Robert Scoble mentioned a new term for this whole OpenLife thing that’s been happening lately, where if you want to, you can subscribe to every single facet of someones digital life. You can read their inane Twitters about what hairball their cat coughed up 5 minutes ago, and how many sugars they just put in their coffee. You can subscribe to what they read in their newsreaders, you can subscribe to their YouTube videos, their Flickr photos, what music they are listening to on LastFM and even what they bookmark on delicious. This is the narcissystem, as coined by Chris Pirillo and it is going to get worse.
Since our analog lives are becoming more and more digital, it is scary what people are sharing and surely a boon for our stalkers. New services are now out there to help stream videos of ourselves wherever we are. Robert Scoble was in his car driving down the highway and you could ring him and chat to him via video while he was in the passenber seat belting down some highway. Robert used the new enough UStream.tv service.
Right now all these lifestreams/vanityfeeds/unifiedfeeds are mostly noise and mostly personal stuff. I don’t think you’d get a lot of subscribers for all of this unless you were famous or were on Channel 4. Big Brother anyone? Look at the sheer number of people who clicked on to the Big Brother live feeds on E4 for the past few years. My god that was boring. Yet, an unknown lifestream wouldn’t get any viewers, but how many viewers would tune in for Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. Hell, during Britney’s breakdown I’d be a subscriber. “Next on carcrash TV…” I do agree with Deep Jive Interests in that it is all relative.
In this day and age though, it seems even mainstream news media are obsessed with all this flotam. Last week when I turned on the TV in my hotel room (I don’t watch TV at home) it was wall to wall Prince William and his breakup with yerwanno. To quote Robert Scoble again
Everyone who thinks this stuff is boring. I guess you arenâ€™t watching CNN or the news lately either, right? So, do you find 24-hour-a-day of Anna Nicole Smith interesting?
When blogs started, the personal lives of catladies outweighed business blogs, tech blogs and all other types of blogs. That’s changing quite a lot now. These people, no matter what they were writing about, helped test and improve the blogging platform and made it into another communications layer. I see Twitter doing the same. It’s going to be another multi-way broadcast layer. Same goes for UStream which makes it very easy to be a video broadcaster. (That’s how Scoble broadcasted from the car). YouTube bedroom broadcasters were the same. Nearer to home, I can see MySay helping to create another niche communications layer. [MySay allows you to phone in and leave voicemail which can be marked friends only or public and can be emailed to friends or they can ring in and listen or they can listen in via a widget on your blog.] Another communications layer.
So while all these lifefeeds are chocka with “Ohmygoshness” at the moment, that will change and different and more appealing content streams will emerge. Whereas tech’s first adopters years back were very rich companies and the uses were always business uses (telephone, cars, mobiles, computers) nowadays the first adopters seem to be the always-on social people. Business now moves into the areas where it first started as something social. Correct me if I’m wrong but was email more academic in use when it started? The net was the same I think? Blogs were personal life outlets at the start as were all the social networking sites and now companies are begining to see the uses of them. The inane and personal comes first, then maybe comes that quality that the elitists demand.