We Live In Public

I’ve written about Josh Harris here before. He envisioned all of the stuff that has happened on the Internet in the early 1990s, roughly ten to twenty years before it happened.  And he tried to bring much of it to market in the mid to late 90s, but the technology and the market weren’t ready for it. I talked a fair bit about Josh in my “history of the NYC Internet community” talk that I gave at Web 2.0 in 2008. Josh was one of the seminal figures of the NYC Internet community and we owe him a lot for what he imagined and what he made.

Josh’s ultimate project was We Live In Public, which is also the name of the movie about Josh that was released in 2009. In the We Live In Public project, Josh put cameras all over his loft apartment in NYC and livestreamed his and his girlfriend’s everyday life, which ultimately led to their breakup. It’s always been unclear to me how unscripted or scripted that project was, but it hardly matters. It was entertaining in a voyeuristic way. It predated reality TV and all that has come since.

I got to thinking about We Live In Public after reading The Verge’s post about our portfolio company YouNow. YouNow is the living breathing realization of Josh’s imagined world where everyone is broadcasting their lives in real time on the Internet. There’s been plenty of media attention to Twitter’s Periscope and also Meerkat, but YouNow has been at this since 2012 and has amassed a huge audience who tip the live broadcasters enabling them to make a business out of livestreaming their lives. If you want to take a look at how all of that works and what goes on on YouNow, give this a read.

I have been watching the livestreaming category emerge for years and it’s been fits and starts for sure. Most of the stuff that is getting livestreamed is hardly entertaining and many of us have more important things to do with our time than watch other people hangingat work or at home. But it sure seems like the category is alive and well and maybe even here to stay. Just as Josh imagined it would be twenty years ago.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Nathan Guo

    It’s really interesting to see livestreaming taking off in such a big way now, given that Justin.tv seemed to have built a platform for this 8 years ago. Guess they were just early?Other differentiating factor I see currently is the instantaneous nature that Meerkat has brought to the table.

    1. fredwilson

      the founder of justin.tv was quoted in The Verge piece”The reason is the rise of iOS and Android,” says Emmett Shear, the CEO of Twitch. He tried and failed to launch a general purpose live streaming service with Justin.TV <http: http://www.theverge.com=“” 2014=”” 8=”” 5=”” 5971939=”” justin-tv-the-live-video-pioneer-that-birthed-twitch-officially-shuts=””>. Eventually he pivoted into gaming, a niche where being tied to a desktop computer made sense. But now the mobile market is mature enough for a sea change. “Smartphones provide all the critical pieces for these new services. They take care of distribution through the app store, monetization through in-app purchases, incredible video quality through cameras and microphones, and connectivity everywhere with LTE internet.” The growth and ubiquity of social networks is also “creating an amplifier effect for good consumer products.”

      1. Nathan Guo

        One big question mark is what the legality of live streaming is going to be. A few instances I’m thinking of:1. Attitude of recording being applied toward streaming: the Google glass problem where many people push back hard on recording for privacy reasons.2. Live streaming while doing things where focus is necessary: The other day, Shaq was Meerkating himself driving and singing along to a song. Imagine someone live streaming construction or anything else where there’s safety concerns.

        1. Matt Kruza

          Yep, number one is a HUGE issue… that is inherently political.. and will tamp down growth even if it doess catch on main stream.. which is unlikely

    2. Tony Salazar

      for whatever reason, live streaming is the next cutting edge and the meerkat demonstrates that

  2. Tom Labus

    Have you ever read The Circle, Dave Eggers? http://www.amazon.com/Circl…. I come back to it a lot and don’t know why it didn’t get play

    1. fredwilson

      i read itthe protaganist annoyed me and i didn’t enjoy itbut it was quite insightful

      1. RichardF

        I thought it was extremely insightful. I really liked how Dave Eggers built it up to total transparency and the advent of the big brother state (not advocating it but would love to see politicians having to livestream)

    2. Anne Libby

      I just read this a few weeks ago, and found reading it somewhat painful. But the ideas in have stayed alive in my head, prompted by many discussions with real people and companies on “transparency” as a value.

      1. Joe Cardillo

        Read and found it problematic as well. Lots of technology because technology going on. Also you didn’t thank Tom for his comment;)

      2. Tom Labus

        It doesn’t leave you and I read it awhile ago.

        1. Anne Libby

          Yes!In checking a few reviews, saw it compared to Swift and Orwell.

    3. Sebastien Latapie

      Exactly what this post made me think of! But agree with Fred, the protagonist was very irritating to me. Read the book once, but wouldn’t go back to it.

  3. JimHirshfield

    I read that article earlier this morning and what stuck with me wasn’t what the channel owners were doing as being interesting or not, but that people just found it interesting to share in someone else’s life… as pointed out by the Verge author.

    1. aweissman

      I think that’s actually what really works about YouNow: it’s more about people, and a community of people and tribes, that it is about live streaming. That’s why for example one of the more popular hashtags is #sleepingsquad – a groupe of 100+ people who turn the cameras on while they sleep

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yeah, I found that weird. There’s nothing to see but some dude sleeping. So it MUST be about the community – about engaging with the other people that hang at that channel. Just like we could all have a conversation here in the comments on AVC, on any day even if all Fred posted above was, “Startups, talk amongst yourselves…”

        1. aweissman

          yup. Or, like a slumber party

        2. Matt Kruza

          Are these not mainly bored / maybe depressed / socially isolated people? I do not mean this in a condescending way, as I know it could come across that way. But there have been idk about 1000 (probably infinitely more) articles about how the internet leads to social isolation and this certainly seemsl ike one of those use cases.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Yes, there’s definitely that factor at play here. This isn’t the cause of the isolation, but perhaps just another realization of it. I don’t think one can generalize and say all the members of this online community are bored, depressed, or [fill in the blank with mental condition] any more than you could say that about AOL in the 90’s or Facebook today.

          2. Matt Kruza

            Sure, obviously not all members fit that description. But the median viewer is (maybe 80%)? And agree more of a symptom than the cause of isolation, with the exception that it then perpetuates and accentuates the loneliness. Now, to be clear online can be a great outlet for certain people to have a lower barrier to entry to meet mental health professionals or other support groups.. but only as a better onboarding process to that space. That is a social entrepreurship project I would be very interested in helping / founding down the line or spreading the word for. There are surely some already working on it. The onboarding process for therapy is literally an absolute disaster.. for financial, regulatory, political, and human psychological reasons.

  4. Lil Pong

    ‘following’ others just got a nice makeover. what say ??

  5. thinkdisruptive

    I can’t imagine what possible value there is in livestreaming everything or why anyone would watch. Have we completely run out of useful ideas to improve society and ourselves, so much so that we have nothing better to do than watch narcissists living their mundane lives? I saw people meerkating at SXSW last week, and lots of people were talking about it, but it’s just creepy, and worse, the people who you are broadcasting don’t get any say in it. Surely it’s time to give our collective heads a shake and ask what the hell are we doing.Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Definitely agree w/you on that last thing. But, the implications are deep and I’m not in favor of deciding who gets to do it, because that decision will reflect institutional biases already in place. Imagine if simple, one touch livestreaming existed in Ferguson, in the Middle East, in China. It has some profound implications.

  6. Matt Kruza

    Am I the only young person (27 here) who has no interest in having my life streamed? Or streaming someone else’s life. I mean, basically anyone who will stream there life is not someone I want to see. Sure, Fred if you will livestream a board meeting with Twitter that was sincere I would love to. Or if Obama wants to livestream his meeting Bibi (boy that owuld be fun).. but some rando… no thanks.!!

    1. Nathan Guo

      I think the whole point is that it is NOT ‘randos’ that are streaming. Big things that blew up on Meerkat the last couple weeks included things like Mark Suster giving a 2 hour “ask me anything” session, or Jimmy Fallon live streaming his monologue rehearsal. Stuff that people would be interested in seeing.

