GabJam: Viral video by numbers

Threaded video messaging for user-created personal videos.

GabJam is a viral video service made for user-generated content, but think more soapbox-standing and lonelygirl15-style personal musings than, you know, cat videos or pirated clips of Colbert.

That's because it's all short recordings made on a Webcam. The company is called GabSight, and it offers two services: GabMail, which is one-to-one video messaging, and GabJam, a threaded, reply-all version of video messaging.

GabJam video
GabSight CEO Mark Lipsky in a GabJam video CNET Networks

Several video messaging services are beginning to pop up--check out Webware's coverage of Eyejot, which debuted at Demo 07 last week.

CEO Mark Lipsky and I chatted by phone (I wish I could tell you we did the interview by Webcam, but alas, no), and he said he's excited that the video messaging space is beginning to heat up. For his company, the goal of GabMail and GabJam was to develop services "as closely to a complete e-mail metaphor as possible, in terms of text e-mail," he said.

I think they've achieved this. You don't have to register on the GabMail site or use any proprietary Web mail service. When you upload a video it is sent from whatever e-mail client you use. The interface isn't as slick looking as Eyejot's, but GabMail does allow for longer messages--up to 2 minutes, and soon 5, Lipsky says.

GabJam is the more interesting part: It launches at the end of February as a social forum for public videos. Users create their own profiles that they populate with uploaded and tagged videos they've shot. All uploaded videos are searchable, and anyone can reply. All replies will go to everyone else who has already replied to that video. If you find a video you like, just save the link (all video is hosted by GabJam) as a bookmark. Every time that page is refreshed, all the video replies will appear. Eventually GabJam will provide a drag-and-drop video editor, allowing users to mash up any of the video messages on the site.

Another great feature that all video sites should look into: Right clicking a video that offends you brings up an option to "cite this video." You can report why it's inappropriate and who sent you the video, and GabJam will investigate it and decide whether to take it down if the video offends the "community's" sensibilities. That may not happen immediately, but Lipsky says the video will be instantly cloaked from your screen once you report it.

Yes, that seems very family-friendly, but it's not clear if the same standards apply to the banner ad on the site or the pre- and post-roll video ads that will attach to each message.

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About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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