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Oh Sure, Everyone Always Remembers The First, Never The Second
July 14, 2009 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Catscan.com sure is a strange site. But did you know Jennicam (deadlink... previously) is nowadays hailed as one of the greatest now-defunct websites to have ever existed? Operated by Jennifer Ringley and closed in 2003 after seven years of a very popular existence , Jennicam was a guilty pleasure that for the longest time seemed lost to the newest denizens of the intertubes. Thankfully all 43 episodes can be viewed online! Once you've feasted on that digital archive, check out the interview Jenni gave to Webjunk back in 2007, and read some of the sonnets inspired by her work.
posted by Effigy2000 (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
If only metafilter would be defunct.
It would be even greater.
posted by jouke at 1:36 PM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


guilty pleasure is about right. I never could quite figure out why she fascinated then-me. rarely did anything happen and physically she was far from being 'my type,' yet I kept visiting that site. I suspect others did the same.
posted by krautland at 1:41 PM on July 14, 2009


jouke: "If only metafilter would be defunct.
It would be even greater.
"

Metafilter Jackson?

Too soon?
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:49 PM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


From Wikipedia: "As Ringley attracted a following both on and off the Internet, more than 100 media outlets from The Wall Street Journal to Modern Ferret ran features."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:49 PM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, Jennicam. The first time in Internet history where media commentary and analysis became inversely proportional to how interesting something really is.
posted by geoff. at 1:52 PM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


People kept watching to see if she got naked? I mean, it's not that deep is it?
posted by GuyZero at 1:56 PM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I knew her a long, long time ago on IRC. She really wasn't about the smut, although many of her later viewers tuned in to Jennicam for just that reason. When we first "met" she was using this new digital camera (imagine me saying it slowly, with air quotes) in one of the labs on campus to take random photos of her body like a calf here, a bicep there. I had to go to a lab on my campus just to see the by-our-standards-now tiny gif (at that point, jpegs were unknown to me) of her calf. My college didn't even have a scanner at the time, and here was something where you didn't even have to go through film to get the image onto a computer.

She told us she considered the device as a potential start of an art project to expose parts of her life to strangers. If she took a photo of her breast, well, that was part of her body, and she'd neither focus on it nor avoid it in her plans. She never sent anything risque, just this assemblage of parts. It was one of those things I kept dwelling on, because it made me think that the future was going to be verrrry interesting.

Maybe three years later, she came back and let us know about the cam and I made the connection — hey! that's Jennicam! I heard about that!

I wonder if I still have any of her old files around.
posted by adipocere at 1:58 PM on July 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


If you strike metafilter down, It shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
posted by benzenedream at 2:08 PM on July 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Heh. We used to tune in from our high school, which was where we had internet access (in the biology classroom!). I don't think I actually saw her, like, more than once. The vast majority of it was her empty dorm room—probably because she had classes at the same time we did.
posted by klangklangston at 2:11 PM on July 14, 2009


I watched for the nudity, I admit it. But really, even that wasn't all that interesting. Other sites, like JameyDee and AugustLive (at approximately the same time) were more interesting. Earthcam's "TV" top personal cams followed suit and still were about the people rather than the T&A.

Now we have a preponderance of webcam sites and none stand out. Big sites like LiveJasmin cater to having a quantity of bland and available nudity rather than personality. Further, most of what is available is just recorded video "cleverly" tailored to look live, with not-the-camgirl typing responses to the horndogs.

Not that I work/worked in this industry or anything.......
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:15 PM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


FWIW, the only cam/video show I miss is SnackBoy.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:22 PM on July 14, 2009


I remember tuning in to Jennicam many years ago. In fact, I was just talking about her site last week. Something about video on the web and some of the first stuff. A nice little trip down memory lane.
posted by Phantomx at 2:23 PM on July 14, 2009


I'll be honest, I initially tuned in to JenniCam for the nudity. But after a while I just watched for the real life. It was kind of comforting seeing somebody else just hanging out at their computer, just like I was.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:08 PM on July 14, 2009


MetaNostalgia: When camgirls attack. (MeTa'd here.)
posted by holgate at 3:11 PM on July 14, 2009


People kept watching to see if she got naked? I mean, it's not that deep is it?

Like watching that fireplace video for elusive shots of the hand coming to tend the fire.
posted by emeiji at 3:36 PM on July 14, 2009


Jennicam always reminded me of this scene in Gregory's Girl.
posted by rongorongo at 3:59 PM on July 14, 2009


From Wikipedia: "As Ringley attracted a following both on and off the Internet, more than 100 media outlets from The Wall Street Journal to Modern Ferret ran features."

Yeah she had a ferret or two IIRC. JenniCam was one of the first sites that I checked regularly when I first got on the Internet, along with the awesome InPassing (the progenitor of Overheard in New York). This was my first exposure to seeing into the lives of real people who I didn't know, something the internet has made commonplace now. I still have one of her neat webcam closeup shots of her screaming at the camera.
posted by Who_Am_I at 5:06 PM on July 14, 2009


MetaNostalgia: When camgirls attack. (MeTa'd here.)

Holy god, am I glad I missed that the first time around. As some of the comments in the MeTa thread noted, reading that thread sucked some IQ out of my head.

If anyone ever needs a reminder of why we all hang out here: Metafilter comments vs. Youtube comments.
posted by dammitjim at 5:54 PM on July 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah, I forgot all about Audiogalaxy until I read that article on defunct sites. That place was great!!!
posted by GavinR at 6:26 PM on July 14, 2009


So, which episodes should I be watching?
posted by furtive at 8:14 PM on July 14, 2009


izzicam was 1k times better.
posted by humboldt32 at 5:57 PM on July 15, 2009


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