, eh?
Remember the Twitter whale? Sometimes a website being down means the website is getting more popular and the server can’t handle all the people who want in. Or, a website being down means hardware or software failure. [/update]

Yes, 60 people video chatting at once with ToxBox.com !! on TwitPic I had signed up for a tokbox account months ago, but didn’t have people to try it out with. So my account signup sat buried in the inbox.

Now webcams are going more mainstream. I noticed (almost?) every laptop at the retail store (starting with the letter B) had a built-in webcam, even the tiny 8″ netbook. And then to hear 2 of my non-tech colleagues get webcams and using Skype for the first time in their lives. (!)

Now that webcams are mainstream (and having broadband internet becoming common helps the cause), I googled for a free web-based multi-user video chat web app. I don’t want to mess with software downloads and installation. I don’t think non-techies want to mess with software either. So, to find tokbox again was a treat. Too bad it locks up when all the CPU cycles are eaten up.

aside: yes, Tokbox handed out tacos outside of Yahoo last week to spread info about their job openings, and spread the good cheer

Oct 292008

Okay, a week off on an unplugged excursion leaves me jet-lagged and ramping up fast towards 3 packed weeks staring me down, which includes more travels, too. I was able to clear out my inbox quick enough, but those 2 early morning phone calls were challenging (8:00am yesterday, 7:00am today) right after returning home 11pm the night before. Unlike Eric, I cannot skip time zones and hit the ground running full speed ahead. Heard from one of my sources that Eric went from Spain to an overnighter in Colorado and onto Malaysia. Whew.
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