I personally wasn’t a fan of the second presentation at the StartupCamp conference at the ITEXPO West. The service, called Vokle (pronounced like “vocal”) was touted by company rep Edward Dekeratry as, “the people’s town hall platform.” Rather than one-directional broadcasting such as Twitter or justin.tv, etc., Vokle allows users to communicate simultaneously. The group leader broadcasts via web-cam or text, and his/her viewers can respond in real-time, or be invited to broadcast their web-cams alongside the leader. This allows for what Dekeratry calls “Social Webinars.”
While the service will be broadly free to use, there will be several payment options available. Free “broadcasts” will intersperse short videa advertisements periodically (see: Hulu). Users will also have the option of paying a subscription fee to remove these ads. Finally, there will be ticket/pay-per-view events, in which access will be granted after a single fee.
After the five-minute presentation, none of the panelists were very impressed, and they echoed my own thoughts. At face value, Vokle appears to be little more than services that have been around for a while like Stickam and, to a lesser extent, Tinychat. Only time will tell if Vokle has what it takes to desperate itself from the pack and bring us something fresh and exciting.