Sharing your music, videos, and opinions with other people online is the drive of many Web companies, each striving to make experiences more interactive, and to bridge the gap between the anonymous Web and face-to-face reality. Three companies peddling their wares Thursday afternoon at Plug and Play's Fall 2008 Expo in Sunnyvale, Calif., are taking online music-making, video conferencing, and content-sharing a step further.
Bojam can be thought of as the Wikipedia of music-creation. Musicians from around the world can add and tweak compilations piecemeal for profit or for play. The online mixer lets musicians from anywhere lay down tracks, produce, and distribute music asynchronously. It's a cool concept, but the input and output quality had better be flawless if it's going to keep the interest of talented professionals.
ViVu is a video conferencing tool that lets viewers chime in to live conferences or Internet shows using their own Web cameras. Instead of watching the panelist or host's face while listening to a caller's question, ViVu puts the spotlight on the audience member--a good way for viewers to connect with the host and with each other. A queuing system lets producers screen, switch, and queue callers. They can also pull the plug in cases of abuse. I could see this adding spice and inspiration to shows like CNET's own .
Koollage's Web app lets you arrange your digital media--photos, video, songs, and text--into mini Web sites, then shrink them into small form factors for embedding onto social networking profiles and for playing on mobile phones. The "Pods," as Koollage calls them (it stands for packages on demand) are customizable, and could therefore become a popular way for the MySpace generation to produce and share their stylized media.