Just In Case

Justin Kan wants you to watch. Everything. And I mean everything. He's the guy behind Justin.tv, which is a postmodern, surreal and mildly entertaining site that broadcasts his every move, 24 hours a day, 7 days week. (I know what you're thinking: Yes, even when he goes to the bathroom.) It's all done with a camera attached to his head and a laptop, and in odd mirror-in-mirror moments you see him working on the Justin.tv site or chatting with viewers.

Justin encourages people to write messages and make suggestions, and at one point he even allowed people to call him on his cell phone, but that apparently got too popular. (He says he gets a lot of requests to visit a strip club.) He's a Yale graduate and enlisted a few friends or "cast members" to help run the operation, which he calls "lifecasting." A couple of sponsors help him fund the project. Two weeks into it, he's getting national attention and I suspect his video feeds will suffer as a result, though he soldiers on. It's very "EdTV" or "Truman Show."

Hasn't all this blogging and podcasting and MySpace-ing and YouTube-ing and online exposure and soul-baring personal insight gone just a wee bit too far? Isn't this simply a high-tech novelty act? The motto on Justin.tv is: "Waste your life watching other people waste their lives." While it's a somewhat intriguing social experiment, I'm tempted to agree.

The problem is, I can't stop watching.