A couple weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in guest posting at the 2007 Vancouver International Digital Festival (Vidfest) blog. Of course I said yes! The topic was left up to me, so I decided to write about Justin Kan and the emerging trend of lifecasting:
Have you heard of Justin Kan? He’s the adventurous geek behind justin.tv, a website that shows a continuous live video and audio stream of his life. Everything he sees and hears, you see and hear.
I am slightly in awe of Justin and his fellow lifecasters – being on camera 24/7 without any editing must be very strange, not to mention tiring! At the same time, I can see how it could be an extremely rewarding experience.
I am not planning to become the next Justin or anything, but I have been playing around with Ustream.tv lately. They make it easy to broadcast your webcam to the world, just like Justin does. From their FAQ:
Ustream.tv is LIVE INTERACTIVE VIDEO FOR EVERYONE. Ustream.tv quickly and easily allows anyone with a camera to broadcast to the world.
All you need to stream is a computer, internet connection, a microphone and a webcam or video camera! Our system will auto detect your camera type.
I am not sure why they are screaming at me in the first sentence, but they are right, you don’t need much to get going. It’s really quick too! Once you create an account, you’re basically two or three clicks away from streaming live. The interface is really user-friendly and clean looking. Much better than blogtv.ca, which Tod Maffin showed me last week.
I have tested it a few times with my Dad and Aimee, and they both report that the audio and video quality is excellent. And because everything is done using Flash, all you need is a browser (assuming your browser has Flash installed, which is 98% likely). My very boring show is here if you want to check it out. I’ll keep it going for a little while tonight.
Unless you’re Chris Pirillo, I think scheduling a broadcast is the way to go. There is a certain “cool” factor to streaming live, but it soon wears off when you realize the content sucks! It really depends on what your intentions are though. If you’re lifecasting, I guess your stream is only as interesting as your life.
What do you think? Will lifecasting catch on? I think it has incredible potential!