Justin.TV: and they say geeks have no lives…

I know I have been blogging on and on and on about TV lately but it’s such an challenging area. I really want to know definitively – will TV survive the next few years? I mean, better than offline newspapers? And if it does survive, what form will it take? How much a part will online, personalisation, and dialogue with and between the media consumers play? The convergence seems to be accelerating since the beginning of the year. Look at this project – four days old- called justin.tv.

– Justin wears the camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even in the bathroom. Even on a date.
– This is really live. Honest. Right now.
– Justin will wear the camera until the day he dies. By which we mean if he takes it off, we’ll kill him.

I love one of the taglines “waste your life watching other people waste their lives“.

It’s intriguing that there is an embed (if I could get it working I wouldn’t have to go to the site to watch) and an RSS Feed (I can get the text to my Google home page or feeder). They know their content is compelling and they trust that the viewer will wander back to discuss spikes in interest (such as the visit by the police to the apartment, see below). Give the information out, let people blog about it – they will come back to discuss it. It’s part of a community thing.

It differs from a static webcam project as Justin is wearing the camera everywhere so you don’t really get to see him. Oh except when he goes to sleep, then the camera is on, pointing at him. There is live chat 24×7 running on the main page, with 5 chat rooms, discussing (at the moment) Justin’s driving through a tunnel. Now he’s got to StartUp School and is listening to a lecture. Luckily for us, Justin hops on the chat occasionally and tells us what’s going on and where he is. And exhorts people to go to bed and get some sleep. Justin’s cell phone number is listed. And they say people have privacy issues on the ‘net. đŸ˜›

Note: seems that someone spoofed Justin’s phone number and called the Police Department and said there had been a stabbing in the apartment. Then they sat back and watched on screen (as did we all) the police storm the apartment. Story here. My favourite part is where Justin explains spoofing to the policeman (his cell phone number is on the website homepage) and the police responds: I’m not very technical… I shoot people. Note to self: don’t make smartypants comments when there’s a dude with a camera and a mike in front of me. But I never listen to anyone. :p

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  1. Ahhh … just about to blog about that myself. Cant leave that one alone, right? Thanks for alerting me to that NBC/News Corp story the other day, can’t believe i almost missed it! It is THE tipping point for online video. Should be some fun time selling online video software soon…

  2. Reality? How can that be?

    Do Justin’s friends behave like normal knowing their being filmed? I don’t think so.

    Does Justin behave like Justin? I don’t think so.

    Heck, he’s got people messing with his life by spoofing his mobile phone and organising police raids on his apartment.

    It’s reality, Jim, but not as we know it….

  3. For me the “justin experience” is not about whether the content matter is valid. Tho with police raids and interesting interviews/coverage, it’s probably worth it.

    The main point is the interactivity. Five chat rooms that we see Justin occasional post in, the video footage of him responding to SMS on his mobile, the blogs that say “hey Justin emailed me”. I saw one blog where Justin commented and said “if you are in Seattle, look me up”. Video Star meets Joe Public. Offline Nonentity meets Online Superstar. THAT is the killer. Sustainable? Not sure. But still…

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