      1. Matt Kruza

        That is not what younow though right? Mark Suster on meekrat, I could see, but that is not what the broader article talks about. Let me know if I am wrong (could be)

        1. kevando

          Honestly, just download Meerkat if you have an iPhone. It’s one of those things you don’t really get until you experience it.They created a really compelling user experience and right now it’s mundane life stuff. When people start streaming live from exciting events, it will really catch it.Imagine Meerkat during the terrorist attack or natural disaster. You won’t be able to tear yourself away.

          1. thinkdisruptive

            We already have too many people videoing everything they see rather than helping.http://www.nydailynews.com/…This was pretty compelling too. Is this really what we want a steady stream of?

      2. thinkdisruptive

        Actually, I don’t think that’s the point. Important events or entertainment programs already have many channels for broadcasting that don’t require invasive and creepy technology. The whole point of meerkat and its ilk is to broadcast things that wouldn’t normally get broadcasted or which break privacy norms.I don’t see this as a lot different than the nutcases who install hidden cameras in bathrooms.

        1. Nathan Guo

          I disagree. These are events and programs that are NOT broadcast through normal channels. Before Meerkat, Jimmy Fallon did not broadcast his monologue rehearsal.While Mark Suster certainly had his “This Week in VC” stream before, Mark made it very clear that one of the reasons he felt it was not watched as much was because it felt “too curated.” The live streaming aspect feels much more authentic.

          1. Matt Kruza

            I agree with those use cases. But those are basically the examples I gave of Obama and Fred etc. Do you think for the “rando’s” (which I am pretty sure is both of us included.. for now at least!) like Younow it makes any sense?

          2. thinkdisruptive

            Jimmy Fallon is doing it because people are talking about it now, not because he couldn’t do it before or hasn’t done things that are similar previously. You can livestream (also known as live tv) without meerkat.What you can’t do as easily is make it pervasive and creepily invasive, or put that capability in the hands of masses of irresponsible non-thinkers (on both sides of the camera). You are too focused on the technology — it doesn’t enable anything we couldn’t do before without a little more planning, and sometimes thinking about things before doing them is good. Even when you don’t want to look curated.

          3. fredwilson

            i have a friend who is a major political reporter and he told me meerkat and periscope are going to radically change the way the presidential primaries are covered. in the current model, not every candidate can justify a camera crew. in the new model, every reporter is a camera crew. he thinks it will be huge for his business

          4. Joe Cardillo

            There’s a good medium piece on that https://medium.com/backchan…It did give me a couple of thoughts 1) Someone’s got to parse through all that noise, because millions of people streaming live video all the time is going to get unmanageable quickly … which leads to 2) Haven’t read anything on it yet, but if it’s truly live streaming’s time than there will be a whole layer of services and innovation on top of twitter video, meerkat, etc.

          5. fredwilson

            he’s imagining “the red zone” for politics

          6. thinkdisruptive

            Yes, it probably will. But the over-reporting and pseudo-examination of candidates that we now get has already resulted in severe degradation of the quality of candidates. No good person wants to be subjected to that (perhaps ‘no’ is too absolute — let’s say ‘most’ instead), and a lot of excellent people have skeletons in their closet which eliminate them from contention. This is made much worse when the cameras are always on, and people get no time to think and act privately.It may make good entertainment (tracking politicians), but it doesn’t make good politics.

          7. fredwilson

            have we had good politics in the past 25 years?i feel like that’s been long gone for a while now

          8. thinkdisruptive

            Correct. But we should be looking for ways to make it better, not worse.

          9. fredwilson

            well i think we should start with campaign finance reform to get the money out of politics and a tax rebate for everyone who actually gets off their ass and votes to get everyone to the polls and have true representative democracy. right now the fat cats are in control. i know. i’m one of them.

          10. thinkdisruptive

            Yes, I like these ideas. But they have little to do with the destructive power this tech unleashes.Curious though — do you feel in control?

          11. fredwilson

            more than the guy living on the beach who i sat next to drinking my coffee and writing yesterday

          12. JimHirshfield

            Wait, wut? A beach bum sitting next to you was drinking your coffee and writing?

          13. LE

            I think he means he gave his coffee to a guy “living on the beach” while he (Fred) was writing.

          14. LE

            Actually I am wrong. He means he was drinking his coffee and writing next to a guy living on the beach.

          15. Matt Zagaja

            I see Jim is on dangling modifier patrol today. 🙂

          16. LE

            I think that horse has left the barn. To much money now. Once something becomes a “industrial complex” with so many mouths being fed its almost impossible to turn back. The same reason that cigarettes were never outlawed to much economic benefit. [1]Keep in mind one other thing. The big beneficiaries of all that money is the media. They live large off of that carcass.[1] This is the reason why something so clearly destructive and bad for health took so long to slowly make it’s way out of our society. All that money that is spent on tobacco ends up in many pockets, not just tobacco farmers and tobacco companies. They spend the money that they take in obviously.

          17. LE

            right now the fat cats are in control. i know. i’m one of them.Like a good lawyer or politician you have learned to preempt criticism and make “playing the game” a non issue by getting out in front with the facts before others do!

          18. JLM

            .I would agree with you if I thought getting more people to vote would result in better candidates winning but really the folks who don’t vote are primarily uninformed or low info dopes.Not sure we want to dilute the gene pool any more.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          19. Kathy Pappas

            Well said. This is a universal issue , not just the US.For an effective political system, it makes every sense if only the educated vote.

          20. SubstrateUndertow

            Its not like educated people would exclusively vote their own interest like other historical elites ?

          21. fredwilson

            dopes who have figured out how to raise a family, occupy a home, find a job, make a living, and so on and so forthi’m with william buckley, democracy for all the people, not just the “intelligent ones”

          22. JLM

            .I wouldn’t have any problem with the screen you have suggested. It is a fairly high threshold actually.There are a lot of low/no info voters well below that filter.We are talking about voters not democracy.We have a reasonably good democracy, it is the people operating it who are the problem and they are often put into power by low/no info voters.Once in power, the elected are being manipulated by the stakeholders who employ the K Street crowd.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          23. SubstrateUndertow

            Don’t we want to move that no-info voter-filter down as much as possible over time ?

          24. Peter Beddows

            My sentiments entirely. Could not agree with you more JLM. I find it ironic that we “threw out King George and his court some several hundred years ago” only to reinvent and readopt the concept by allowing the development of a new form “pseudo aristocracy” that has clearly hijacked our democracy.

          25. Peter Beddows

            The other point worth bringing to light, one that goes directly to the issue of the “no info” or “dope” type voter ~ if such classification is even appropriate ~ is that some research conducted nationwide a while back found that something like 66% of those asked believed that “Benghazi” (think > Ben Ghazi – get it?) was a boyfriend of one of the Kardashians. Now that IS scary if they are in a majority amongst our voting public, would you not agree?

          26. thinkdisruptive

            On every issue you can imagine, 2/3 of the populace won’t care and won’t have a clue. Are you aware of all the goings on in Washington? Do you know what deals are being negotiated in China or Africa that may affect us 2 years from now? Do you know what the administration’s innovation policy is — something that may directly affect you? What is the FDA’s stance on GM foods? Did you know that there are almost as many illegal Canadian immigrants in the US as illegal Chinese immigrants, or what percentage of the total illegal immigrant population they represent?What exactly is a low information voter? There are lots of things, probably some of them even important, that I don’t know diddly about. I have very little understanding of why African Americans interpret so many things as being racist, when I see the police, for example, acting with the same bully attitudes towards everyone. It’s not even that I don’t care, I just don’t understand it, and that’s pretty important. And, you may laugh that people can name all of Brittany Spears’ boyfriends, but not the speaker of the house, but you know what — I have almost no knowledge of current pop culture, and to much of the population that IS important (and it’s important to me too, if I need to talk to them or market to them).Complaining about people not knowing stuff doesn’t help anything. Teach them what you think they need to know to be an “intelligent voter”. Low or no information or not, they are citizens with as much right to make decisions as you, and who as Fred says, manage to raise kids, pay for university, buy houses, drive on the roads, keep the economy humming, hold a job, etc. But, also be prepared to listen to what they have to say about what’s important without condescending.I’m probably as right wing as anyone here, but I really find these talk radio code phrases like “low information voter” offensive. The only purpose in labeling people like this is to identify which tribe you belong to, which is inherently divisive. It causes people to stop listening to each other, and only talk to others who are the same as they are. How are you ever going to convince the other half of the population that you have a valid point of view that’s worth listening to if you start by insulting them and putting them in a pigeon-hole that if things were framed differently, could be a description of you?

