WHAT IT IS: Described as Twitter with video, Seesmic is a still-in-beta site where users can upload short clips -- the average is about three minutes -- that are then collated along a public timeline. Users can also post privately, upload existing video, post links, check out the most active videos, watch Seesmic's own show lineup and respond to other users' videos. Founder and CEO Loic Le Meur, a well-known French blogger and entrepreneur, envisions mini video libraries or video conversations being created around a wide range of topics.
WHO'S USING IT: About 10,000 people have joined the closed beta trial since invite codes began going out last November, a spokeswoman said. Famous users include Deepak Chopra, who uses it to talk through ideas for lectures and books, and novelist Paulo Coelho. A public debut has yet to be set.
WHO'S INVESTED: Seesmic recently finalized $6 million in venture funding mostly from Atomico Investments, run by the founders of Skype, Joost and Kazaa. Other notable investors include Michael Arrington, Steve Case, Reid Hoffman, Jeff Pulver and Dan Gillmor.
ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES: One of the first ways Mr. Le Meur plans to monetize the site will be by selling sponsorships to marketers interested in reaching either self-aggregated or Seesmic-collected groups of people with similar interests or goals, such as weight loss.
WHY IT MATTERS: Just like text messaging, video is becoming a more important communication tool for the online community. And for marketers, that means the ability to communicate via video will become an important skill to master. Seesmic may or may not be a killer video application, but it and others like it are establishing video as a vital part of the online consumer conversation.