Sunday, April 29, 2007

LIVE ON THE NET!

The newest rage on the World Wide Web these days is going LIVE. It's now possible for anyone with a high-speed connection and a decent webcam to broadcast life for all the world to see. At the moment, the center of all this activity seems to be stickam.com, which features hundreds of people from all over the world broadcasting live. Usually, the result is a rambling, stream-of-consciousness rant - sort of a video blog unrestrained. Live netcasting on this scale is still fairly new, however, so the look of this organic network is still developing.

On Justin.tv, a San Francisco-area tech/geek in his early 20's is netcasting 24/7, through a wireless webcam mounted on his hat. He claims he'll keep it up for the foreseeable future, but his audience is beginning to cause trouble - calling in fake emergencies to the police and fire departments, and causing so much havoc in his apartment complex that he could be evicted. It seems that going live sometimes means leaving yourself at the mercy of the entire world. In the meantime, check in and see Justin have breakfast, work, go to parties, use the bathroom (discreetly), and live a life as random and usually bland as anyone else.

Most people, both male and female, are far more limited in their netcasts. A good number of them are netcasting as the logical extension of their YouTube presence. Take, for example, Brandon3773 (his name on both YouTube and Stickam) Brandon is a thirteen year old from Texas who specializes in random commentary on the world around him (lots and lots of random commentary - 417 videos at last count), and holds court some nights on Stickam, responding to other live netcasters and text chatters on any sort of subject that comes to mind, and keeping the pervs and other freaks out of his world. Topics on a recent night included updates on his new website, behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the making of his YouTube videos, and a response to a question about why a kid from Lubbock, Texas doesn't have more of a Texan accent. He's just a typical thirteen year old kid. He's not edgy or extreme. I wouldn't even call him hilarious. He's just being a regular 21st Century kid - building a brand of his own.

After all, success is not only about a good resume, but also about selling a good product - yourself. With sites like YouTube and Stickam, it's possible to make yourself famous on the net. Just what you can do with that fame remains to be seen. Justin already has several sponsors. Brandon has 512 subscribers, and over 51,000 views. If those numbers continue to grow, he could be just the ticket for corporate sponsorship. Just by being a regular kid. Cool.

Childhood. Sponsored by Coke?

1 comment:

Stephen said...

I don't see the point. To me, all of this is as boring as "Reality" TV, which I do not watch. Is all this just fame for fames sake? Andy Warhol's 15 minutes? As Reality TV takes over the broadcast channels I tune out. All of this YouTube stuff is just going to make me "tune out" of the internet too.