          27. pointsnfigures


          28. thinkdisruptive

            The “so-called” low-information voters would not likely be incentivized by a tax rebate. They probably wouldn’t even know about it. Fred isn’t suggesting that we force people to vote (as Obama is), but that we make it more desirable. As long as we have a democracy, that’s probably a good idea. But, the better solution would be to eliminate voting altogether in the long term. Elections necessarily result in bad representation.

          29. JLM

            .The low/no info voters don’t pay taxes. They get a check.It is lost on me why democracy would be served by including persons who are not naturally interested in their own governance.The idea of no elections — how do you select your leaders?Other than the possibility of putting my personal handpicked folks in charge, of course.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          30. thinkdisruptive

            It can be done, but this is worthy of its own discussion thread, whether here or elsewhere. The current system can’t survive, so it’s only a matter of what it gets replaced with and when.

          31. JLM

            .Survive?It’s thriving. What was a six month process, has now become an almost continuous process. It is a substantial industry.Sometimes we get confused between whether we like something and whether something is surviving and thriving.Politics is now 24/7/365 and shows no sign of dampening even though I personally may not like the outcomes.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          32. thinkdisruptive

            Things always appear the strongest just before they fail. But you are talking about the mechanics of getting elected, and news cycles, not whether the system works effectively or serves the people it is supposed to serve. As the system exists, we will never repay our debt, balance a budget, get honest representation, have people working on the urgent priorities rather than feather-bedding, pass intelligent rather than reactionary legislation, or any of the things the system is supposed to provide. The only thing we do moderately well is the military, and even it is a pale imitation of pre-Vietnam (and most of the time, when we choose to employ it, it is for the wrong reasons and to fight the wrong battles).That is not sustainable. If a debt or currency crisis (the two are related) doesn’t push us over the threshold to the point where everyone realizes the system isn’t working (and where the government loses the support of the majority of the people a la Greece or the Weimar Republic), there are any number of other events that could prick the confidence bubble. The current system will fail. If we don’t anticipate that, and try to plan for it, the outcome will be worse than what it replaces.

          33. JLM

            .There are governing philosophies that are electable that will, in fact, address much of what you have decried. They have to get elected.I am quite confident that with a Republican controlled WH and Congress, much of what you say can be fixed. Not that I trust the Republicans completely either.As to the military, having been a professional soldier I must disagree with you completely. The current military — maybe not in a year — can hang with anyone and is pretty damn good much better than the pre-Viet Nam military (not sure why you would ever consider the post Korean War, pre-VN, draftee army any good at all really).The Volunteer Army has been and continues to be the best military ever assembled. While I would not want to see a shooting war with the Russians or the Chinese, neither of those armies can hang with the air/sea/land combined arms doctrine and execution of the US Army, USMC, Air Force and Navy.I remember when the Russkis deployed a bunch of tanks along the Ukraine/Crimea border thinking — wow, they have no idea how long it would take the US Air Force to eliminate those concentrations. About 2 days.The Russians have a third rate conscript army that would not last long in a modern fight.Uninformed and ill-informed observers of the military always get it wrong — remember when the vaunted Iraqi Republican Guard was going to inflict 30K casualties on the US as it attacked Iraq?Professional soldiers were saying — “hot knife, butter” — and, in fact, we had more training deaths during the relevant time period than we had battlefield deaths. I won a lot of bets on that war.The financial performance of the US is going to continue until the financial markets decide to punish the US with interest rates and other objective financial criteria in much the same way the first S & L crisis and the most recent recession made us behave.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          34. thinkdisruptive

            The Republicans and Democrats are only superficially different. They scream about different things, but they don’t behave that differently when push comes to shove. I trust neither, because the political party process is broken and corrupt, even if the individuals that are part of it have good intent or good ideas. Is change possible? Sure. Is it likely? Not the way things are currently constituted.I was unclear in my reference to the military, so let me be more to the point. I agree with much of what you say, but that is a different matter than what I was getting at.No question that soldiers are better trained today, and that we have “better” equipment. The problem is, none of that matters unless they are directed and allowed to win. So, the problem is the leadership and the big bosses at the top who are afraid of PR backlashes (ever since McNamara, and maybe before) more than they are of the enemy.The soldiers don’t choose which wars to fight or why, and they don’t choose how to prosecute them. If allowed to do their jobs without political interference, I have little doubt that they could beat anyone, and probably quickly. But then, they should be able to since the US spends almost as much on the military as every other country on the planet combined. Given that, it would be hard to argue that the money is effectively spent, especially if we agree that we have the best soldiers and equipment.What I spoke of particularly poorly with the pre-Vietnam reference was that before that, if the military was engaged in a war, it fought to win. Beginning with Viet Nam, it’s more like we fight so that we don’t lose, or so that no one gets hurt, which of course means that more people get hurt in the long run, we spend 10x what is required, we embolden enemies such that they think they have a chance and keep on persevering, and we frequently leave a bigger mess behind. That isn’t the soldiers’ fault, rather the management’s. So, that’s what I mean by “doing moderately well”. We don’t tend to outright lose battles, but neither do we use our power effectively and intelligently.So, the main point above, which got lost in the mix, is that this is the only function of the government that runs even moderately well. Everything else is broken and corrupted, costs many times what it should, is failing to provide the services/protection/law & order/leadership that is expected, and creates a great deal of disillusionment and distrust in the system. And, if voting can’t change that (or if people believe that it can’t), then a large number will give up voting.I’m not advocating for such a position, just explaining it.

          35. JLM

            .The biggest improvements in the military are battlefield intelligence and command/control and targeting tech.We are essentially still carrying the same rifles but above the battlefield we have eyes and ears that never existed and map reading — an essential skill when in the Ranger School of my day — is now all GPS based.We create actionable intel in hours and we know what the enemy is doing when we engage them and we can see them under any conditions.Find ’em, fix ’em, kill ’em has become more lethal because we can find them easier — with a paen to better fire support like laser guided weapons and drones.Infinitely better command/control which allows the average Lt to bring the shit when it is needed. The average Lt is way more qualified than ever before.The big beef is the ROE — rules of engagement — whereby a platoon almost needs a platoon JAG Off and a legal brief before engaging the enemy. Stupid, PC stuff. See ’em? Kill ’em!There is great wisdom in having the military subservient to civilian leadership but the civilian leadership needs to know how to “command” — just give the military the objective and let them decide how to do it.Don’t tell guys who are in the killing business how to do it. That is the essence of command — to set out clear objectives and let your combatant commanders go accomplish them.When they don’t — relieve them.A command is something like this: “On or before 1 Jan 2012, conduct combat operations to destroy all enemy formations in Helmand Province and to eliminate all resistance using the forces at your disposal.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          36. SubstrateUndertow

            Surely the concept of redemption through education/opportunity can be allied to most low/no info voters as a long term social cost savings approach ?

