In this day and age of internet and emails, communication has gotten a lot more cut and dried compared to a decade or so ago. Nowadays, most people either send out emails or text messages, or other similar tools and we’re lost in a sea of text. What happened to the personal interactivity or being able to “see” someone right there or go out and have a face to face chat? We have gotten into a text based world which almost seems quite backwards in some ways. Wouldn’t you want to be able to just “talk” to someone and see them? Well, you could if that person lives close to you, but what if he is half way around the world? There’s Skype and other video chat services if you both use the computer but that requires the both of you to be “online” at the same time. That may be very hard unless you both make an effort to stay online. Here’s a great solution: Eyejot.
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Eyejot is a video email service where you can make a quick video and send it off to your friend without much knowledge of technology like video compression, uploading, etc. You simply connect your webcam to the computer, log into Eyejot, record your video and then email it to your friend. That’s all there is to it! No need to figure out how to compress your video, convert it, upload it to a server and all the fun stuff you’d normally need to do. Just record and send.
As the service is rendered in Flash, you will need to have the Adobe Flash player installed (and of course so does the video email recipient to view the video). Since most browsers support Adobe Flash, you may likely already have it installed and enabled. Check here for system requirements.
This is a great way to “stand out” amongst your friends. Simply record a quick video clip and email it to them. I’m sure they’d love to receive it. They don’t need to download special codecs or plugins or install anything to view it. They simply click on the link in the email and will be taken to a special page where they can view your video clip. I love the simplicity of this service since it’s so simple to use that I believe it has mass appeal.
As most of you know, I do my weekly Palm Discovery Minute on Eyejot and share it with everyone by embedding the video in the post. It’s very simple and I will show how I do it in the video review.
For those who want to skip over all the detailed review and just want a summary, you can jump to the review summary
The service is very simple. Visit the Eyejot website.
Log in (if you have registered) or create an account (it’s free). Once logged in, you are taken to the main screen. From there, you can view Eyejots received from other Eyejot users, compose your own Eyejot video, and a lot of other features and services available.
From there, you can compose your short video clip. Simply click on the “Compose New Message” button near the top right of the screen. A pop up window similar to what you see below will appear.
Enter your recipient’s email address, add a brief note or description of your video. Attach any files you need to attach. Press the Record (red circle) button to record your video clip. If you make a mistake, Stop (black square button) it and record it again. Play (black right pointing triangle button) it back to view the clip. Once you’re happy with the video, click on the “Send Eyejot” button near the bottom and it’s sent.
Your recipient will see something in their email inbox similar to what’s show below. Most times it’s almost instanteous. Other times, it may take a minute to show up in the inbox. Regardless, it’s very fast.
Once they click on the link in the email, they will be taken to a special page where they can view your video email. They will see something similar to what’s shown below.
The video will automatically start playing and you can choose a variety of options such as embedding it on a website or choosing an audio only version or different video formats.
That’s it! As you can see, it’s very simple to use. There’s nothing technically challenging to do. You and the recipient of your Eyejot video don’t need to install anything (aside from Adobe Flash player if you don’t have it installed).
Aside from sending out a quick email, there’s also a great social networking feature that’s called “Eyejot this”. Rather than the typical tinyurl link that you can put into your Social networking websites, you can use “Eyejot this” to share your ideas across and it’s not limited to 140 characters, but more like a minute
Suppose you want to share a website or a link to an interesting article or picture or whatever, you can create your quick Eyejot video and link to that and send it off. So, the recipient will be able to not only see and hear you talk about this article, picture or site, but be taken there too. Wow! This is great!
Here’s a few screenshots to give you an idea.
You’d need to put the “Eyejot This” link in your browser toolbar first. Then, when you visit a link, picture, etc you then click on that “Eyejot this” shortcut in your toolbar and log into your Eyejot account.
Enter the email address, etc like you’d do with a normal Eyejot.
If you want to share it via Social networking sites like ping.fm, enter that as well.
The email recipient sees a similar looking Eyejot email link.
Clicking on the video link will take him to the website you are linking to, PLUS, have your short video clip discussing it at the top frame. Talk about being able to share not only a website, article, picture, but also doing it in a much more personal and interactive way!
To give you a much better idea of the “Eyejot This” feature, check this out.
Again,it’s FREE. But, the free account is limited to a 1 minute video. If you wish to send a video clip that is more than a minute long, you will need to upgrade your account. Also, videos in the free account expires after a month. Again, if you want to keep it, you’d need to upgrade the account. For most of us, it’s really just to share something quickly without much hassle so it may be adequate with the 1 minute restriction and 1 month expiry.
Here’s a comparison of the Eyejot accounts available and the features of each:
There’s a lot that I haven’t touched on with regards to Eyejot that you may want to check out their blog here.
Enough reading. Here’s a video of the entire process so you can see what’s being done and how easy it really is.
Video of Eyejot
You may find that the video will look better at Blip.tv as it renders on a somewhat slighter bigger screen:
Alternative video: Blip.tv
I like Eyejot for its simplicity and ease of use. There is no need for installation of plugins, software or anything (aside from Adobe Flash which most browsers come with and support already). There is no need to do any video editing, conversion, upload. Simply create and record your video and send. It’s that simple. And there’s no need to upload to a personal server or ftp or do anything else. Simplicity rules here. Also, their “Eyejot This” is a great social networking sharing tool that incorporates the personal touch of a video and also links directly to whatever picture, site, page you want. This is certainly much better than using tinyurl!
On the other hand, Eyejot, being very simplistic and easy to use can also be view in a negative way. There is no video editing feature so you can’t decide to add in special effects or titles or other cool stuff that you can with YouTube but then this is meant as a quick video clip and not your masterpiece. It’s meant as a quick sharing tool and I think that’s why there is such lack of features in that respect. However, the main factor that I feel Eyejot needs to address it the time limit of their accounts. While I can understand that the FREE account is limited to only one minute with a month expiry to encourage upgrade to the premium account, why is it that even the Pro+ account is limited to only a paltry 5 minutes? I think if I were to pay $99.95 a year for the service that I should expect about at least 10 minutes if not more. While, it is certainly nice to have the Eyejot videos not expire but there’s no incentive for me to upgrade to the Pro+ if I’m still stuck at a measly 5 minutes of video. Come on, Eyejot! You can up the limit! I know you can!
Eyejot is a wonderful idea which combines the personal and social aspects of a video and the usefulness of an email to provide a service that will enable us to communicate and share our ideas with others in a way that everyone can enjoy. All this can be done in a very simple, and easy way that even the non-tech savvy people can use it. Simply create a quick video and send it off. That’s it! No need to download and install special software or plugins and neither does the recipient of your video. Sharing links of websites, pictures, and other interesting things can’t be any more personal or interactive than their “Eyejot This” feature. Again, create your video, put in the link you wish to link to and send it off. The recipient will be able to view your video and be taken to the link you’ve provided. What a great idea! The main downside of Eyejot remains the restrictive time limit allowed. The free account allows only a maximum of one minute while the Pro+ account still only allows five. If you can be satisfied with five minutes, then you may want to check out Eyejot’s services as they do make it easy and fun to share.
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