ooVoo has big potential2008-02-19
It’s been a while since I participated in a videoconference hosted by Mitch Joel, part of the My ooVoo Day initiative designed to get people talking about the service. (Sorry about the delay—life has been hectic; I’m hoping to catch up on several posts I’ve been wanting to write over the next few days.) You can still sign up to participate in these scheduled My ooVoo Day conversations through February 22.
The ooVoo service—which I hadn’t used before—was impressive, as many others reporting on their experiences have noted. There were six of us on the call and I could hear and see everybody just fine (except for one person, which I attribute to his broadband connection, considering everybody else was coming through loud and clear). The interface is as slick as they come, making Skype’s look like a relic from an earlier time. In addition to the video conferences, ooVoo handles Skype-like calls; right now, all calls to phones in the US and Canada are free, but after the introductory period, they’ll charge for calls, presumably using a model similar to Skype’s SkypeOut service. I haven’t been able to find any reference to a SkypeIn-like service that would assign a phone number to your ooVoo account, allowing you to receive calls from people who aren’t on ooVoo.
ooVoo also does instant messaging, just as Skype does, but also makes recording of the video conversations a breeze. According to one post I read it’s just as easy to record phone conversations, which requires jumping through hoops to accomplish with Skype. You can also record video messages to send via email.
Pretty impressive work from the ooVoo folks who could, conceivably, give Skype a run for their money. Neville and I may even try recording an episode of FIR over ooVoo one of these days, just to see how it goes. (Still, I’m not planning to dump Skype any time soon—my SkypeIn number, after all, has become my only business line; I no longer have a land line for the office.)
Equally impressive, I must admit, is the My ooVoo Day promotion. Congrats to crayon for coming up with the idea and executing it so well. I’d be curious to see the metrics crayon produces from the effort, but I’ve seen plenty of buzz online following the introduction of the campaign. Nice work.