          37. JLM

            .I am the most ardent proponent of advancement through education as it has been my life — undergrad and grad school on scholarship. I even support Pres Obama’s community college initiative — no poet exclusion.The problem is the lo/no info doesn’t even have the initiative to go to school. We are talking low!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          38. SubstrateUndertow

            Let me turn that idea on its head !Thought experiment:1- get all them dopes voting2- all them useless eaters vote themselves everything as if they had some inalienable right to pursue happiness via basic food and shelter they didn’t earn3- the upper end of the gene pool gets hammered4- the upper end of the gene pool, be the bright lights they are, must now respond to the consequences of truly participatory democracy5- with no other recourse due to the reality of all the dopes constantly voting for their unearned need/interests the bright-lights crowd are forced under duress to reprioritize their efforts and resource in order to reconfigure the education and participation of the dopes in the production/consumption cycle6- the long term democratic outcome of that participatory voting by all the dopes is the financing of their reintegration into new more productive social participation structures as a necessary remedial reaction by the bright-lights7- less dopes with remaining dope having some useful integrative social function8- outcome DEMOCRACY WORKS for creating participatory societiesORF**K em we can go backward to everyone for themselves because history proves that approach to be so universally successfulJust Saying 🙂

          39. Sam

            Perhaps this is one of those 10-year horizon ideas. Seems like we ought to have a social media platform optimized for the democratic process. Right now we’re just shoehorning the current platforms into politics.

          40. SubstrateUndertow

            I wish I could up vote more than ounce !

          41. pointsnfigures

            I am thinking instead of limiting contributions, do the other extreme. No limit. But, put everyone searchable, online, and how much for. No more PACs. If the Kennedy’s or Soros want to buy an election, donate with their real name. Same for everyone else. If corporations want to contribute-do it in their name and disclose it to shareholders. Same for unions. Transparency will put the roaches in their place.

          42. JLM

            .The problem is that roaches don’t mind being found out.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          43. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Wooooooooooo!!!!!!! Yassss! Oh, and, election day is a work holiday so everyone can vote.

          44. Drew Meyers

            don’t absentee ballots account for this?

          45. Dave W Baldwin

            The main thing is the platform needs to be running in time for the next race. It’s true effect would be determined as it happens and after the fact.

          46. JLM

            .In the last 5 years, I have been doing a very deep dive into the politics of the time period of the American Revolution. I conclude we never have had “good politics” in the history of the country starting from before this date.It has always been a cess pool of undue personal involvement — someone has always had their thumb on the scale.The only laudable figure in our history is George Washington and, maybe, Ike.The canonization of the Founding Fathers, FDR, Reagan, Lincoln and others is sentimental clap trap. Not that they didn’t do some good but the idea that everything they did was good, pure or honest is just baloney.Having said that, we are still #1 based on outcomes but it has never really been good or fair or honest.What was it Wm Buckley used to say –“I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”I have hated the idea of government paid elections since I first heard the idea but today I would opt for a government system of debates as the money is just cancelling each other out and the real battle is getting the least informed and stupidest voters to the polls.We have no shortage of voters who do not understand the issues or the candidates.It would also help to get the spoils system fixed — stop people from voting for those who give them stuff.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          47. Matt Zagaja

            How tough it is to learn that our heroes are also human.

          48. JLM

            .Fair play to you.It is hard particularly when we engage in hero worship. Why did John Wayne — the movie JW — have to be an actor?The problem is that evil is full on undiluted and goodness is often fleeting and mercurial.Having said that, politically, there is nobody who can hold George Washington’s jock or his horse.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          49. SubstrateUndertow

            Yup !Immediate/proximal volitional self-interest is the eternal fly in the political ointment from far left to far right and from top to bottom.Only now do we have distributive network tools that with a vast amount of imagination/experimentation have any chance to succeed at creating a collectively workable “Mexican-stand-off” between all of society’s stakeholders.And no. . . I’m not holding my breath 🙂

          50. Peter Beddows

            Agreed. Also, see my supporting response to this notion “We have no shortage of voters who do not understand the issues or the candidates” below.

          51. SubstrateUndertow

            The problem is not so much the endless spectacle of imperfections inherent in any particular political representative but rather the outdated over-bundling of democratic political representation in the hands of too few.We are still bundling political decision making power for a million citizens into the hands of singular politicians as well a bundling 4 years worth of those decisions without timely/incremental redirection feedback-power for those citizens over their chosen representative.Apps seem to be focused on the disruptive unbundling/democratizing of almost everything except democratic political representation.With more decentralized/asynchronous/asymmetrical political representational feedback-mechanisms both their and our foibles and failings become background noise as they should.Unbundling political services (PaaS) that is the real game afoot if we are to get serious about cleaning house.Our present day political medicine-men are at least demonstrating excellence at maintaining their information-age-moat 🙂

          52. thinkdisruptive

            Yes and no. In the long term, electing political representatives is the worst possible way to get things done. The people who choose to run are almost by definition the ones who are least likely to act in our interests and act with integrity and social responsibility. So, our choices end up being who is least bad.On the other hand, crowd-sourcing decisions can’t work either, because it depends on how well educated and informed about the issues the crowd is. It’s possible to find individuals in the crowd who know more and are better-qualified than any of the people making decisions, but the crowd aggregate is almost always going to be either wrong or suboptimal.So, the best solution is representative, but not elected. (Imagine how much better off we’d be if we eliminated party politics, and instead did things because they made sense.) My hypothesis is that a purely random selection from the eligible population with representatives serving a 7 year term, with 1/7th being replaced every year would be the best system possible. Yes, there would be deadwood, but far less than is institutionalized now. And, people would know that they have 7 years, and no longer to get things done. There is no re-election campaign to wage, so you work only for your constituency, not spending half your time trying to win the next vote and not focused on boondoggles that will win votes, but on what is the right thing to do now.It also has the benefit of forcing bad people out of office (assuming they aren’t corrupt, in which case either other reps or a citizens recall could force them out sooner) automatically, so there is a maximum damage and amount of political power that any individual or constituency can accumulate.And, we’d never have to suffer through another election campaign or demoralizing, degrading and disgusting ads.

          53. SubstrateUndertow

            We are not on the same page !I’m think more along the line of a nested set of cascading Apps that act as an analogue to other living-systems like the human body.All those cells, organs and cognitive-priorities participating in a level/expertise appropriate and organically-integrative up vote behaviour gradient scheme.If 10,000,000,000,000 cells can dance up the highly cohesive and functionally-focused tour-de-force that constitutes each of our volitional personas then so why can’t we at the next level up ????Apps as components in a collective politically-adaptive digital nervous system.Apps that attempt to mimic the recurring mandator living-system remix functions that are common to all eight level of living systems as outline/explored by James G Miller in his 1978 book “Living Systems Theory”.Sort of like an integrating array of multi-level mandatory life-fuction Apps that collectively bootstrap their life-function-focused mimicry via facebook/twitter/pinster/github like interfaces to create a toy like collaborative political-disruption toolkit.

          54. thinkdisruptive

            Go for it. It sounds fanciful and imaginary, but what do I know.

          55. SubstrateUndertow

            Think disruption – check out the James G Miller reference material !

          56. alg0rhythm

            I agree. In fact, I’d make an argument for that already being the case to some extent, most of the programming and coding is done on a biological level, with organ izations, large groups with organ like groupings focused on certain tasks that deliver needed information/fuel/food to the larger organism (city, state nation, globe). Just looked up Living Systems Theory. Seems pretty obvious that’s the way, but also that most people wouldn’t know- does your kidney know who you are?

