Jeff’s right, Stickam rocks

“Stickam is…pretty incredible,” Jeff Pulver says (Jeff runs VideoOnTheNet, a conference coming up this spring that I’ll be speaking at).

I’ve played a few times over the past week with Stickam. It’s a site where you can turn on your Web cam and other people can watch you — along with others — while you do whatever you do in front of the computer. It’s incredible cause you can see multiple people at one time.

Right now mostly teenagers are using it, which creates all sorts of new ways for predators to try to angle their way into kids’ lives (funny enough, women on the site are already pretty adept at dealing with that — I saw one entry that said “I won’t show you my tits, don’t even ask.”)

So, something your kids might already be doing. Will it have a business impact? I think so. I’m meeting more and more companies that have people working out of their homes. This way you can feel like you’re working with other people and see visually when they are available to talk.

What do you think?

29 thoughts on “Jeff’s right, Stickam rocks

  1. Remember when we had dinner at Dave’s a few weeks ago? And I talked about my life as the product manager of an online group video chat site?

    That was the grandfather of this. It isn’t really any more sophisticated and I feel pretty confident that it is attracting the same audience.

    Yes, it can be cool. It does have business applications. But I agree completely with some of the other commenters that you can’t splash in the consumer space (especially the social network space) and then hope to cross-over gracefully to an enterprise application. The two spaces just require completely different applications.

    If Stickham’s goal is to be the very video chat application for the next generation of social networking, then they might be on to something. But using it as a biz application is probably not the best idea. Without the proper security controls, it just won’t fly.

  2. Remember when we had dinner at Dave’s a few weeks ago? And I talked about my life as the product manager of an online group video chat site?

    That was the grandfather of this. It isn’t really any more sophisticated and I feel pretty confident that it is attracting the same audience.

    Yes, it can be cool. It does have business applications. But I agree completely with some of the other commenters that you can’t splash in the consumer space (especially the social network space) and then hope to cross-over gracefully to an enterprise application. The two spaces just require completely different applications.

    If Stickham’s goal is to be the very video chat application for the next generation of social networking, then they might be on to something. But using it as a biz application is probably not the best idea. Without the proper security controls, it just won’t fly.

  3. I tested Stickham a few month ago and un-installed it quickly. At the time, it featured, 90% of the time, gay escort boys (lots of muscles) and pro strip-teasers. I agree with one of your previous commentator. I would be interested if there was a privacy or “restricted to my group” option.

  4. I tested Stickham a few month ago and un-installed it quickly. At the time, it featured, 90% of the time, gay escort boys (lots of muscles) and pro strip-teasers. I agree with one of your previous commentator. I would be interested if there was a privacy or “restricted to my group” option.

  5. Juan: I’m far more worried about random acts of violence, or a drunk driver. They kill a lot more people than I can see getting killed cause you know my hotel room.

  6. Juan: I’m far more worried about random acts of violence, or a drunk driver. They kill a lot more people than I can see getting killed cause you know my hotel room.

  7. Ooooppps, I wish I could edit my previous posting. See, it’s later here than the post time shows and I’m burnt. Plus virtual happy hour ran overtime tonight;) I was going to start out on a rant against you for saying this thing rocks and kind of drifted over what others had said and then missed my point. In the mean time I read #5 & 6 and they bring up good issues too. Since ranting won’t fix anything I’ll just ask: What the heck is so good about it? The only good could be your very last point for grouping telecommuters, but that isn’t what this does, and if these home workers feel the need to be watched they aren’t being effective home workers. They’ll also be spending all their time looking to see whose ONLINE so they can wave to them and send a smiley. Then, because the boss was watching too, they’ll lose their jobs and end up as Juan points out in #6.

    Hmmm, this is sounding more and more like a rant. Sorry, like I said before; this is my first time posting (well, 2nd now).

    The concept of social network video chat is not new and most business applications of it require a PhD to read and understand the user guides and an IT dept to run it. That is why we decided to step up and make a user friendly edition. What the others mentioned here about having this in a secure or closed form is our phase II but you won’t see us launching it on a social premise to try and gain popularity and then converting to business format because, frankly, those are 2 way different markets. Don’t these people think … actually there is the problem. Some people just don’t think anymore. If your going to post, at least learn to spell because when your future boss does do a search on you and sees you couldn’t spell back then and still can’t now; well, need I say more? Actually no, because I drifted again; damn.

    All that to say I don’t think this is their goal. Which brings me back to my question: What the heck is so good about it?

  8. Ooooppps, I wish I could edit my previous posting. See, it’s later here than the post time shows and I’m burnt. Plus virtual happy hour ran overtime tonight;) I was going to start out on a rant against you for saying this thing rocks and kind of drifted over what others had said and then missed my point. In the mean time I read #5 & 6 and they bring up good issues too. Since ranting won’t fix anything I’ll just ask: What the heck is so good about it? The only good could be your very last point for grouping telecommuters, but that isn’t what this does, and if these home workers feel the need to be watched they aren’t being effective home workers. They’ll also be spending all their time looking to see whose ONLINE so they can wave to them and send a smiley. Then, because the boss was watching too, they’ll lose their jobs and end up as Juan points out in #6.

