got the scoop from video chat platform Seesmic that the company will be powering video comments for Moveable Type and TypePad blogs beginning next month, just like they have for WordPress.com since last month. Founder Loic Le Meur wrote this week that Seesmic will this month become the first Silverlight video service on mobile phones and next month the company will be integrating XMPP real-time messaging into Twhirl, the leading 3rd party Twitter client that they recently acquired.Andy Plesser at Beet.TV
Is Seesmic blowing up right now, or is it set to eventually implode? Read on and we will consider the issues...
As we wrote when Seesmic acquired Twhirl, the combined company is a vision of the future of the web. We hadn't taken video commenting on blogs into account in that post, and have since written a post highly skeptical of that feature's viability, but that's not the point here. The point is that the Seesmic team is a business development machine and their technology is incredibly seductive.
Questions About Seesmic
There are some big questions remaining about Seesmic - it may be too lightweight, too tied together with charisma and may be as screwed regarding a business model as many companies these days are said to be. It may be too niche, as only so many people want to broadcast themselves on video. (Though for the rest of us there's Twhirl.) We think there's something very substantive here though, regarding real time multi-media, group communication.
We can't help but compare the SixApart blog commenting news with the relative slowness of uptake for the video commenting plug-in offered by competitor Viddler. Viddler's technology is arguably superior, but their execs come across more like (very likable) football players than like hip French art-lovers who want to pour you a glass of wine and tell you fascinating stories about ethereal and potentially monetizable online phenomena. To be fair, Viddler does a lot of things with video and there's no reason to expect blog commenting to be a big part of their traffic.
The moral of the story is that you'll likely be seeing Seesmic everywhere, soon. If you'd like to try out Seesmic - just add @getseesmic as a friend in Twitter and DM it with the word "get" to receive an invitation.
Whether being available everywhere leads to the platform actually being used is another question. Social news site Mixx, for example, keeps getting added to more mainstream media websites than you can shake a stick at and their traffic has not made the kind of jump you'd expect from such an association.
Video comment capabilities everywhere (except Blogger of course) may not make a huge impact on Seesmic use, but throw in some Silverlight on mobile phones and some video through an XMPP powered Twhirl and you've got a recipe for a well distributed pattern of heavy use in aggregate.