          57. SubstrateUndertow

            Yes indeed society/human-commerce are a very sloppy somewhat chaotic living system. The question in my mind is whether we have tapped out our potential as a high-level living-system? Have we reach the hull speed of human evolutionary biology in this regard ?There is a pivotal difference between lower level instantiations of living-systems and human society viewed as a living-system.Both the kidney or its substrate living system “the cell” are not introspectively self-aware. They cannot visualize themselves as participants in an organized system larger/more-complex than themselves as we do.The question is whether that key difference undermines that emergent organic self-organizing dynamic that seems to play out as a statistical strange attractor towards evermore complexity/adaptive-awareness at all lower levels of living system ?Our introspective self-awareness is a double edged sword. It makes it possible for us to consciously organize social structures around an analogue of lower level living-system complexity successes, to consciously extract the reusables and apply them to human social structures/behaviours.But that same level of self-aware introspection make us each very volatile/unstable/unpredictable substrate components that can change attitudes/behaviour on a dime. That volatility may make us unsuitable for supporting that emergent organic self-organizing dynamic that seems to play out as a statistical strange attractor towards evermore complexity/adaptive-awareness at lower level living systems.Cells can organically emerge from their substrate atomic/molecular sub-components over time as a strictly statistical strange-attractor towards evermore complexity/adaptive-awareness all driven by self-reenforcing replication-probability feedback gradients. That requires stable atomic/molecular substrate component behaviour in order for that statistical complexity gradient to emerge over time. Atoms unlike people will not suddenly change their valence behaviours but people do! Cells could not have followed their emergent gradient if those underlying atomic valence behaviours were unstable/volatile over time.At the human social level emergent living-sytem complexity gradients must be driven by our collective proactive cognitive steerage. Our self-awareness has put a very heavy thumb on nature’s scale of purely low level statistical proability-feedback steerage. We are forced to consciously forge our own evolutionary social extension.That begs the question as to whether enough collective/proactive introspection can be mustered by human society as a substitute for that lower level purely statistical emergent complexity gradient/steerage ?The chances of getting a critical-mass of humans on that same very abstracted living-system worldview collaboration page would seem very bleak at this stage of the game.Hopefully internet App-interaction models are our seminal beach head into that emergent process of extending ourselves as a living-system.Hope I have not over condensed that into something incompressible. That being a bad habit of mine 🙂

          58. alg0rhythm

            Whoa. NO, not at all, appreciative of your systems thinking. I’m not sure that most people see themselves as part of a greater whole, other than local in groups, or larger groups, Redskins fans, or Republicans. I also don’t think that valence switches happen too often, more often it’s a gradual shift over time, as nature and nurture, hormonal changes and experience bring a more cohesive and self aware whole. I don’t think it will on it’s own, but it can, and needs to, and those in the know must begin doing a better job of building that infrastructure, creating that light that others will connect to. It also means not staying out of the fray, mixing it up, and fighting for those things… we’re not out of the competitive fighter takes all mode yet, and we all have shifts to make. Low income people aren’t the only ones with illusions- how much conversation is wasted on that cut top bracket taxes for prosperity line… I doubt propositions with so little evidence and so much counter evidence normally get funded by VC, and yet it is a dominant theme. Jay z said about all being each others crutches, no one would ever fall.App interactions are good, but I also think a macro example of Heisnberg’s principles… those systems existed before, biologically, and I think finding away to use them to enhance rather than replace our interactions and collective memory is going to be a challenge.

          59. SubstrateUndertow

            Its an edge router for the attention economy.

          60. Richard

            Fred, do you have a feel for the variable costs for live streaming for YouNOW?

          61. fredwilson

            i do not. but they have bootstrapped this business very capital efficiently

          62. pointsnfigures

            1000% agree. One of the first use cases I thought of when I started messing with it. Also, what if someone were to store vid on the blockchain and then charge for news stations to use it? They don’t need dedicated camera crews then.

    2. Lil Pong

      By the time you are 28, I am wondering if all these comments on avc will be heard on a live stream.no more text-commentsBy the way, we will get to know your age when we see you on live stream:-)

      1. thinkdisruptive

        One hopes not. Things that are read are more deeply understood, and more likely to be committed to long term memory. I’ll keep reading, regardless of what others do.

        1. Lil Pong

          Disagree. You will see the days/year to come when ‘reading’ will be considered a waste of time. I think live stream comments will actually be more interesting and debateful invoking live responses and opinions. More thoughtful than before

          1. thinkdisruptive

            Hopefully not in my life time. If that happens, it will be immensely destructive to society and thinking and learning. Suggest you research the impact of video on the brain versus what happens when you read. It will definitely not be more thoughtful.

          2. Lil Pong

            the invention of calculators defied all those principles with the powers of thinking.videos will start creating distinct perceptions for every individual than reading does. the powers of the brain are limitless and will be tapped in an altogether different way. the side effects of smoking/alchohol, for example, can better be elucidated with videos than putting it on paper.

          3. thinkdisruptive

            hypothesis does not bear up under scrutiny, but you’d have to READ the research to know that.

          4. Teren Botham

            just like things went from print to digital seamlessly, so will everything transform to videos and livestream.the baselines will be re-frontiered

          5. thinkdisruptive

            Based on what? No evidence suggest this (and your references are mismatched — print to digital is not the same as “everything transforms to video”).

          6. Teren Botham

            based on the technology. as they are saying now, technology is evolving so fast even god Himself can’t catch up.mismatched ? what made you think everything did not transform to video yet ?

          7. thinkdisruptive

            Technology doesn’t drive itself. I’m talking about human nature, the job to be done, the reason that people adopt things or don’t, and brain science. Video has zero chance of replacing reading. It serves a different purpose.re: everything transforming to video. Ummm — we’re typing responses here. “everything” is not video, and never will be.

          8. Teren Botham

            machine learning. it replaces a human interaction to the machine, if you will

          9. thinkdisruptive

            I doubt that any real people want to live that way.

          10. Teren Botham

            you will soon have a pet robot that is internet of everything and that will clear all your doubts away.intel is already making one and will be soon be mass-market for about $1500.

    3. Joe Cardillo

      Agree w/first part, disagree with second part. You won’t find me livestreaming my world. But I do think it has applications for a lot of people and will stick around as it is just another way to express the range of human identity. Does that mean we’ll give up reading and writing and just make eyes at each other all the time? I doubt it.

      1. Matt Kruza

        I honestly think it has a lot to do with insecurity and psychological neuroses of my generation (media driven!). I think shows like the bachelor, real world, Kardashians etc. (none of which I watch) have given people the screwed up impression that being famous (semi) and making money for basically having no skill is a cool thing to do. Hopefully long-term this dies down, which it will probably in 10 years at most once novelty of “the always on world” is shown to be pretty much usefull for long-term happiness or productivity

    4. phoneranger

      27? Young? Ha. It’s all uphill from here.

    5. haremonious

      I’m 25 and have always found reality TV to be completely vapid. The expansion of this kind of media is concerning to me too.

      1. Matt Kruza

        I think we may really be the “silent majority” of Nixon’s years…

        1. JLM

          .The “silent majority” was a term that Nixon used to describe the folks who were not involved in the anti-war protests of 1969. It has a very interesting history and connotation in American politics. It had a very clear age implication.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Matt Kruza

            Correct.. I knew very well what the silent majority was.. can’t tell if you are justifying me.. or trying to correct me? Care to clarify? I think I pretty much used the example perfectly… ie. what the “noise” you are hearing from the crowds is not what most people think.. just like my and this other poster’s point on reality tv… given our earlier discussion I get the impression you don’t think I really know my facts.. which I do.. so anyway.. not meaning to be contentious but certainly arching my back up a little bit (again, reading your comment it could be taken either way and just trying to level set so I know how to take your comments moving forward)

          2. JLM

            .Hahaha. Call down, Mattie, as a general proposition if I were taking you to task you would be able to figure it out. Promise.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. pointsnfigures

        I am 52. I have found it vapid too.

    6. Drew Meyers

      I have no interest in it either.

  7. markslater

    re-titled “USV has been in meerkat space for 3 years already….pffft” 😉

    1. fredwilson

      Or Josh was in it twenty years agoOr Justin.tv was in it eight years agoTiming in life is everything

      1. markslater

        i would say single most important thing – above execution!

  8. LIAD

    Continuing from yesterdays comments on doof.com, funny how people happy to live the the most intimate parts of their physical life in public but sharing a little honest emotion and opening up that way is deemed, currently, too far out there.Direction of travel is that will change. The future is already here. Just not equally distributed. Real names be proof.