    Hmmm, this is sounding more and more like a rant. Sorry, like I said before; this is my first time posting (well, 2nd now).

    The concept of social network video chat is not new and most business applications of it require a PhD to read and understand the user guides and an IT dept to run it. That is why we decided to step up and make a user friendly edition. What the others mentioned here about having this in a secure or closed form is our phase II but you won’t see us launching it on a social premise to try and gain popularity and then converting to business format because, frankly, those are 2 way different markets. Don’t these people think … actually there is the problem. Some people just don’t think anymore. If your going to post, at least learn to spell because when your future boss does do a search on you and sees you couldn’t spell back then and still can’t now; well, need I say more? Actually no, because I drifted again; damn.

    All that to say I don’t think this is their goal. Which brings me back to my question: What the heck is so good about it?

  9. Long time reader, first time posting. Like #3 I don’t have a problem with it, except for the predator potential. This is just a step up from the IM playground they already lurk in and that is too bad. Why does web cam use tend to flourish with just a particular set of people?

    I happen to have one staring at me from atop my screen, however; you won’t catch me posting on Stickam or MySpace and the like. I need it because we built an audio/video chat application for business web site use with the goal of humanizing online communications. People are that much more at ease dealing online when they can see with whom they are transacting. Better leads are generated, sales cycles are shortened and conversion rates jump upward simply because you can see “who’s there”. We call it “virtually in person”.

    As to #4, web cams are cool – unfortunately it just depends who and how they’re being used. A major problem is a lot of the postings border on softcore porn and squeeze in under the radar. Who is to ‘police’ this? Mommy & Daddy would be a good start!

    Robert, I can’t remember the context but many months back you asked why someone couldn’t build a good a/v 1 to 1 chat with some power behind it. We did. Our site will finally be live next week but sales have been great since October.

    Use my email to see a demo and drop by for a virtual beer together!

  10. Long time reader, first time posting. Like #3 I don’t have a problem with it, except for the predator potential. This is just a step up from the IM playground they already lurk in and that is too bad. Why does web cam use tend to flourish with just a particular set of people?

    I happen to have one staring at me from atop my screen, however; you won’t catch me posting on Stickam or MySpace and the like. I need it because we built an audio/video chat application for business web site use with the goal of humanizing online communications. People are that much more at ease dealing online when they can see with whom they are transacting. Better leads are generated, sales cycles are shortened and conversion rates jump upward simply because you can see “who’s there”. We call it “virtually in person”.

    As to #4, web cams are cool – unfortunately it just depends who and how they’re being used. A major problem is a lot of the postings border on softcore porn and squeeze in under the radar. Who is to ‘police’ this? Mommy & Daddy would be a good start!

    Robert, I can’t remember the context but many months back you asked why someone couldn’t build a good a/v 1 to 1 chat with some power behind it. We did. Our site will finally be live next week but sales have been great since October.

    Use my email to see a demo and drop by for a virtual beer together!

  11. Another service that likely will not be around in another couple of years.

    I wonder what all these people are going to do in several years when they go for employment that does serious background checks and some of this stuff gets thrown back into their faces. If you’re independently wealthy, so what… but most of us are not, so we have to be careful what we do and how much of our lives are online.

    Robert, even though you get paid to show up and speak and appear in person and write about everything personal, don’t you sometimes fear for yourself? I mean, you put flight times and what hotel room your in and when you’re going to be here and there… You must not take security all that seriously or you’re really trusting that people will be decent.

  12. Another service that likely will not be around in another couple of years.

    I wonder what all these people are going to do in several years when they go for employment that does serious background checks and some of this stuff gets thrown back into their faces. If you’re independently wealthy, so what… but most of us are not, so we have to be careful what we do and how much of our lives are online.

    Robert, even though you get paid to show up and speak and appear in person and write about everything personal, don’t you sometimes fear for yourself? I mean, you put flight times and what hotel room your in and when you’re going to be here and there… You must not take security all that seriously or you’re really trusting that people will be decent.

  13. The unique thing about this service is the one-to-one communication. If they where to add some privacy features to this service … then it could be like a “virtual” office window. Being able to have constant visual feedback of who is looking at you could lay to rest the uncomfortable feeling of being watched.

  14. The unique thing about this service is the one-to-one communication. If they where to add some privacy features to this service … then it could be like a “virtual” office window. Being able to have constant visual feedback of who is looking at you could lay to rest the uncomfortable feeling of being watched.

  15. “This way you can feel like you’re working with other people and see visually when they are available to talk.” I don’t have a problem with it but I can imagine the BIG BROTHER WATCHING YOU arguments starting.

  16. “This way you can feel like you’re working with other people and see visually when they are available to talk.” I don’t have a problem with it but I can imagine the BIG BROTHER WATCHING YOU arguments starting.

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