(The men of Justin.tv by Laughing Squid)
Anyone can be a star on the Internet. All it takes is a little commitment, a laptop and a camera and you can have your own audience, even if it is only 15 people. On Justin.tv we saw Justin go 24/7 to launch the company as he shot off into stardom because it was the first time anyone had done a mobile 2/47 live stream. It was never about compelling content. When I first saw Justin’s life I asked “what is the point and why would people want to watch?”
That is the question I asked when You Tube first came out, but then six months later it was a whole different story. There wasn’t a lot of good content out on You Tube at the time. Actually, when You Tube first started they would convert old VHS tapes for people who sent them in just to get content on their site. They were begging for content! It seems like live video is in a similar place now.
Certainly the 24/7 reality TV approach will work for many lifecasters, but will it last forever? There are other places other than Justin.tv where you can go for a 24/7 life-cast. Mogulus allows better features to customize and mix your live 24/7 broadcasts and Kyte is doing many interesting things across the board. I checked out Mogulus today and was able to download clips right off of You Tube, play them in my broadcast and integrate my live voice over. They have customizable graphic introductions that you can make there or import from somewhere else. If the others have better technology, what makes Justin.tv so special?
From what I have seen, as a live-caster on the site, it is the community that makes Justin.tv stand out from the rest. The community there has developed in a way that lets the insiders know what happens and when to watch. There are fan sites and gossip sites that focus on the stars of Justin.tv. They are begging for the web tools to leverage themselves off of the stars and become stars themselves. A fine example of a star leveraging the other stars is the star reporter who calls himself East Coast Vegas.
Valleywag calls Justin’s lifecast “30 seconds of Internet superstardom drying up.” They call Justin.tv a sign of “the pending Web 2.0 apocalypse. LOL! How ironic! Gawker media, which owns Valleywag, just launched their own live-cast on the site October 4th. I have to agree partially with Valleywag, however, because Justin is hardly on anymore and the fans are starting to fade, however, he never wanted to be an Internet superstar in the first place. He just wanted to have a successful company and he has come so far!
Unedited 24/7 raw footage, like Justin deos makes things boring. It would be the same thing for anyone; Paris Hilton would probably have a deathcast, for example, if she did a 24/7 lifecast it would change her image to the world. I wouldn’t recommend doing a mobile 24/7 lifecast because it is too exhausting and risky. Even if Justin has lost many of his fans, he will always be known as the first 24/7 mobile lifecaster. I have to give him props for being able to pull of what he has done. They have raised VC funding and are going strong on building the technology.
The Justin.tv community sends feedback and Micheal, Kyle, Justin and Emmet respond. I think that has been a strong selling point to harvest the community. After all they are great guys.