  9. awaldstein

    Dunno FredI’ve been involved with this for over a decade. Every single time I was early. Perpetually so.Not sure that it is alive and well.It is forever interesting. Forever something that we want to be right. Forever something that I invariably forget that I did it before each time I do it again.Forever something that I want to believe is a natural behavior. And then it isn’t.If it was many to many not one to many maybe.If it was a baton that could be passed that linked a community together maybe.I have a buddy who is, I think, breaking some new ground here in a bold way if interested.

    1. JimHirshfield

      100M monthly visitors on YouNow. That’s more “is” than “isn’t”, right?

      1. awaldstein


    2. fredwilson

      I hear you Arnold. Been there done that myself. But what I see on YouNow and the numbers they are doing month after month after month tells me it may finally have come of age

      1. awaldstein

        setting aside time tonight to play with it.i want it to be so.

    1. fredwilson

      I stand corrected. It seems Josh was inspired by MTV!

  10. JimHirshfield

    I remember when they launched YouNow and what stuck with me was how it was like a live talent show (remember the Gong Show?) or open mic night, 24/7. Either they shifted the approach to be broader, or that’s just what stuck with me.

    1. aweissman

      or the community of users has made it what they want for themselves

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yesssss.(FWIW, I imagined you seeing this comment and tweeting, “Remember The Gong Show?”, as you tend to do with historical flotsam 😉

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Do you (or @aweissman:disqus) think that there’s an inherent message to the medium that has to be dealt with? E.g. 24/7 cable news has a certain approach simply because, well, because space. And because “and now this.”

          1. JimHirshfield

            You lost me. What’s up?

          2. Joe Cardillo

            Oh, I meant – a 24/7 stream of something seems to have some embedded messaging. Like, you’re always on so you’d better be ready to perform. Or with news, Everything is Important….even though both of those seem impossible / antithetical to some of what livestreaming is about when it’s built around a community. If that question makes sense?

          3. JimHirshfield

            I think you’re asking: is this art imitating life or life imitating art?And I say yes.

          4. thinkdisruptive

            The Truman Show on steroids.

          5. JimHirshfield

            The Truman Show is a good analogy for some of what’s happening on YouNow. The steroids part, not so much, as the subject of any channel is fully aware that they’re on live stream…and they’re not living in a fake world, albeit they might be acting differently as a result of being in front of an audience.

          6. thinkdisruptive

            People are not fully aware of being on Meerkat. That’s the big problem with it. No consent, and you can’t take it back. When you are aware, you do behave differently (Jersey Shore), which is why reality isn’t real on tv. When you aren’t aware, we call that voyeurism, invasive, mean-spirited, yecchhhy, etc.

          7. JimHirshfield

            OK. I thought we were talking about YouNow.As for Meerkat and the like, I don’t think they’ve introduced anything that didn’t already exist as regards proper etiquette or abiding by laws. IOW, cameras have existed for a long time.

          8. thinkdisruptive

            What it introduces is the same thing Napster introduced for music “sharing”. It fully evacuates the genie from the bottle. When everyone can do it, and everyone does do it, it changes behavior. The same as teenagers “sexting” — we always had laws about that sort of thing, but the laws become unenforceable 99% of the time.

          9. thinkdisruptive

            Yes. Absolutely. It pushes us in the direction of more shallow thinking, less considered action, more polish and packaging, less real content. “Reality tv” was never real. This will be less so, except when it is invasive and harmful.

          10. aweissman

            With respect to YouNow, I have always thought this service is closer to messaging than broadcasting, or even livestreaming. With YN, the medium is live video out, text messaging back in. And then, multiple communities form around this. Some are pefformances, some of sleeping, some of people just chatting, with strangers or a tribe they have formed there.Early on, with such a large mass of content, we struggled with how to organize it. The metaphor – and UI element to team used – was “channels.” About a year ago we took the channels out and now all that is needed for a broadcast is for a person to choose a hashtag (as I type this now some of the trending # as “sleepingsquad” “bored” “Malaysia” “lgbt” “dance” “musicians” and “ask”).When this change was made traffic skyrocketed. In hindsight it was simple, but giving the users the way to describe themselves what they were doing and how they described that, was the best way, and allowed the communities that were forming more room to form in ways they wanted

          11. Joe Cardillo

            That’s fascinating, thanks for the background. Reminds me of thing I was reading earlier that William wrote ( http://startupmanagement.or… ) …I’m convinced that a lot of community / social web is really about good constraints and creating just enough structure for people to do their own thing.

  11. Tim Daubenschuetz

    I feel like streaming is just a recent trending topic with the uprising of meerkat.We’ve been there so many times now…

  12. jeffyablon

    Fred, thanks for this. It rolled more than a few things together in my head (oy; like I need more of THAT).pieces:1) Recently, the traffic on a piece I wrote about YouNow back in January 2012 (http://answerguy.com/2012/0… has spiked considerably. I had no idea why; seems your porfolio baby is generating buzz.1a) YouNow morphed? I had no idea. Shame on me.2) Our new baby The WordPress Helpers (http://wordpress.answerguy.com — let’s see if anyone can guess why the subdomain in this link), is turning out to be a live-in-public odyssey I never considered. Last week, we ran an experiment: we bought a few Twitter likes to see what the ancillary effect would be. The largest one has nothing to do with additional follower count or engagement; our detractors have pointed out and re-tweeted what we did, and that activity has been larger than any other!”Live in public”, indeed.Funny thing is, I knew that “living in public” would matter, and we’re aiming for way more publicness. We’ve got ridiculous engagement figures (see either similarweb or alexa), but we need … MORRRRRRE … (in fact—shameless plug—Fred, I’d love to talk investment.But the whole “we live in public thing” … folks, this isn’t just a fad or an idea any more. EVERYTHING you do is “content” now. Embrace.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Re: that last point I’m not sure the average person on the web thinks or wants to think about their personal brand, followers, or what they do as content. Most of the people I know who don’t work in tech are pretty clear about that, although obviously a real answer there would require some mix of qual / quant data.

      1. jeffyablon

        Joe, of course they don’t. But at the same time they’ll voyeuristically watch others live that way <cough cough=”” …=”” kardashians=””>.Like I said in 1A above, I’m a little embarrassed that I missed the transformation, subtle though it was, of the original YouNow to what Fred invested in. But the original thing was less “real”; a talent show is just not as interesting as a complete shit-show.

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Ha, yeah…that one may be inaccessible to me, not an US Weekly or Kardashians consumer though I understand there’s significant pull there.

  13. Jan Schultink

    I am not sure. Live video is synchronous communication (like a phone call). The Internet was a huge success in creating asynchronous communication.For live streaming to work you need to arrange a big audience at an exact moment in time (like live TV). Celebrities with huge follower bases can do it, or location/event hash tags can do it (“watch #TheStonesInParis now”).The emergence of live video bloggers/artists/performers/teachers/preachers with a regular scheduled “broadcast” might be interesting.Live TV 2.0: “Everyday at 14:00 CET, watch AVC live”

    1. JimHirshfield

      Umm, yeah, I could reply to this now, in real time, but I think I’ll wait and reply tonight. #irony

      1. Jan Schultink

        Ooops, STREAM OVER. Missed it. Next time 🙂

        1. laurie kalmanson

          while you were away …

    2. fredwilson

      we learned that the hard way in turntable. being in a virtual club live listening to a DJ with hundreds of others was cool for a while and then became a distraction

      1. JaredMermey

        we tried to add the dimension of location to Venuing which were private networks for attendees of live events. With each dimension added, the net you cast becomes smaller and it becomes harder to reach critical mass for a truly social experience.I think you can safely go one dimension deep and need to be very strategic on how you pull off the second dimension if you try to make it work. Some dimensions as a pre-req to use include:- time (turntable)- geography (yik yak, nextdoor) – age (im sure it exists, just cant think of one off the top of my head)- gender (seen some things around dating geared to one sex or the other)The biggest networks seem to figure out a way to be dimensionless (FB, Twitter, Snapchat, IG) as a pre-req to use. They then figure out a way to own a content type or “atomic unit.”

