Tag Archives: message

MailVU private video messaging

MailVU: private video messaging

Voicemail is so 2008. Today’s personal tech is all about bringing back the human element to communication. That’s why web cameras have become so popular in the last few years. While it used to be a peripheral device, and a costly one at that, nearly every computer now comes with a built-in web cam, and services like Skype and iChat have made it incredibly easy to see the person you’re calling. Now the benefits of web cam have made their way into the office with video messaging services. With these services, you can send that important message with the appropriate corresponding facial expressions and ensure that it gets to the recipient securely, without getting caught in the spam filter.

MailVU, a startup out of Charlotte, NC, promises to deliver the fastest and easiest system for sending private video messages. And our test of the app proved it is really that simple. Just go to http://mailVU.com, click in the box to record your message, hit record, and when you’re done, send it off. Video e-mails arrive right in the recipient’s e-mail inbox for instant click-to-play. MailVU works on all computers, in all browsers, and pretty much all smartphones, including iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

MailVU works on all computers, in all browsers, and pretty much all smartphones, including iPhone, Android and BlackberryWhen I tried MailVU, my biggest concern was privacy. The last thing I wanted was for my mug to end up in the wrong hands, or rather, the wrong mailbox. MailVU promises the video e-mails are sent directly to the intended recipients, with the senders having some nice options to destroy the video at their discretion. The sender can delete or retract the video message at any point, even before the recipient has viewed it. Once the video message is viewed, the sender is notified, so they can choose to destroy it at that time, or use the self-destruct options. For instance, you can set up criteria on every message to auto-delete after a certain number of days or views. I especially had fun sending messages to friends and letting them know the message would self-destruct, a la James Bond style. To ensure privacy, the company says that all messages stay private and will not come up in Google search.

The best part, in my opinion: You don’t need to sign up for yet another account to a web app, and there is no software or widget download. For those of us looking to de-clutter our desktops and phones of an egregious number of apps and widgets, this is a beautiful thing.

There’s something really nice about sending more personalized messages to colleagues when we can’t chat live. After testing MailVU and seeing how easy it truly is, I have to say I will probably start to use it regularly. Watch out friends; you’re about to see a lot more of my smiling face in your inbox. This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

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Money Reigns Supreme In The Arizona Primaries

The primaries are over and we are on to the general election. Because primary elections only decide who will represent political parties going into the general election, they are sometimes seen as less-important races. Many times, the primaries are the toughest battles. In a district that is considered Republican or Democrat “safe,” the primary is the real contest and the general election is the afterthought.

In Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District we can see how this works. It is considered Republican safe. Congressman John Shadegg decided not to seek re-election to this seat. While only one Democrat and one Libertarian candidate sought the office, 10 Republicans entered the race and spent roughly $3.5 million combined in a spirited contest. Ben Quayle won the Republican nomination and will go on to face Jon Hulburd, the Democrat’s nominee, and Michael Schoen, the Libertarian’s. These primaries had 79,011 Republicans cast ballots compared to 27,755 Democrats and 422 Libertarians. It would be hard for a Republican nominee to lose this seat with nearly a three-to-one margin of turnout advantage.

Two of the most significant factors in winning an election like this are incumbency and money.

Look at Arizona’s congressional seats. This year, seven of Arizona’s eight congressional incumbents were seeking re-election (with Shadegg deciding to step down). Of those seven, three were unchallenged within their primaries and the four that were challenged all won. Congressional incumbents went seven for seven in their primaries.

Of the 11 contested Republican or Democrat primaries, eight of them were won by the candidate who raised the most money. The three races that weren’t won by the top money raisers were won by the second-highest money raisers. These primary winners raised an average of $750,000 each.

Usually, people are discouraged by this. I’ve been asked, “Shouldn’t the candidate’s message and platform be the most important factors to decide a race?”  I agree that they should, but here is the reality: If you are the greatest candidate the world has ever known, you are not going to get elected if people don’t hear your message! Incumbency is valuable because people become familiar with your name and it gives a candidate a tremendous boost raising campaign contributions.

Why does money have to be so important? Campaigns are about communicating a message to an electorate. Hiring a professional consultant to guide your campaign, using resources such as signs to build name ID, and having the ability to send out mail, make phone calls, or air television ads are all examples of how to communicate a message. All of these things require money. Without money, a candidate is just unknown.

As much as we would like to root for the little guy to win or the underdog to pull off the upset, the truth is that a candidate we have never heard of who doesn’t have campaign resources rarely gets our vote. They don’t have credibility because we don’t know them. It is unfortunate because sometimes they may be the better candidates.