live video chat with actor Gerard Butler and director F. Gary Gray through a MySpace promotional page that integrated popular streaming video site UStream.This morning, MySpace users got to see and participate in a
Due to an unfortunate technical glitch, users ended up hearing the audio from the film's trailer over the interview audio. Overall, the audio was a mess, and UStream/MySpaceID integration for commenting was a popup-ridden, timeout-plagued, fail-inducing nightmare. Nevertheless, as a first-time integration of real-time, interactive video on one of the world's largest social networks, we suppose results could have been worse.
Relatively few users seemed tuned in for the chat, which was posted at several spots on the MySpace page for the movie Butler was promoting, Law Abiding Citizen. By relatively few, we mean that a the chat's UStream page had around 1,000 views, 3 ratings, and fewer than 30 text responses at "press time."
Neither the "studio" nor the audio, which was fraught with ear-torturing static, were what one would expect at any other kind of press junket. And the MySpaceID integration, which would allow users to comment on the video chat, was far from perfect. Every text comment required a two-click confirmation, but there didn't seem to be any options to have that content duplicated on a user's profile as a status update or bulletin, which might have helped with attracting more users to the chat. Moreover, a few comments we tried to send timed out or simply didn't post.
MySpace is painfully late to the game in integrating technologies such as Twitter, UStream, and other services that could grant the aging behemoth a second wind in terms of reclaiming former users, especially in the U.S.
In general, the ability to conduct real-time, live video interviews might be a great promotional vehicle for entertainment properties, but this effort seemed far too half-hearted to be a successful implementation of the available technology. MySpace, UStream, and the properties they choose to have participate in these kinds of promotions will have to do a much better job of ensuring a glitch-free experience for a larger group of users if these partnerships are to have any meaning in the company's future.