Speech Technology Magazine

 

Paltalk Expands Videoconferencing to Thousands at Once

Online community pulled out all the stops in a multimedia conference involving author Stephen King.
By Leonard Klie - Posted Nov 16, 2007
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Online community Paltalk took voice and video chat to the next level earlier this week when it launched a first-ever online interactive press conference with best-selling horror and fantasy author Stephen King.

King held an exclusive online event Monday for the upcoming film release of his 1980 novella The Mist, scheduled to hit theaters November 21. The event, broadcast via PaltalkScene as part of Paltalk’s original series Hollywood Now, was open to members of the media, as well as the millions of Paltalk active users. Thousands of Paltalk regulars communicated with the author, the film’s director, Frank Darabont, Hollywood Now host Joanne Colan, and each other in real time during the event. Trailers of the movie played during the event in Paltalk’s online Screening Room.

To make the entire event happen, Paltalk partnered with Dimension Films, the movie studio that is producing the film. "Paltalk’s participation at Stephen King’s press conference for The Mist is not only a first, but a significant breakthrough for our company," Joel Smernoff, Paltalk’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "This event demonstrates how Paltalk’s interactive video technology adds a unique dynamic to press and other live events, bringing in a global audience that can participate in real time through video chat."

Paltalk, the first company to introduce voice/audio components to instant messaging, employs patented speech, conferencing, and Voice over IP technologies to create multichannel chat rooms to support thousands of users at once, as it did with The Mist press event. The videoconference was part of Paltalk's efforts to expand its offerings from user-generated chat rooms to more original content.

The goal, according to Paltalk Vice President of Marketing Matt Gore, was "to bring the press event to the users, who were able to watch the event live and ask questions."

The benefit for celebrities like King is that they "can connect to their fans like never before. They can do it by a live conference," Gore says.

According to Gore, the application is already gaining momentum. It was only launched in September, and has already featured guests like R&B sensation JoJo; rock icon Slash, formerly of the band Guns ‘n’ Roses; Jimmy Jean-Louis and Jack Coleman from the NBC-TV series Heroes; actor Rex Lee from HBO’s Entourage; filmmaker John Waters; actress and comedian Amy Sedaris; actor Chevy Chase; actor and comedian Richard Belzer; musician Paul Shaffer; and indie band BitterSweet.

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