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.

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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.

Her first webcam contained only black-and-white images of her in the dorm room.

Jenni Cam attracted up to 4 million views a day at its peak.This continued until an incident occurred wherein she was discovered by a group of hackers on Efnet who teased her for their own amusement.Previously, live webcams transmitted static shots from cameras aimed through windows or at coffee pots.Ringley's innovation was simply to allow others to view her daily activities. She did not wish to filter the events that were shown on her camera, so sometimes she was shown nude or engaging in sexual behavior, including sexual intercourse and masturbation.This was a new use of Internet technology in 1996 and some viewers were interested in its sociological implications while others watched it for sexual arousal.The Jenni Cam website coincided with a rise in surveillance as a feature of popular culture, exemplified by the 1998 film The Truman Show and reality television programs such as Big Brother, and as a feature of contemporary art and new media art.