Using Web Cams but Few Inhibitions, the Young Turn to Risky Social Sites – New York Times: speaking of the video at left, this is about Stickam and video… so lets discuss.
Video conferencing is nothing new. In the late nineties, when broadband was taking hold and cameras got cheaper (specfically the amazingly good 3COM model), CUSeeMe, NetMeeting, et all were created envisioning a world where loved ones video-chatted through checkups and phone calls, and parents could talk to their children in far off places and what not. Business wouldn’t have to fly people to any place, and instead everyone would sit and discuss through little CCD cameras on their monitors.
Polycom et al have perfected this on the corporate level to the point where at Warners we video chat without even thinking of how interesting and temporally displacing it is. However, with the services like NetMeeting, the utopia that was envisioned by the manufacturers (specifically Microsoft’s implementation of NetMeeting as a de facto business communication tool), gave way quickly to human nature.
Given the absence of stimuli, humans will do anything to create analogs to sensory input through whatever device they are using to transmit their virtual representation through media. Voice, video and virtual reality (dimensional representation) have been holy-grails for as long as the Internet was used as a communication platform. Dimensionality and sensorial transmission however aren’t conforming to needs predicated by business or community, but instead something much more visceral and primal: the desire to be Human through inhuman media.
And what is the desire to be Human? The desire to feel. And what is the primal method of feeling?
So there you have it. When a media allows the exposure of extra-textual input, it will always… ALWAYS reduce itself to the primal desires of the participants. Its guaranteed.
Look at Veoh for instance. Veoh up to 8 months ago or so allowed porn on their site. A good bulk of what they had online was porn in fact, which contributed a large part to their business. And then one day, when the numbers were good, they deleted it all. But porn was the primary attractor.
We talk community, but really its all about the desire to connect on a primal level. Without clothing.