Friends & Family can see you

Me and my girls

It was this past Spring Break (10′) and my daughter’s went to visit family up north while I went to the panhandle of Florida to work on BeThereRightNow (ah to be a kid again)…okay back to reality.  Melissa and I decided we would go down to where our 1st camera location was… Destin Gulf Gate… and call our family and friends to get online and so they could “see” us from the camera while we were at the beach (not in our bathing suits, of course).

We positioned ourselves on a bench, updated our status on Facebook, tweeted the website and I called my daughters to see if they could see me.

It was so funny because my daughter had to wait a couple minutes to get control of the camera but once she did I watched the camera focus on Melissa and I and starting waving frantically telling her I loved her. That was the neatest thing to be on the phone with her, waving, telling her I loved her and knowing she could see me. What was even more amazing was the fact that all of the family up north was able to see me as well.

To be able to call family and friends while at a location and hear their voice and them being able to see you is such a neat experience.

It got me thinking also…

What if the camera could be mounted where people have birthday parties? I can remember many birthday parties that I threw for my kids where their grandparents could not make it. With this Live Interactive Camera no Grandparent will EVER have to miss another birthday party.

What about you? Can you think of another way that our Live Interactive Cameras could be used?

We would love to hear your ideas!

Covering the Oil Spill from a different angle.

My husband and I are both long time residents to the Gulf Coast. The sugar white beaches and transparent emerald waters have been a constant in our lives for as long as we can remember. So naturally, the thought of such a pristine and peaceful thing being destroyed by the BP Oil Spill is a devastating one. We currently reside in a town called Destin, FL., which thrives solely because of the tourism industry.

As the spill continues to expand and the media coverage grows, our concerns also grew for what we should expect. We saw report after report of oil soaked beaches inching closer and closer to us. Families that had already booked their vacations down here were seeing the same devastation on the news and have been calling relentlessly to get information concerning the spill and how it will impact their vacation. We, however, were at an advantage as we had the ability to take a drive to see for ourselves what impact nearby beaches had received.  Which we did.

We took a three hour drive to Gulf Shores, Alabama and visited several beaches there and several on the way back. We were surprised to find something a lot less dramatic than what we had seen on T.V. In Gulf Shores, many of the larger messes had promptly been cleaned. Several globs could be seen, but the beaches stayed open and crowded and people merely avoided the oil. There wasn’t an overpowering odor while we were there. Several public Pensacola beaches were totally clean; save for a small pile of trash bags where it was evident workers had already been there and scoured the beaches. Our local Okaloosa Island was completely spotless.

That trip confirmed for me that our Live Interactive Web Cams will be a huge asset to our clients and the many people concerned about the current conditions. Our clients are already using them to let their guests know that at the moment there is not oil on the beach and the water it still crystal clear. Many visitors will be calling due to news reports that they are seeing and hearing. Those concerned vacationers will be able to log into the camera feed and “see for themselves” the condition of our local beaches. Which, as of right now, is still pristine. They will have the peace of mind in knowing that they are not being lied to, as those cameras are 100% live.

Islander Webcam
Destin Gulfgate Webcam

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I know several areas have already been catastrophically impacted by the oil. I am not trying to diminish the fact that the spill is a devastating issue, not only for beaches and tourism, but also for wildlife and careers. As a local, I am simply trying to share my experience and help keep people aware of the conditions down here. I am afraid that future vacationers to our area are experiencing media induced panic and frenzy prematurely. There may be a day when we cannot report positively and will have to band together and work diligently to keep our beaches clean. But I can assure you, we will. We love our beaches just as much as you do and will do what it take to ensure that they stay in the best condition possible.

A Dream Realized

I thought it would be appropriate that our first blog should be about the incredible journey we have had that has brought us to the realization of a dream.

Six years ago we encountered our first experience with live interactive web cam technology. My mom and dad were in Big Sky, Montana shooting VR Tours for ResortQuest International. My dad stumbled across their camera then promptly found a place for him and my mom to sit and proceeded to call everyone of us 6 kids so we could see them in Big Sky, Montana. Needless to say each of us tracked down the camera link and spent time visiting with them while they were visiting Big Sky. Now dad, being the technological visionary he is, realized the potential these cameras and this technology presented. He came home and bought our first live interactive camera.

Now you have to understand that at that time we were a small company working with several large clients and just did not have the time or resources to dedicate to pursuing that vision. The technology was not quite there and we were so busy building everyone else’s brands that we shelved the idea.

Then in 2006, as my mom was experiencing the ravages of cancer and my youngest brother was planning a wedding we stumbled across another use for the camera dad had purchased. By the day of the wedding mom could not get out of bed any longer and the wedding was set up to take place on the dock by the lake in the backyard. Dad pulled the camera out, mounted it to a pole in the back yard, set up a laptop in mom’s room and sat with her as she watched her youngest child get married. On this day the dream of providing these cameras for brides and grooms to be able to share their wedding vows with loved ones who for whatever reason could not travel was born.

Here we are, 4 years later, and finally the dream has been launched. We installed our first beta camera last year for a resort in Destin, Florida, our headquarters.  The past year has provided Destin Gulfgate phenomenal results. Coupled with our simple word of mouth marketing campaign they have used the camera to create a buzz and a following we couldn’t have foreseen.

Just two months ago we installed our second Live Interactive Web cam at the Islander Resort in Destin. This time we incorporated our powerful social media marketing package and have watched them create a pretty amazing following in a short period of time. Later this week we will launch our FIRST retail web cam, located at Big Daddy’s Bike Rentals in Santa Rosa Beach. Finally, we are currently working to have the cameras installed at several resorts that offer spectacular wedding venues.

As you can tell we are so excited about the future!! We are looking forward to seeing our vision and cameras all over the world. Join our revolution and suggest a location that you would like to be able to visit by filling out our Suggest A Camera Location form. We will contact the location and work as hard as we can to get a camera installed.

Melissa :-)