What: Social video platform Spreecast is a startup that lets people broadcast live conversations over the Web.
Founded by Jeff Fluhr - who also founded StubHub - Spreecast lets up to four people interact in each chat and thousands more to sign in and view the chat and post comments. The platform runs through a Web browser rather than a software download and has been used by brands, athletes, celebrities, and authors.
How: The creator of each Spreecast can approve or deny those who want to join. Participants not involved in the live chat can participate through text chat, and can also request to join on camera.
The service works through a URL, so Spreecast can be embedded on any website.
Individuals can hold solo Spreecasts to broadcast information to a group, says Fluhr, but typically they are built around conversations with more than one person.
Why: With the increasing amount of text-based conversations on the Web, Fluhr wanted to develop a Web service that would allow people to have real-time, face-to-face conversations.
Fluhr says he is not looking to replace services such as Twitter and Facebook, but to augment the social media landscape to involve more conversations that simulate personal interactions.
Who: The platform is useful for anyone looking to engage with others and an audience on the Web. Fluhr says the most frequent users are celebrities who want to engage and build a fanbase; journalists wanting to share timely and relevant stories; and companies including book publishers, movie studios, and media companies looking to promote content or build buzz.