"Waste time watching other people waste time" is the slogan of Internet reality show Justin.tv. After being live for just a week and a half, it’s already attracting tens of thousands of viewers who tune in to follow 23-year-old Justin Kan and his friends who created the site.
Kan is coining the word “lifecasting” when he refers to the site that chronicles his life in San Francisco 24 hours a day. Online viewers see footage from a camera Kan keeps strapped to his head all day except when he’s sleeping. The site also allows viewers to talk in chat rooms where they offer prompts and suggestions for Kan and his friends.
When I tuned in earlier, Justin was buying a newspaper and riding an elevator to return to the crew’s home base, a messy bachelor pad that has a Bawls energy drink poster on one wall. That poster is there for more than just its decorative value, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The business model centers on product placement. Already corporate sponsors are lining up to plug their products alongside Zipcar rentals and Bawls energy drink, both of which have posters on the walls of Justin.tv's headquarters in North Beach.
The longterm goal for the show is to expand it to other cities and include other "characters," according to Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, which provided the startup money for the project. Graham continues:
Ultimately, their plan is to have hundreds of people with these cameras. Each would be a channel; viewers would watch whichever was most interesting at that time. With hundreds of people, there would always be something interesting. So why would anyone even switch on their TV?