Desktop Access as the Ultimate Communications Intimacy

In looking at FilmLoop — which launched last week at DemoFall in Huntington Beach — I was reminded of one of my pet theories. It goes like this: The ultimate form of (technology-centered) communications intimacy is unfiltered access to my desktop.

You see one aspect of this with people and their IM lists, where most sane people limit the list of people from whom they will accept IM. Why? Because accepting IMs from you is tantamount to giving you only partially mediated access to my desktop. Your actions appear in front of me in a much more intrusive way than if, say, you were to send me an email. Because I value my time, I limit the number of people from whom I will accept IMs.

But there are going to be other kinds of unmediated communications intimacy. Imagine, for example, a live newswire, one that is like a cross between IM and a blog RSS feed where you see things scroll by you like a realtime Bloomberg feed. Or, imagine live video, where you have various people you’re working with displayed on your desktop live and persistently.

FilmLoop’s product fit into this spectrum, with people’s contibutions to loops showing up live on your desktop. Will it work? I have no idea, but I like the general idea — and hey, the kids at Forrester are fond of what FilmLoop is doing:

Broadband adoption, widespread use of digital cameras, and the growth of social computing technologies like blogs and social networking have encouraged startups to create products and services that make it easy for online self-expression and sharing. FilmLoop is one of those rare startups with a beautifully designed product backed by an experienced management team. This document looks at what makes FilmLoop’s product interesting and also what elements that it — and similar startups — must master to be successful.


  1. While you are waiting for FilmLoop’s launch, check out Slide: Slide has been available to the general public for a few weeks now, and it does not insert ads in the middle of your family picture albums. But I am biased, since I work at Slide :-)

  2. Have a look at Slide ( — similar to FilmLoop, but supports video and images, doesn’t insert ads in between your family photo albums, and is available today.