July 08, 2008

Late-Night Seesmic Desperation Yields Results

Guest Post By Cyndy Aleo-Carreira (E-mail / Twitter)

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm not a huge fan of social media video sites. Videos take too much time to watch and slow me down in my daily consumption of the firehose. I'm still sitting on a 14-minute ode to copyright from Duncan Riley that I just can't bring myself to sacrifice 14 minutes of my already over-stuffed day to watch, yet I also can't bring myself to mark it as read.

That being said, when I was fiddling with Seesmic one day, my two-year-old became enthralled with the idea of people talking to her out of my laptop. She's been a long-time fan of iChat for that reason, and, against my usual parental judgment, let her record a video. She's now a bona fide Seesmic addict, begging to post a video nearly every day.

Last night, we put her to bed and were treated to non-stop screaming. At her age, it usually means she's overtired, but in this case, she was terrified after watching Pixar's Monsters Inc. earlier in the evening with her older siblings. To calm her down, I asked her if she wanted to "do a Seesmic" as she calls it, and we recorded a video talking about how she was scared of monsters.

Within a few minutes, she had a reply from Seesmic user robertp with a suggestion he's used with his own kids. She and I went on a video search through YouTube for a video that featured at least one of the voice actors from the movie, and hit the jackpot with a clip of John Goodman appearing on her very favorite show, Sesame Street. She was able to see that Sully was just an animated character voiced by a very friendly looking man who happens to like triangles, and she calmed right down. Of course, she loves getting replies, and had to post one as well, thanking Robert for replying to her "bidee-yo."

I have to take back my previous gripes about social video, however. It works better than anything I've ever tried to get a frightened toddler back to sleep. And after 10 PM, it sure was easier to get help from a virtual stranger than it would have been to phone one of my friends, who were surely already asleep.