Posted by: sarahmeyers | September 30, 2007

Live Video Gets More Social

(By Somewhat Frank)

Social media is shaping and changing early adaptor’s lives; at least mine, for that matter. Watching the evolution of life casting has changed the way that I see humanity’s future interactions with social media. Emotional needs are being met as new technologies come into play. Mobile technologies increase our diversification and social events shape our individuality to society in the past and today so that the world may know. Our culture has changed in the past due to new technologies and is bound to be impacted in the future with increased mobility, events and celebrations, emotional needs being met, and increased diversification.

If content continues to diversify then roles will most likely play out in an international community where geographic location and differentiation is of no barrier to community development and emotional needs are met through screen based activity. The Internet is an institution, where relationships are accepted as a fundamental part of culture, that will change quickly to enable international community and a culture boom. The tools are going to tell if we will boom or bust and Liz Gannes from New Tee Vee comments on some interesting web tools that may make media more social.

The space where we share our lolz, LOL, rotfl, icons, and emotions is in the text box tool where half the fun is in the watching experience. An interesting issue was raised earlier this evening when I noticed emotions being expressed and needs being fulfilled through the interaction in the chat on Justin.TV/Dealer where one of the chatters was also a life caster. Cally, who is often in my chat, brought up an interesting topic for discussion. Is there is a difference in importance or value between the life caster and the commenter? This question has brought on much thought. What is the value of the commenter and the life caster? I must look at the other life casters I know to be able to answer that question.

Some, like me, were able to meet Justin for the first time in person and others met him over a chat or email. Others met him through staring at their laptops for hours on end or even more. is a fine example of someone who emerged as a voice on She started off as commenter and blogger providing information anout the site and building a community within She also records pod casts and posts them on her blog that is right here on WordPress. There was also a intern that found Justin on the chat and volunteered his summer to an internship. He started life casting on for a brief moment in Shooby.


(By Scott Beal at the Laughing Squid)

Some people are turned on to life casting, but who can do it forever? I had a lunch with Justine Ezarik this week on a day she had not brought her camera, but had been on camera at FOX with Justin earlier that day. She says that she won’t be able to do this forever. It’s a great opportunity to be trying something new for the first time, but it does not always last long. There are several formats to life casting and only a few work for all.

(By Scott Beal at the Laughing Squid)

Justin Kan told me that he never wanted to be a celebrity and never thought that he would end up wearing a live web cam, but he has been going strong non-stop since he started. Justin often gets random people and fans asking him why he does it. He says it like having a bunch of friends around you all the time. “Why be alone by your self when you can be with a bunch of friends?”

There is one life caster who was one of the first life casters from back in the days of Jenni Cam. Her name is Lisa B. She is truly one of the first live video streamers. She has many cameras both in New York and Japan where she goes 24/7 with her life. She is the most natural life caster I have seen.

Emotional needs are being met because of new social web tools. Life casters or commenter’s share their experiences and are building communities and culture. It’s laughing with someone that makes the whole experience that much better.



  1. […] A cool person wrote an interesting post todayHere’s a quick excerpt:It’sa great opportunity to be trying something new for the first time, but it does not always last long. There are several formats to life casting and only a few work for all. justin.jpg (By Scott Beal at the Laughing Squid) … […]

  2. An absolutely excellent article sarah. I love that there are so many different ways for people to express themselves on JTV. I love it. I found out about JTV through the We Are Change event on sept. 11 this year in NYC and have been hooked since. I know that I would like to start a lifecast and utilize it as a way to communicate with the world important issues of our day that most would otherwise not here. Once again great blog and lifecast sarah! 🙂

  3. Good article Sarah. I linked to it in my Somewhat Frank weekly tidbits. 😉

  4. Thanks you! Did you find my coverage of September 11th btw?

    This is changing not only documenting and sharing, but our “functions” too.

  5. i did see the sep 11 video it was really good. You are right about the documenting and sharing of informatiion. I would imagine there is quite a life altering impact on many lifecaster’s in the way they live their everyday lives, perhaps for the better which would be a positive result of lifecasting. And of course there are those I’m sure that go a bit overboard and cannot sanely handle broadcasting their every move and I guess you could say they just bug out and fall to piece’s. I view it as a positive though. 🙂
    cheers to lifecasting!

  6. Well put… and well written.

  7. Great article Sarah. I have found it facinating watching lifecasters an trying to imagine what they get from the experience and why many of them continue to broadcast the comings and going of their lives to the world. Not being a lifecaster, I cant be sure, but I imagine I would feel the same way as Justin: “it like having a bunch of friends around you all the time. “Why be alone by your self when you can be with a bunch of friends?”
    There is a tremendous amount of support and goodwill that is expressed by the viewers to the casters through the chat box, and immediate feedback, both helpful and humorous – that has to brighten their days somewhat. Having lived with that for a while, it must be a real shock to turn off the cams and find yourself “alone” once again.
    I can imagine lifecasting having a rather psychologically curative effect for some as they find that, no matter what they may have thought of themselves, people “out there” keep coming back and seem to really appreciate them for…well…just being themselves. That experience has the power to change someone’s whole world view and their view of ‘humanity’, reminding them that the vast majority of people are, basically, kindly, friendly souls. Perhaps psychologists will soon be prescribing webcams to their patients to have their self perception tweaked by being exposed to the largely benevolent gaze of the public lol. Who knows where this technology will go or what it will prove to be of use for? We’ll have fun watching to find out though. 🙂

  8. I really dig the lifecasters. I live for people’s vlogs so this is like the next evolution in that it’s live! I would totally be doing myself if my life would allow it, but unfortunitly I am in a place where it wouldn’t work out. Perhaps some day. Until then I’ll just keep watching you 🙂

  9. Very interesting post, Sarah. Thanks for the mention. Having spent so much of my life “here” interacting on JTV the past six months and having gone from JTV chatter to critical blogger to interactive lifecaster I have now experienced JTV full circle. I’m not sure which aspect I enjoy most, but lifecasting leads to a very different kind of blogging perspective and outlook on the medium.

  10. @Justopia- I have been watching you and your interactions on JTV. From chatter to blogging to podcasting to lifecasting its fun to find out the new mediums are always evolving and working together!

  11. Wow very well written. I agree about with your article being mobile and using the cam brings personality to the web. Having cam to cam is like living in reality, NOW. Instead of every clip we watch being from a PAST, and not as in your face personal as it is today. Im hooked on this its like the Truman show except the whole world can be watched.

  12. I bet in the future it will turn out to be much bigger!

  13. Hey, this article is SPOT ON about social relationships developing on the web.

    But the only thing I think that might be a problem in the future is the tyranny of distance. I am based in Australia, so if I make friendships over the Web, it is hard to meet in real life, cos it is a 20 hour flight to L.A., not to mention that it is quite costly.

    Maybe one day they will bring cheap supersonic flights into the market, but in the meantime it can only be a local thing…

  14. […] I looked at the stats for this blog this morning, I noticed a few hits from Sarah Meyers’ blog here at WordPress. She posted what I thought was a pretty well written essay on live streaming […]

  15. […] long can one life cast on Justin.TV? Aren’t you tired of it? Sarah Meyers shared a great perspective and insight in regards to who could possible life cast forever. Personally I’ve had burn-out […]

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