ooVoo: Where Content & Conversation Lives

I just hung up from a 45 minute video conference with Joseph Jaffe and four other like minded bloggers on ooVoo. It’s part of a promotion Jaffe’s crayon is running over the next several days with a number of well-known marketing and technology bloggers.

Our ooVoo conference in progress

What I found fascinating is how six people who didn’t know each other before the call could have a meaningful conversation about new marketing without a lot of warm up from the host. I’d expect even better results for workgroups and other teams where the participants are known and the conversation focused on the task at hand. Or just to chat with your friends. The video quality was good enough to make this service useful for regular team meetings in lieu of the conference room.

The ooVoo client comes in two flavors, the expected Windows and normally ignored-until-later Mac (although this is still in closed alpha, at the moment). I installed this onto my Macbook running Leopard last week and it seemed to connect to ooVoo fine. When I updated to a new build this morning, it didn’t seem to want to run on Leopard giving me an error message saying ooVoo was, “…not supported on this architecture.” But this is to be expected with alpha code. My install on my underpowered Windows Vista box went as expected and the software worked fine until freezing about 35 minutes into our call. We reconnected fine a few minutes later so this problem might have been an issue with my rather meager system, below ooVoo’s published spec.

Since ooVoo includes the ability to record your call, this creates content that can be re-purposed online in a number of ways. I expect to see a portion of this conversation posted sometime soon as an example of how ooVoo will take advantage of and extend this promotion. I think this technology also has some interesting applications for podcasters who can now do video interviews easily and turn them into video podcasts. I think I might try this with my podcast sometime later in the year.

Jaffe calls ooVoo, “Social Video.” He might be onto something. Check it out for yourself here.

Update: I was able to install the current Mac alpha build and get ooVoo to run in my full admin account. My normal Mac user account does not have admin privileges and ooVoo continues to vex me with permissions issues. I will try to use my Mac on my next ooVoo conference on Wednesday night.

Why I’m Not Buying Diet Dr. Pepper

By way of Jason Calacanis I discovered the calculated “user-generated, viral” video linked below. As chance would have it, I’m also reading Joseph Jaffe’s “Join the Conversation” today and so perhaps I’m a bit more critical than I normally would be about Diet Dr. Pepper’s attempt at hijacking a user-generated viral video, “Chocolate Rain.”

This is the kind of calculated crap that Jaffe writes about at length and will not sell much product. Why? Because the brand message is at the end of the tedious video and will not be seen my many viewers. It’s just too painful to see Tay Zonday be mocked by the ad agency that somehow convinced Dr. Pepper this was a good idea.

Note to Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry Chocolate Brand Director: read “Join the Conversation” immediately; then fire current agency and hire someone like Jaffe’s crayon.

If you haven’t yet seen this travesty, here you go:

Is 2008 The 1992 of Conversational Marketing?

If the Internet went mainstream in 1996, then we are at around the same place in the adoption cycle right now with conversational marketing that the Internet was in 1992 according to a new survey published this week. Although awareness seems to be getting to some sort of tipping point, it seems that most marketers are still in the experimentation stage today. But by 2012 most respondents think conversational marketing will be mainstream.

My favorite takeaway:

The top obstacles to increased spending on conversational marketing, according to survey respondents:

  • Manpower restraints: 51.1 percent
  • Fear of loss of control: 46.9 percent
  • Inadequate metrics: 45.4 percent
  • Culture of their organizations: 43.5 percent

I’m not exactly sure what “Manpower restraints” means but perhaps it’s just getting more marketers up to speed with new marketing concepts. But the other three hit close to home with some of the work I’m involved with: culture and control of message are the key sticking points and metrics can always be improved.

Interesting reading; check it out here.

Are Bad Products Obsolite?

I was driving around today listening to an old Across The Sound podcast and made a connection that might be an interesting subject to discuss. Since social media connects consumers together and bad news travels faster than good, are truly bad products non starters? How about products that are not THAT bad but out of phase with consumers on the quality-value continuum? Something like, the PS3, for example?

These are interesting times for a lot of companies. Do discuss…