        1. laurie kalmanson

          you can come and go at any time, asynchronously, and you can also interact live, right now

        2. Drew Meyers

          “location to Venuing which were private networks for attendees of live events”We’ve been working on connecting private networks by geography.. membership associations/affinity groups such as Peace Corps and Sigma Phi Epsilon — with hospitality exchange as the initial “why use it”. Location is a tough one to crack, no doubt.

          1. alg0rhythm

            For Venuing?

          2. JaredMermey

            “We’ve been working on connecting private networks by geography”Does by Geo mean Northeast or all the group members in a given room at one time? We tried the latter and found it difficult to garner critical mass for a social experience especially given our non-feed based UX.

          3. Drew Meyers

            As an example… helping a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon find all other alumni who live within 20 miles of Boston (where he lives). Or those who live in Nashville (place he’s traveling next) and willing to provide him a place to stay for that trip.https://itunes.apple.com/us

      2. kevando

        Turntable was just ahead of its time.I remember about 3 months before it shut down, I had a party in Chicago and my best friend had a house party in LA. We both joined the same private room in turntable and had the music play at both parties – so both parties had the same music playing. And party goers would update the playlist as the night went on, essentially DJing for the other party, too.No music service today compares to what turntable was. Not even close.

        1. fredwilson

          sadly i agree with you. i miss it every day

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Same here, Fred. Profoundly.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          So true. My musical world is impoverished sans Turntable.fm.Love your example. Can’t help but wonder how many possible uses for tt.fm were left undiscovered. But as I continue to learn in life, timing is everything.

  14. Joe Lazarus

    When can we tune in to the AVC YouNow broadcast?

    1. JimHirshfield

      I was thinking of streaming myself commenting on AVC, as a regular scheduled live show. Upvote if you’d watch that shiz.

      1. pointsnfigures

        maybe record video comments instead of typing?

        1. JimHirshfield

          Not a very elegant solution. Tested that years ago. Too time consuming. Too raw.

    2. fredwilson

      i think i’m more of a Twitter/Periscope guy. the YouNow audience is not my demo.

      1. JimHirshfield

        You can learn a lot from teenagers. Wait…you know that…been there, done that. 😉

      2. Joe Lazarus

        You bring your own audience.

        1. fredwilson

          i don’t know about that. i believe younow is bringing audience to the people who are broadcasting on their platform

          1. Joe Lazarus

            True. I meant you (Fred) specifically bring your own audience… meaning that AVC readers would tune in if you broadcast on YouNow even if they aren’t the best demo for that service.

  15. laurie kalmanson

    Yes yes yes yes. Movie theaters as performance spaces, streaming events happening live someplace else; live TV, all of it

  16. laurie kalmanson

    just checked, “we live in public” not avail for amazon instant movies and video. IRONIC

    1. JimHirshfield

      Likely because it’s not family-friendly. I think there’s full-on sexual acts on screen, if memory serves correctly.

      1. laurie kalmanson

        it’s not wayne’s world

        1. JimHirshfield

          party on

          1. laurie kalmanson


  17. Matt Zagaja

    This is going to be an especially fun sector for copyright attorneys.To wit, imagine Fred Wilson is in the shower singing Jim Hershfield’s hit song “Connecticut State of Mind”. Fred broadcasts this on YouNow. Jim is not a member of ASCAP and thus YouNow and Fred do not have a license for the performing rights. Fred’s YouNow stream explodes and lots of people pay to subscribe to his stream. Now Jim sues Fred because he wants a piece of the action.Or imagine William is visiting NYC and heads to Broadway to see the hit show Spiderman. He broadcasts it on YouNow. World famous actor LE is in the show and learns that his likeness was used and has substantially boosted YouNow’s viewership and advertising revenue.Yes I’m available ;).

    1. JimHirshfield

      Please remove the visual in my head of Fred singing a song I wrote in the shower.#nevergoingaway

      1. LE

        You hassle me about getting your name wrong but you did not correct him. You need to be consistent.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Thank you, enforcer. Duly noted and cease and desist notice issued to @mzagaja:disqus

    2. LE

      World famous actor LE is in the showNo! I’m the behind the scenes guy, I am the agent that’s what I want to be.

    3. JimHirshfield

      Spell it right OR get out of Fred’s shower.I may have to sick @domainregistry:disqus after you.

    4. William Mougayar

      that’s interesting :)I want to watch that Cashier guy on YouNow.

  18. Steven Kane

    total respect and admiration for the life and work of mr harris – but, as groundbreaking and original and smart as his work was/is, in no way did any of that predate reality TV. arguably, game shows are the original reality tv, and such launched basically the same day commercial TV itself launched. games shows are now and have always been a mainstay of video entertainment. more narrowly, the famous “An American Family” aired on PBS in 1973 and the then-much-derided “The Real World” debuted on MTV in 1992. The phrase “reality TV” is relatively new; the genre is as old as the NTSC hills.

    1. fredwilson

      you are the second one in this thread to correct me on that and i do stand corrrected. i was dead wrong about that. it seems that Josh was influenced by TV, of course.

  19. lisa hickey

    Believe it or not, it wasn’t all that long ago (in the scheme of things) that FB had changed its status updates to public and people were outraged at the idea of people making their life public. There were all the same privacy concerns, only people egotistical will do it concerns and how could that possibly be interesting concerns. Clive Thompson had written about what happened next in an article in the NYTimes. And he described something called “ambient awareness”, like a form of ESP. I had been so taken with that description because seeing status updates of people I knew or only sort of knew was life-changing to me—when I then got together with those people in real life, conversations were so much easier, because I didn’t have to “catch up” on what was going on with their lives. I just knew. I was a part of their lives virtually in ways I hadn’t been before. And now, of course, a FB status update is just an status update, rarely considered a life changer or worthy of outrage.So when I think about live-streaming, I see it in the same way. What events would make social situations more social? Life streaming parties, weddings, other events for example, so people from all over can feel they are participating. Or…lets think of the opposite case…as our population ages and the elderly get more isolated. Could live streaming change the way we perceive the oldest members of our society by giving people access to them they didn’t have before? I’ve been thinking about live streaming some of our work conference calls, because they are often used to teach leadership skills and I think seeing how that happens in real time could be helpful. Really getting inside the inner workings of something interesting will actually be interesting. And…yes, celebrities who are tired of a carefully crafted ‘image’ and just want to be allowed to be human. Usage will shift as people discover use cases that actually create change.Think of how long it social networks to shed their “but nobody knows what you are eating for breakfast image.” Lifestreaming is still in that “nobody cares” stage. But I’m going to bet they will.

    1. thinkdisruptive

      Pendulums swing. The pendulum has swung too far (and will likely go further, because it always exceeds the acceptable norms before swinging back), and it will go the other direction. Soon. Meerkat will be one of the things that causes the pendulum to swing back.

  20. gregorylent

    chris prillo, first i knew to do this

  21. laurie kalmanson

    this post sent me waaaaay down the rabbit holeone of the first categories of things i remember from the early internet was all the “continuously refreshing” cams: fish cam, gizmo that let you water a plant, a coke machinehttps://www.cs.cmu.edu/~cok…not so long ago: shiba inu puppycam; for a while, i tuned in often to a long running hummingbird camand, of course, those patient scandinavians: the norwegian reality tv show about birdshttp://www.vice.com/en_se/r…cable tv local access was at one point predicted to be the everyone-has-a-channel live stream medium; wayne’s world is about the best thing that came out of thatalso, briefly; live comments crawling on mtvrelated: nyu hawk cam: live from the nesthttp://www.nyu.edu/sustaina…people want to communicate; media can now be two-way; how can it be monetized?http://en.wikipedia.org/wikhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wik

    1. pointsnfigures

      love the hawk cam!

