Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely against the use of SMS messaging, email, Facebook, MySpace and the like, but I much prefer good old fashioned face-to-face encounters when I talk with my buddies. The webcam is often seen as something of an arcane device these days, yet with a fast Internet connection and a decent bit of software it can help you relive the times when people actually spoke to each other.
Two of my favourite video conferencing apps are Camfrog and ooVoo and both offer you the ability to set up face-to-face chats without any hassle. Camfrog is great because it offers pixel-perfect visuals, and clear, crisp sounds so you almost feel like you’re in the same room as the other person. One of the things I love most about it is that you can resize the chat windows, making it great for talking with people who have a different video resolution.
ooVoo is good for chatting with lots of people at once, and you can have up to six people involved in a video conversation at the same time (beware though because this can drain bandwidth somewhat). It’s also one of the few programs of its ilk that lets you send video messages via email to a friend or a group of friends. Although the picture quality isn’t quite as good as Camfrog, it more than makes up for it in terms of features such as text messaging, file sharing and blog linking.