Previously, live webcams transmitted static shots from cameras aimed through windows or at coffee pots.
From a sociological point of view, Jenni Cam was an important early example of how the internet could create a cyborg subject by integrating human images with the internet.
As such, Jenni Cam set the stage for conversations regarding the relationship of technology and gender.
Ringley's desire to maintain the purity of the cam-eye view of her life eventually created the need to establish that she was within her rights as an adult to broadcast such information, in the legal sense, and that it was not harmful to other adults.
Unlike later for-profit webcam services, Sources stated that Jenni Cam received over 100 million visitors weekly.
Nate Lanxon of CNET said "remember this is 1996 and the Web as we know it now had barely lost its virginity, let alone given birth to the God-child we know as the modern Internet." On April 3, 1996, during her junior year at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the 19-year-old Ringley installed a webcam in her college dorm room, and provided images from that cam on a webpage.
The webpage would automatically refresh every three minutes with the most recent picture from the camera.
Anyone with Internet access could observe the often mundane events of Ringley's life at first, though a few months after its start Ringley started charging viewers for full entry to her site.
Jenni Cam was one of the first web sites that continuously and voluntarily surveyed a private life.
Her first webcam contained only black-and-white images of her in the dorm room.