  22. LE

    In the We Live In Public project, Josh put cameras all over his loft apartment in NYC and livestreamed his and his girlfriend’s everyday life, which ultimately led to their breakup.Who can forget Jennifer Ringly?http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…On April 3, 1996, during her junior year at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the 19-year-old Ringley installed a webcam in her college dorm room, and provided images from that cam on a webpage[12] The webpage would automatically refresh every three minutes with the most recent picture from the camera. Anyone with Internet access could observe the often mundane events of Ringley’s life. JenniCam was one of the first web sites that continuously and voluntarily surveyed a private life. Her first webcam contained only black-and-white images of her in the dorm room.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Alex Goldman did a great podcast on that, and interview w/her http://gimletmedia.com/epis… (a lot of it is just fascinating to hear about, but there are a couple of interesting nuggets in there that relate to the larger conversation around how / if live video streaming is sustainable)

  23. Rob Underwood

    My favorite live stream is “The Occulounge”. It’s a two night a week jazz/electronica show at 10pm ET on Wednesdays and Saturdays. See http://www.ustream.tv/chann… (Replays of previous shows are also posted there — this past Saturday was great).

    1. David Intrator

      @Rob Underwood–Glad you dig the OccuLounge. Thought I’d give a little bit of the back story and share some of what I’ve experienced along the way.I’ve been live-streaming the OccuLounge since last July. In certain ways it’s been a big success; in other ways a bust.What I do at the OccuLounge is improvise on the tenor saxophone over chill electronica and jazz tracks.http://www.ustream.tv/chann…The intention of the show is twofold: 1) to offer high-quality live music making 2) to engender a sense of community.The OccuLounge, as its name suggests, was inspired by my experience at Occupy Wall Street. For two months straight I jammed with Occupy’s infamous drum circles. As a heavily trained classical and jazz musician, I have to admit that the quality of the music-making at OWS was uneven, to say the least.But what I rediscovered during that time at Zuccotti Park was that music is first and foremost a social activity. Unless you’re connecting with people, and they’re connecting with one another, nothing is really happening. Moreover, we were creating music in an unbranded, uncommercial space. The music was not a product, but a condition.I’ve tried to recreate that vibe at the OccuLounge. And as I said, I’ve had some success. In terms of the music itself, I couldn’t be more satisfied.But growing an audience has been challenging. I’m happy to say I’ve now got a small but intensely loyal group of Loungers who attend regularly and stay for most if not the whole hour. And I get many more who listen to and view the recorded shows.The audience is essentially educated adult professionals, the kind of people who read books and drink wine. And what they seem to like about the Lounge is the sense of peace it delivers. Some view it as a kind of therapy. Others as an escape.Getting new people on board, however, is tough. I post regularly on Facebook, tweet, post recordings on LinkedIn— but it seems to have little effect. I’ve even invested in boosting my FB posts to targeted audiences, and although I’ll get a number of likes, few if any of these people appear at the shows.I’ve also tried out a variety of brand positionings over the months, framing the show as something for wine lovers, or for stoners, or for coders, or for new-agers, or even for insomniacs, but nothing seems to move the dial.The good news is that I’ve recently moved to an email list in which I alert people a few hours before the show and once again 15 minutes before. This has helped attendance among those who are already aware of the Lounge.When I do get new viewers it’s usually through word-of-mouth that happens via emails or in the real world. The increase in viewership is quite slow, but when someone new is attracted to the Lounge in this more organic way, they usually become a loyal follower.What’s perplexing, if not disappointing, however, is the lack of sociabiilty on the part of the viewers themselves. Performing online is a strange experience. You’re alone in front of a camera doing your thing. As a musician, you need some sort of feedback in order to play your best. I openly request this of the Loungers both during the show and beforehand in the email alerts. I gently mention that it helps me play when I can picture the people out there, and so I ask them to come on the social stream and say a simple hello. A few do. Most don’t. This still remains a mystery to me.To be honest, at times I’ve thought of scrapping the whole project. Like so many of us I too am afflicted by the lure of celebrity and would love nothing more (or so I think) than attracting a huge audience of adoring fans, and chances are that’s not going to happen with the OccuLounge.But on a musical level I’ve never felt more engaged. And there are people who are genuinely into it, who do get on the social stream and who write to me to show their appreciation. It’s deeply satisfying.Perhaps the OccuLounge will never be a big hit.But I’ve created an online space where something beautiful happens twice a week.Not bad.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Not a huge sax fan, but I think it’s really cool what you’re doing. You just got another listener.

        1. David Intrator

          Well, I hope The OccuLounge might change how you hear the sax. I come out of classical (was an orchestral bassoonist for a while). My whole approach is a bit more lyrical than the guys that come out of jazz alone or out of rock ‘n roll. Pleasure to meet you, Dave, and I look forward to playing for you.

        2. David Intrator

          And btw, Dave, if you want to be on the email list, just shoot me an email at [email protected] with your email address and you’ll get alerts before the shows. Tnx.

  24. pointsnfigures

    someone will figure out a way to overlay live video, save it to the blockchain and monetize it in some way.

    1. laurie kalmanson

      pay per view w btc, sure, why not?

  25. William Mougayar

    As Howard Lindzon aptly observed in his blog, “how did Google Hangout miss the Meerkat thing”?Ethereum who is globally spread is doing an experiment with Google Hangouts, where any developer connects to a session with video and audio Off, and it’s like learning by eavesdropping on other work sessions. So it’s live streaming with a purpose..https://blog.ethereum.org/2

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Doubly surprising considering Google has a pretty intense, flawless version of hangouts internally where one touch gets anyone you want into a video chat (which I’ve heard may be setting up shop as a paid corporate product but who knows).

  26. Twain Twain

    Example of ROI in live streaming, Amazon acquisition of Twitch:* http://www.wsj.com/articles…Specificity of audience versus general population.

  27. ShanaC

    I remember being so freaked out by that movie. The gunshots.That said, we do live in a form of public we never did before. which goes to this question that I see all the time – how much are well all secretly hedging ourselves, because of judging? Is there such think as authentic?

    1. Joe Cardillo

      I wonder about that a lot = I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with it. I don’t really subscribe to the idea of personal branding, but it’s hard to avoid – the tendency to optimize / standardize / limit what you say and do because you’ve got an audience, I think that’s a problem with some depth. For me it’s been mitigated because I am also a musician and write a lot, so that helps give me perspective. But I’ve put up that too critical web comment that on reflection made me uncomfortable. Heck, I’ve done it here on AVC… to someone a few weeks ago and I felt so weird that I ended up calling them and apologizing. Jess and I dug into the phenomenon here, too https://medium.com/treatise… (it’s a long read)

  28. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I almost can’t remember a time before “reality” tv ;-)There’s a great moment in “Hearts of Darkness,” (1991) the documentary about the making of “Apocalypse Now” where Coppola talks about how he envisions the day when the 12 year old kid in Ohio (somewhere like that) can make her own film because all the technology and distribution is accessible. We’re there. http://www.imdb.com/title/t

  29. sachmo

    I just checked out YouNow and I have to say the experience was incredibly weird. It seemed like it was teenagers trying to figure out how to chat with each other and a lot of other teenagers just watching. I think I’d really hate to be a teenager growing up in this decade navigating all of this nonsense.Also a lot of people talking about extremely mundane stuff (i.e. ‘should i get the iphone6?)… to literally hundreds of viewers.Maybe I’m just being pessimistic here, but I feel like a service like this could not be successful in a society where many people did not feel lonely and or disconnected… There’s just no other reason you’d regularly tune in.I’m sure many will argue how this technology all makes us more connected… blah blah blah… but unless it facilitates or in some way augments in-person interactions, I’m not so sure.