I’ve been using the internet since the days of BelTel, so it’s safe to say that I’ve seen many technologies, concepts and ideas come and go, come again and go again and return yet again!

I remember the excitement of logging on to IRC each evening to sweet-talk ladies around the world and bask in the glory of being an ops in the most desirable channel. Shew, we’ve come a long way since then, and so have I …

Although IRC is not dead, it definitely lost its appeal for me as I moved on to greater and more entertaining online activities — I guess I realised that far better results were yielded sweet-talking the ladies face to face over a glass of wine.

The content era was defined soon after and online publishing became the new craze with everyone including myself throwing around the “content is king” war cry (you know who you are). Content was king, and it still is.

Even back then when the internet and its capabilities were still in their infancy (in my eyes at least) I had one single interest, a sole desire, a burning sensation that mostly left me cursing iafrica (my dial-up ISP at the time): Why was there no video on the internet?!

Everyone I asked either gave me a sensible answer like “It’s just not fast enough yet” or a stupid one saying, “Don’t be ridiculous, what would the point of that be?!”

I’m a firm believer in feasible impossibilities and pride myself on having some hefty knowledge of the internet’s capabilities. The implementation of these guinea-pig concepts is where I fall short, but I’ve literally loved watching the evolution of online video.

YouTube, YouTube, YouTube — it’s all I heard for most of last year. It’s almost all I did too — I watched people expose their lives, I watched viral marketing sensations, and I watched that guy burn his butt trying set something one fire that should have been left alone to rise into the atmosphere.

Skype video for me was the most revolutionary step in online video. It works. I use it often to communicate with friends, family and recently business partners and clients. Whoever thought I would be using an application to show a customer in the United States my Pontiac GTO? My employees look at me like I’m mad when I strut around the workshop taking instructions from my laptop (with an American accent), pointing it at the various classic cars we’re rebuilding and trying to sell abroad.

The core reason for me packing up my MySpace page and rushing over to Facebook was the integration of video messaging. Even though it seems like I’m the only one using it among my friends, I still marvel at its simplicity — the way I can hit record on the web page, pull faces and talk while the servers gobble up and packages my data instantly. I may stand to be corrected, but I think this is thanks to Flash and its communications server developed by Macromedia before it was gutted by Adobe.

Another reason I’m so excited about the Facebook video capabilities is because I saw it develop over a matter of weeks from a simple video uploader into a full-blown web-based recorder. I’m almost willing to bet that any day now we’ll be able to have a direct video chat through Facebook with other friends that are online at the same time. This excites me in ways that most would assume to be scary.

When I decided to write this post early today I also began thinking about why people hide behind text messages instead of revealing themselves. Sure, it’s a way for someone who looks like a mine worker to give the impression they have just returned from a six-day sabbatical. Is this going to change? Are people going to expose themselves through video on social networking sites? Right now I’m the only one who seems to be making a fool of himself in front of the world. Anyone care to join me?


  • Dale Imerman is the Marketing Manager at Financial Technology Solutions provider, Peresys (Pty) Ltd. His interest in technology, media and web publishing often get the better of him outside the workspace. Visit his free entertainment magazine here: www.mojodojo.co.za


Dale Imerman

Dale Imerman is the Marketing Manager at Financial Technology Solutions provider, Peresys (Pty) Ltd. His interest in technology, media and web publishing often get the better of him outside the workspace. Visit...

Leave a comment