WebCams 101

I just got a video camera for my browser and wanted to share with you how easy and fun they are to use. I actually decided to buy the webcam so that I could show my smiling face to clients when I am using Acrobat Connect. Acrobat Connect is my new online application sharing and conferencing tool that I use for clients and long distance contractor training. I am finding out that I am having a lot of fun with my webcam using Windows Live Messenger as well.

I use Windows Live Messenger to communicate with my independent contractors, clients with whom I am operating as their contractor, and even with my kids. I like the features, ease of use, and ability to see Yahoo users without them having to change instant messenger applications.

NNancy McCord as viewed in her new webcam.ow enter my webcam. First, I bought mine at Staples. I got a Logitech QuickCam for about $50. There are webcam versions from $25 all the way up to $150. In a snap I had loaded the software hung the camera on the top of my flat screen monitor and was looking at myself “live” via webcam.

Acrobat Connect auto-sensed my new webcam and started showing video online in the application immediately without any adjustments to my settings.

Windows Live Messenger also auto-sensed my new webcam and after clicking show my webcam in the settings options on the personal tab, other people with whom I am talking to via Windows Live Messenger can see and hear me online. The other party to your conversation has to have a webcam and microphone set up and installed to be able to talk back on a video call. I have to say that my new webcam is really very neat and super easy to set up. I only need to make sure that my hair looks great every day as you can now see me.

I have had more clients tell me how nice it easy to see who you are talking to and what cool new technology this is to allow them to see me online.

Up early working in your bath robe? Not to worry, you can choose a webcam model that comes with a lever to block the camera lens for added security on really bad hair days. Mine also has a software privacy screen setting to block video, so you can select to show your video only when you want.

Once you have your webcam installed, here are the steps on how to make a video call using Windows Live Messenger:

1. Click “Actions” in the top tool bar and then “Video” and then last of all “Start a Video Call”. You may also see an icon on the tool button bar just above contacts it looks like a phone with a piece of film behind it. You can click that icon if you see it to start a video call as well.

2. Live Messenger shows your online contacts. Double click the person who you want to talk to. The Live Messenger screen opens and you will see your live video on the right. If the other person has a video cam, you will be able to see them there on the side as well. For them to hear you, make sure that you have turned off microphone mute in your webcam software that is on by default before you start your call.

Wow, is that it? Yup, easy isn’t it. As you install your webcam software, sound wizards pop up and allow you to tune your settings, select which hardware to use for speakers and microphone, test settings, and to use Windows Live Messenger, Skype Video Calling, and even Yahoo Messenger Video Calling. Set up is easy and fast.

How can YOU use video calling? Wow, the opportunities are endless: call grandchildren, see the new baby, really connect with team members – get to know your clients better connect a face with a name, try out new technology, or just have some fun. Get the free Windows Live Messenger now then go to Staples or your other favorite store and get your own webcam.