Let's face it. We're in a solid social age where we'll never get tired of using technology which is why it's so inticing when a new technology platform is developed. With that in mind, Shindig, is making video chat a hot commodity. Founder and CEO Steve Gottlieb chats with us about his unique creation in which users can check out video chat book tours from their favorite authors, have conversations with other users, and much more. You might be familiar with the name Steve Gottlieb, as he was the president of TVT Records for over 20 years and is now using his insights from the digital world to improve the bookworm community.
How did you come up with the idea for Shindig? I have a sick friend who has been confined to his house for a long spell so I wanted to talk him while playing chess as we did in college and it was impossible. It hit me how ill suited video chat is to doing so many meaningful things. The accepted wisdom was that the reason people felt uncomfortable in video chat was that they all really live in their pajamas. This didn't ring true to me. I sensed that maybe there was something more fundamentally wrong with video chat and sought to fix it.
How do you think Shindig will impact authors? Shindig enables authors to be everywhere at once and deliver their fans unique access to them without either author or fans having to deal with, on the one hand, grueling road trips and on the other, parking, bad acoustics and folding chairs.
Why did you want to initially cater Shindig towards books and authors? Books are a love of mine and the publishing industry is so in need of new solutions. While there are many recommendation engines out there telling you might like this because you bought that, there are few tools available to generate authentic excitement for a new author's works and among those few tools, none more powerful than the word of mouth elicited from fans who have just had a unique interaction with the author. For authors who want more time available to do what they do best, write, Shindig is an important way to enable them to use the time they have available to reach fans in the most effective way possible. For readers who want access to authors who never are available enough anyway, Shindig offers an amazing new opportunity to actually have a meaningful exchange with someone whose work moves you.
Are there plans in the future to expand the platform for different audiences or larger audiences?
Shindig is really its own medium; one part TV show, one part radio call in, one part online lounge/mixer/networking event. We already have personalities doing talk shows on Shindig and developing audiences for themselves, we have DJ's doing online nightclubs and we have magazines, radio stations, recording artists and others experimenting with the platform. We also think that Shindig can provide the best dynamics for online classrooms where not only can the professor call students to answer questions but where the students can talk privately to one another. The uses for Shindig are really for a limitless array of group activities.
What do you think is the coolest/best feature of Shindig? The best feature of Shindig is FREEDOM. You are in control of who you talk with and are not held captive in conversations where you are forced to sit through conversations that don't concern you or talk over others to attempt to control the flow. Shindig's multiple levels of conversation and the freedom to intuitively more conversation to conversation takes the chains off of video chat.