Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who’s lifecasting is it anyway?

By now you may be familiar with lifecasting, the concept where people broadcast their life 24x7 on the Internet.

To me, this concept is so foreign, it leads to more questions than answers… So I did some digging, and -

Could it possibly be interesting to watch another person live their life? Apparently. Sometimes it is fake, which is probably more interesting.

24x7 should lead to some, uh, fairly personal moments. Do we have to watch them pee? No, most seem to edit a bit, turn off the camera or have a stationary camera, pointing away from the bathroom.

Do they not date? Not sure I want to kiss my girlfriend in front of 1,000s? See “pee” answer, but also do not underestimate the draw of being near the “famous.”

When you say 1,000s, that’s a typo, right? Uh, no. There is someone who is broadcasting the view from a pilot car as they drive in front of “wide loads” across the country. 56,000+ people have watched it – 91 were watching it at once this afternoon!

Is it a coincidence that, for the most part, they are cute? Well, cute usually = interesting (so I hear). Also, never underestimate that apparently, boys will always be boys. Here is a snippet of an interview with Justine, one of the most famous ‘casters. “Justine's viewers were urging her to head to the nearby beach, in the hopes of seeing her in a bikini. ‘Guys, can you just be nice?’ she said, addressing her webcam. ‘Come on. Why does this always have to be like that?’”

So I started thinking about lifecasting, celebrities and the paparazzi. I believe there are two camps of celebs – those that tolerate (read: use) the paparazzi and those that despise them. I have been told that in many cases, despising is an act – that in many cases, celebrities and paparazzi feed off of each other. And that publicists “issue” a schedule of specific celeb activities to the swarming photogs - “Becky will be at the beach today, next to the pier, 1-3 PM. Look for the blond in a red suit. Call my cell if you can’t find her.” For many celebs, I suspect the only thing worse than 20 paparazzi hanging around them is no paparazzi hanging around them…

On to the point. I think it is only a matter of time until someone starts lifecasting a celebrity –without permission. Sort of involuntary lifecasting? Paparazzicast? Hang out in front of the celeb’s house, videoing the driveway, follow/video them into Whole Foods, video them as they select from the produce, etc. External view only, but…. If 91 people will sit and watch the highway in front of a pilot car somewhere between Maine and Oregon, how many people would tune in to watch Britney drive to the mall? I’m betting a lot. From someone who is mostly famous for being famous, this would be a gift from heaven, I would think. And a little scary.

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