Why Kyte.tv is better than life streaming

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You might have heard the hype about Justin.tv. He’s the kid in San Francisco who wears a live streaming camera. Now he’s getting other people to wear them too. I saw Brian Solis with one and more are coming. Chris Pirillo is using competing network Ustream.tv to do a live video show. It’s most excellent, to tell you the truth. Justin is fun to watch once in a while too, especially when he gets access to events that we can’t get access to like Tim O’Reilly’s Foocamp which happened last weekend. There’s also live streaming Veodia (I have a video with them on ScobleShow), Blogtv.com, and a few others coming. Jennifer Jones has an interview with one of the Ustream founders that’s worth a listen to if you care about this stuff.

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But, and it’s a big but, these services will never get a huge number of people using them. Why not?

Cause most people don’t want to look like a dork wearing a camera and carying a backpack full of gear and making sure that you’re broadcasting properly and all that. I know, I tried it.

Here’s some problems with the live streaming, otherwise known as “life streaming.”

1) Most people don’t like being on live TV. I noticed this when I did my own live streaming shows. Aim a camera at some people and they’ll be nice for a few minutes, but won’t be half as interesting on camera as they are off, and they almost always tell me afterward that they didn’t appreciate having a live camera shoved in their face. One guy, while I was standing around at Supernova, told me that if I invited Justin over while we were talking that he’d stop talking to me.
2) Most people’s lives are 99% boring. Even mine. I’m sitting here typing on a computer. You want to watch THAT? Really? I don’t think so.
3) If you care about your audience and care about building it you’ll start “spicing up” the boring parts of your life. That leads to abnormal behavior. This works for Chris Pirillo because, well, he’s abnormal when the camera ISN’T on. Just kidding Chris, bu I think he’d agree that he’s pretty damn energetic all the time.
4) Most people just want to share a few seconds of their kids with their friends on a video service.

Embedded here is a look at Kyte and an interview I did with the CEO/Founder.

The problem with Kyte is that it’s too hard to figure out how to use. Why do I need to click on a button called “Produce on this Channel” and then drag a video camera onto the TV screen just to get to the point where I can record my own video? From this aspect Ustream and Justin.tv’s platform are way ahead of Kyte.

But, I think Kyte will figure out that simplicity matters and then you’ll see Kyte pass right by the live video streaming folks.

This is why I think Kyte.tv is going to be the way that most of us share video on the Internet in a “live/interactive” way (which is what separates it from YouTube). But, I might be wrong. Maybe we’ll all join the borg and the Justin.TV revolution. What do you think?

Comments

  1. Once the hardware for live 24/7 video streaming becomes very inexpensive and ergonomically pleasing I think the vast majority of people will go for it. But the reasons why won’t involve sharing our lives – there’ll be more reasons.

    All muggings could be caught on video as they happen – this would reduce random violent crime and make it easier to catch criminals.

    All conversations could be recorded and called up later.

    All interaction with “authorities” would be recorded forcing them to treat you with respect at all times. Note the recent rash of YouTube videos showing violent and disrespectful cops. With live video streaming they’d be more accountable.

    I’d start wearing right now if the price was right and I wouldn’t look like a Stephenson Gargoyle.

    In the end I think the benefits will outweigh the considerable concerns…

  2. Once the hardware for live 24/7 video streaming becomes very inexpensive and ergonomically pleasing I think the vast majority of people will go for it. But the reasons why won’t involve sharing our lives – there’ll be more reasons.

    All muggings could be caught on video as they happen – this would reduce random violent crime and make it easier to catch criminals.

    All conversations could be recorded and called up later.

    All interaction with “authorities” would be recorded forcing them to treat you with respect at all times. Note the recent rash of YouTube videos showing violent and disrespectful cops. With live video streaming they’d be more accountable.

    I’d start wearing right now if the price was right and I wouldn’t look like a Stephenson Gargoyle.

    In the end I think the benefits will outweigh the considerable concerns…

  3. I tried to use Kyte other day and when I tried to use my Isight cam on the MacBook I couldn’t get it to work. Then when I tried to transfer the video from IChat to Kyte, Kyte lost most of it. What am I doing wrong?

  4. I tried to use Kyte other day and when I tried to use my Isight cam on the MacBook I couldn’t get it to work. Then when I tried to transfer the video from IChat to Kyte, Kyte lost most of it. What am I doing wrong?

  5. Robert, I’ve been watching my buddy orcmid on kyte.tv — it’s been interesting. He’s been documenting his lived experience of it and that in itself is informative.

    But I have two comments that come to mind when I read this post. First, you show two videos that require a total of 25 minutes of time to watch. This is my big beef with video — it’s a very inefficient mode of information exchange. Reading is so much faster (at least for me).

    And second, when you write that “most people’s lives are 99% boring” I think you pretty much write-off everyone’s lived experience — mine included. I get that it doesn’t seem very interesting to watch people type. But have you stopped by a construction site and watched people work? Or just watched the bartender in the local gin-mill do her thing? Really watching human activity can be very interesting. It just so happens that when I am paying attention to what’s in front of me, e.g., like typing this note, my experience is not boring at all. And if I step back and reflect on it, watching others type can be pretty much amazing. So while you have a point here, I think you’re also missing a point as well.

    -Bill A

  6. Robert, I’ve been watching my buddy orcmid on kyte.tv — it’s been interesting. He’s been documenting his lived experience of it and that in itself is informative.

    But I have two comments that come to mind when I read this post. First, you show two videos that require a total of 25 minutes of time to watch. This is my big beef with video — it’s a very inefficient mode of information exchange. Reading is so much faster (at least for me).

