Ah David Pogue -- the tech oracle. What say you this week? Well, actually it was last week, but who's paying attention anyway. In his weekly column, on the heels of the release of Skype 4.0 for Windows, Pogue discussed the merits of video chat. While chronicling the history of the video chat, which actually started in 1964 when the first video phone was presented by AT&T at the world's fair (we snapped a photo of it, though not when it premiered in '64 -- we aren't that old!) Pogues points out why the video phone never really took off.
"What everyone forgot, of course, was a little factor called human nature. People don't want to be watched on the phone. You don't want to have to make yourself presentable, to perform or to give up the freedom of multitasking. In the absence of video, you can walk around cleaning, perform small acts of personal grooming, maybe roll your eyes at a stupid comment."
How very true. We've only tried video chatting a handful of times, and in the end the convos end up rather lame because we care more about what side is our "good" side when looked through a webcam than we do what we're talking about. So Unplggd readers...
We want to know more about your video chatting ways. Keep reading to answer some of our questions and help other readers find out how to make video chatting work for them...
So we're curious. If you do video chat, what program are you using and what hardware? Have you found that using external cams rather than a built-in laptop cam is significantly better to warrant the extra cost?
Have any tricks for making video chat that much more pleasurable, like plugging in earphones rather than using your computer's built-in speakers? Using an external mic?
Are PC apps better than Mac apps for video chatting or the other way around?
image: Fail Often