Webex Vanity Popups

So I'm sitting in my third Webex session of the day, watching someone else's email and IM traffic occasionally popping up onto their screen.

If you've ever seen one of these things, you'll instantly know what I'm talking about.

Webex is probably the best known of a number of web-conferencing products that let you share your desktop over the Web, for online presentations and meetings. The idea is that you have some documents, slides, or an application you want to show someone, without physically being in the same room, so you all log into this Webex gizmo and it lets a whole group of people look at the same shared PC screen online.

Of course, depending on how you set it up, this can often mean that anyone you're sharing your desktop with can see everything that's happening on your machine.

They can see that link to Grand Theft Auto in your Start menu. They can see your Britney wallpaper. They can see when auto-complete fills in some really ...um... "interesting" search terms as you're typing into your Google toolbar.

And they can see every one of those little popup notifications you get from Outlook or your IM client.

From an audience perspective, this can be highly entertaining - in a peering over your shoulder, sneaky kind of way.

From the presenter's perspective, it can be bloody embarrassing - especially when an IM from "SmoochyPoo" pops up, suggesting some enticing, but physically improbable, act.

Nothing quite that salty happened during the sessions I've been watching today (dammit :-), but I sat there thinking "I've got to blog this - someone needs to remind people to shut down IM and Outlook when they're running a Webex session."

But then I had a better idea. There's a market opportunity in this.

Some enterprising geek somewhere needs to write a little app to drive faux popups during your Webex session, with a bunch of impressive and ego-stroking messages from all sorts of important people.

Imagine something like this suddenly popping up while you're pitching a prospect:

From: webuffett@berkshirehathaway.com
To: you@youraddress.com
Re: stock tip
Dude! You're the best. That thing took off like a Saturn 5. Owe you big time, man.

Or this:

From: VPdick@whitehouse.gov
Re: Project Decoy
HA! It totally worked. Google hits for "Dick Cheney+hunt" = 1.4 mill. Google hits for "Abu Ghraib" = 130K. Only 130K!! That's officially no one in Google terms. We buried that sucker! You ARE the flackmeister. Harry says thanks for the spa trip, btw. See you in Clyde's?

Webex Vanity Popups! Sounds like a job for Gary Turner - we could even license them as a package deal with the fake helipads.