    And second, when you write that “most people’s lives are 99% boring” I think you pretty much write-off everyone’s lived experience — mine included. I get that it doesn’t seem very interesting to watch people type. But have you stopped by a construction site and watched people work? Or just watched the bartender in the local gin-mill do her thing? Really watching human activity can be very interesting. It just so happens that when I am paying attention to what’s in front of me, e.g., like typing this note, my experience is not boring at all. And if I step back and reflect on it, watching others type can be pretty much amazing. So while you have a point here, I think you’re also missing a point as well.

    -Bill A

  7. A question: Do any of these services offer a decent option for reporters (I’m thinking of newspaper folks, since I am one) covering live news events? An important press conference, say, or live coverage from the scene of a breaking news event? Right now, we shoot a lot of video. But without a pretty hefty investment in equipment, we can’t compete with local TV news on live stuff, even though we’ve got legions more reporters than they do. Thoughts?

  8. A question: Do any of these services offer a decent option for reporters (I’m thinking of newspaper folks, since I am one) covering live news events? An important press conference, say, or live coverage from the scene of a breaking news event? Right now, we shoot a lot of video. But without a pretty hefty investment in equipment, we can’t compete with local TV news on live stuff, even though we’ve got legions more reporters than they do. Thoughts?

  9. The interaction is what makes these new shows unique. When I did my live streaming shows, I let the audience craft the direction of the show, ask questions, tell me where to go.

    THEY were as much as a part of the show as I was, and that’s the difference.

    Live Streaming = Web Cam + Chat room + Real time (and that’s what’s unique)

  10. The interaction is what makes these new shows unique. When I did my live streaming shows, I let the audience craft the direction of the show, ask questions, tell me where to go.

    THEY were as much as a part of the show as I was, and that’s the difference.

    Live Streaming = Web Cam + Chat room + Real time (and that’s what’s unique)

  11. Hey Robert. I used USTREAM at the NFL Draft and think that’s the best venue for it. Where I’m a bit less than hyped about USTREAM is in customer service and business development. They’re not willing to really get out of their box and explore — or at least pay money to have this done. The other main problem is that the customer service response times were slow. That must change. In short I don’t think they have any idea of the real potential of their system. It’s vast and it’s current website design will not get it there.

  12. Hey Robert. I used USTREAM at the NFL Draft and think that’s the best venue for it. Where I’m a bit less than hyped about USTREAM is in customer service and business development. They’re not willing to really get out of their box and explore — or at least pay money to have this done. The other main problem is that the customer service response times were slow. That must change. In short I don’t think they have any idea of the real potential of their system. It’s vast and it’s current website design will not get it there.

  13. Robert,

    As a few folks have indicated, the key to live is interactivity. But it’s tough to be interactive all the time. It’s hard to be “on camera” around the clock, and I do believe that this will limit the appeal of lifecasting.

    Nonetheless, I think that everyone has some use cases in their lives for live video, and that all those 1-hour, 2-hour, or even 5-minute videos will add up over time.

    The trick is finding a way to highlight the interesting live experiences!

    –Chris Yeh, Ustream CEO

    P.S. Zennie is absolutely right that we need to do more with our Web site and service. We’re definitely not content to rest on our (modest) laurels.

  14. Robert,

    As a few folks have indicated, the key to live is interactivity. But it’s tough to be interactive all the time. It’s hard to be “on camera” around the clock, and I do believe that this will limit the appeal of lifecasting.

    Nonetheless, I think that everyone has some use cases in their lives for live video, and that all those 1-hour, 2-hour, or even 5-minute videos will add up over time.

    The trick is finding a way to highlight the interesting live experiences!

    –Chris Yeh, Ustream CEO

    P.S. Zennie is absolutely right that we need to do more with our Web site and service. We’re definitely not content to rest on our (modest) laurels.

  15. [...] several times since to create video’s and slide shows for family and friends. Scoble has a very informed post and interview with the folks at Kyte. This platform is becoming a consumer generated media (CGM) [...]

  16. Robert,

    This whole idea of leading an always-on life is nothing new. There’s been movies and tv shows about it. But it’s just now becoming possible for the random individual. I agree that it’s fascinating, but I have yet to find a way to do it consistently.

    I also agree with Bill that while someone’s life may not be interesting enough to get the ratings on TV, it’s interesting to someone.

    However, for the time being, I think that it’s better to just use clips rather than live streaming. That is, until the tools improve. I have Kyte on my N95 and like you said, I have yet to figure out how to start streaming, much less anything else.

  17. Robert,

    This whole idea of leading an always-on life is nothing new. There’s been movies and tv shows about it. But it’s just now becoming possible for the random individual. I agree that it’s fascinating, but I have yet to find a way to do it consistently.

    I also agree with Bill that while someone’s life may not be interesting enough to get the ratings on TV, it’s interesting to someone.

    However, for the time being, I think that it’s better to just use clips rather than live streaming. That is, until the tools improve. I have Kyte on my N95 and like you said, I have yet to figure out how to start streaming, much less anything else.

  18. Does anybody know of any forum or support groups where lifecasting life streaming online people hang out to share information about hardwares and softwares to use?

    I am having a super hard time finding likeminded people.

    I am asking this question at the following forum and so far nobody has managed to answer my question:
    http://ask.metafilter.com/65823/Do-you-know-of-any-forum-or-support-groups-where-lifecasting-life-streaming-online-people-hang-out-to-share-information

    Please help . Thanks a million.

  19. Does anybody know of any forum or support groups where lifecasting life streaming online people hang out to share information about hardwares and softwares to use?

    I am having a super hard time finding likeminded people.

    I am asking this question at the following forum and so far nobody has managed to answer my question:
    http://ask.metafilter.com/65823/Do-you-know-of-any-forum-or-support-groups-where-lifecasting-life-streaming-online-people-hang-out-to-share-information

    Please help . Thanks a million.