Seesmic Morte?Posted by Time Barrow on July 27th, 2009
I might be being naive or a bit in denial, but following the big Seesmic change, I am failing to understand why the majority of people left Seesmic. Yes, there have been some site updates, but the tool is still there and still functional
In short, Loic (owner/CEO) made the decision that Seesmic, as a video tool did (does?) not have the potential to make any money, the member community had pretty much plateaued in regard to new membership, and that he had another tool that held far more potential to bring some income. Therefore, he (they) changed the site, placed video in a tiny corner space and devoted the site and the company to Seesmic desktop, a mighty cool social media desktop app in the genre of Tweetdeck and the rest.
While rather sad, I think few people fault Loic and the rest of the Co. for making a business decision to keep the business running and to shift focus to make that happen. The reality of the way in which this all went down did lack in communication to some extent, but one can only be bitter so long on that point. The main point is to examine “where are we now” and then act accordingly. In reality, Seesmic video is still there, it is just a bit harder to find (sort of). The functionality is all there and nothing has changed in that regard. The focus of the company is Currently not on the video, but that does not mean that it will be left to rot. It is a working tool (a few issues this week, but all seemed to be remedied quickly) that provides what it always has. So, I figure until it is actually gone, why jump ship? It is not obviously sinking, it has merely been set adrift for a bit, which is fine, since it is a solid, working tool.
Regardless of the reality of where and what seesmic video is at the moment, the majority of the community seems to have left and moved on to 2-3 other tools. This point brings a certain realization. It is not that the worth of this technology lies in one tool; it does not. Seesmic is one of many tools, that offers very similar features. It is not that we can remain a community and just nomadicly move to the next virtual village, albeit this is a powerful situation and reality. Rather, the realization is that the life, death, success, longevity, popularity, etc. of Seesmic video is determined by us, not by the owners. OK, this may not seem like such an epiphany, since this is the model of every existent product in our capitalist world. However, it seems particularly sad to me since, it was a solid product, which served a solid community, but when a bit of fear of the future arose, that community moved on. In this way, it is no longer Loic, et al.’s decision as to whether or not Seesmic is morte. If it dies, he did not kill it, we did. Seesmic merely set aside the video tool to focus on another product, making no statement tht the video tool was going away. In fact quite the opposite, Loic came on and stated that they were going to merge it in with the Desktop tool. Also, there have been recent announcements that updates are on the way. It was the members that moved on.
Personally, I am not so ready to leave Seesmic, and clearly others are deciding to stick around a bit, as well. While I will not be the last one standing in the kitchen at this party, I am willing to hang out a while and wait for the community to return. I remain optimistic that once a few updates come to the video tool and Seesmic gives it more attention, so too will the recently-departed community.