It doesn’t happen very often, in fact very rarely, but yesterday I was one of the very early people to get their paws on Seesmic, Loic LeMeur‘s new video based startup and give it a thorough run through. Mike Arrington gets first dibs on new stuff because he’s a BSD in Silicon Valley. His words can blow up your servers from the traffic his 610,000 subscribers can generate. Ben Metcalfe also got an early look. Both Mike and Ben make thoughtful comments about the service. Both are well worth the read to help gain an understanding of the general direction of this market.
I looked at Seesmic from a business perspective because that’s where I see utility. The idea is that you create a network of people with whom you wish to interact and then share video material. Mike described it as akin to ‘video meets Twitter.’ That’s an apt description. I’ve said before that Twitter holds great business utility. For example, I made a couple of meeting arrangements via Twitter for when I travel to London later this week.
Imagine instantly sharing information but with the nuance that comes via video? How about quickly solving problems by exchanging video information? What about sending a quick video back from the field when undertaking stock counts, perhaps with questions seeking advice on how to treat a particular item?
I know that ‘business’ is not where Loic would like to position Seesmic but I’m increasingly seeing the business application world through consumer eyes. Do you agree that ‘fun’ enhances productivity? That’s something Seesmic does very well IMO.
I’ve put my semi-technical review of what is a very early alpha release online at ZDNet. It includes some cool screenshots that give you a sense of what the service looks like and how it performs.
The open beta starts some time in November.
Endnote: Loic LeMeur encouraged me in my early blogging efforts in 2005. We have become good pals, even though we only meet perhaps once a year. I consider Loic to be one of the best examples of entrepreneurship I know. A risk taker yet one who is prepared to fail, learn and move on. The fact we are pals in no way colours my assessment of the service. If anything Loic encourages reasoned critique. Few people are prepared for that and it sets him apart. Anyone advising a startup would do well to follow his progress and learn from the way he shares information about the value of openness.
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