Webcams: How much is a picture worth?

How many people with children and grandchildren who live miles away have an opportunity to visit with them on a regular basis? Sure, they write back and forth and exchange frequent long distance calls, but what if they could speak to them face to face on a daily basis? Well, anyone who has equipped themselves with a computer need no longer be entirely satisfied with E-mail, chat rooms or even voice-mail!

Two months ago I received an inexpensive webcamera as a gift from a boyhood friend in Vancouver who was anxious to “talk in my face” as he kindly put it as opposed to pecking away at the keyboard to communicate with me. Within a few days I had installed the little webcamera he had sent me and it was quite simple. I then configured Net Meeting, the application required to undertake videoconferencing and voila we were in face to face communication which enabled me to speak with his visiting granddaughters whom I had not seen in several years as well as witness the amazement and delight on their little faces as they clowned for the camera!

Why am I telling you this? Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with the rapid strides that have been made in videoconferencing. A numr of you have probably already embarked on this communication trend. Some however are probably hanging back thinking that the road to videoconferencing is fraught with problems ,so let’s leave well enough alone…..we can always use E-mail and chat rooms to communicate with friends and relatives. True enough but let me say this, if you do, you are missing out on a great opportunity to vastly improve your cyberspace communications. Hopefully, my experience plus the advice I can give you will prompt you to investigate the possibly to a greater degree and if it does, I am confident you will take the next step which is to check in on the directories where webcam users are to be found and chat with them. You need not have a webcam to communicate with a webcam user but obviously, while they can hear you, they will not be able to see you. With enough prompting from the contacts you make, a webcam should soon become your main source of communication. The other reason I am writing this letter has to do with the type of contacts you might like to make outside of family and friends. Seniors on Fifty-Plus presently have ample opportunities to “chew the fat” with other members in chat rooms or via E-mail making use of the profiles developed by the Fifty-Plus staff. I don t believe it is too far fetched to think they will, once they are aware of the interest in videoconferencing, set up a community where webcam users can list the profile required for others to communicate with them without having to go through a tedious search process to find users with similar interests or filter out dubious contacts. <!—

I will close by offering to provide interested members with most of the information they need to get started with videoconferencing. Whether or not I would be in a position to further assist Fifty-Plus members would depend on how many indicate an interest in the process. Obviously, one person alone cant spend the necessary time connected to the internet to undertake station to station testing. There are fortunately website monitors who standby daily ready to assist newbies .

If you are interested in further discussing Webcams or have any questions about purchase or set up, I would be pleased to assist you. Please send an email to [email protected]

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