It’s clear that Seesmic is one day going to kill off their video service. They’ve demoted the video site from their main page to video.seesmic.com. Seesmic changed their focus as a company, has a nearly all new staff from 18 months ago and I think will be ending their video conversations over time.
I’m not too worried about the death of the video site, as most of the content as little value as time goes on and the community has all but died and splintered towards 12Seconds, TokBox and meeting in real life. What I’m curious about is the video comments. I know that people like Sukhjit relies to some degree on video comments for her blog. If Seesmic flips the kill switch, she loses her video comments.
This makes me wonder about how we store the content we think of as belonging to or associated with us. Seesmic might have allowed you to embed videos from their pages into your comments, but the video was always theirs. There is no button to download the videos to your server. I have a similar issue with my commenting engine Disqus, but there’s a backup. While the comments that you leave go to the Disqus servers and not the server that robblatt.com is hosted on, it’s also backed up to my servers. If I choose to uninstall Disqus, the comments won’t disappear forever.
Has the “free” economy hampered our ability to depend on the services that we use? Seesmic for video comments, Disqus for text comments, WordPress.com for blog hosting, BlogTalkRadio for audio hosting, blip.tv for video hosting, etc. What damage can these companies do to us if they decide to close shop? As unlikely as it may seem, it’s still possible. 18 months ago I wouldn’t have guessed that Seesmic would have put video on the back burner either, but it still happened.
While a white label solution or paid account might seem like the expensive route, it is the route that offers peace of mind and customer support. Is that a worthwhile trade?