It's been proven over and over again that people prefer audio-only conversations to video+audio; "videophones" of various stripes have been introduced dozens of times over the last forty years, and they've always been big bombs. Webcams will remain niche toys. At best, a big increase in broadband usage may lead to a certain percentage of consumers emailing "video postcards" to each other occasionally. Other than that, forget it.
As far as online community and the like, video/audio will never be used for anything more than it is now: "Hey look at this Quicktime"-type stuff. Nobody will want to have to watch or listed to people explain their opinions when we can read the opinions ten times faster via text.
(My, that was stream-of-consciousness, wasn't it?)posted by aaron at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2001
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