The camera captured Ringley doing almost everything – brushing her teeth, doing her laundry, doing stripteases – and then broadcast its images live over the Internet.

Within public chat rooms the audience can see tips and viewer comments as scrolling text which appears next to the real-time video stream.

Camgirls will frequently read and respond to the scrolling viewer comments.

Princeton University sociologist and author of The Purchase of Intimacy, Viviana Zelizer, states of camming: "They’re defining a new kind of intimacy.

It’s not traditional sex work, not a relationship, but something in between." Within Cam Girlz, a documentary film about the industry, the male fans often say that they come to camming sites as a way to fulfill emotional needs.

But since camming only requires a video camera, broadband service, and computer, there has now been a power reversal and it is the female webcam performers who propel the industry while at home.

Todd Blatt, who once produced pornographic movies in California and has several Ferraris to show for it, declared: "If you’re the middle guy who has been eating off this industry for 20 years, it’s a big change.The websites provide the transactional platform, and then collects and distributes a percentage of the tips to the models.For public chat rooms, the model's portion of a tip is a little less than half.The girls don’t need anybody." Once viewed as a small niche in the world of adult entertainment, camming today has become "the engine of the porn industry", according to Alec Helmy, the publisher of XBIZ, a sex-trade industry journal. Theresa Senft herself became a camgirl for a year while doing four years of research for her 2008 book entitled, Camgirls: Celebrity and Community in the Age of Social Networks.Senft has described herself as "the first academic camgirl" while becoming a “camgirl writing about camgirls.”"The men I meet online rarely fall into the category of anonymous asses who have abandoned all social etiquette, nor do they resemble the pasty, calculator-wristwatch-wearing forebears of chat rooms past.However this is not the first time that conversational interaction had become a boon for the erotic entertainment industry.