Lifecasting comes naturally to today’s youths, who are used to living their lives in public, posting details of every hookup and breakup on their Facebook or MySpace pages. Anyone with a laptop, webcam and Internet connection can do it. As with any new medium, people are trying to figure out the rules of etiquette. The budding phenomenon raises questions about the privacy of people who may not want to appear in the live streams, as well as copyright implications of, for example, broadcasting music that’s playing in the background. But companies such as Los Angeles-based Ustream, which powers Gnant’s webcast, and Justin.tv in San Francisco are racing to become the dominant purveyor of such live, unfiltered programs. In the last year, the technology behind live streaming has become so cheap that start-ups such as Mogulus, MyStreams and Veodia can afford to give it away in hopes that they can make money through the mainstays of TV’s reality shows: advertising and product placement.
Excerpt from Welcome to their world — all of it, from the Los Angeles Times (free password req’d)
A short overview of Lifecasting is available from the UK Times Online.
Previously from WNM: Mommy blogest
The nation-state of Sierra Leone crumbled during the 1990s. A decade-long civil war destroyed the state and brutalized the national imaginings. Despite the lack of institutional structure, some members of its society chose to keep the nation alive through discourse on a listserv, an email forum called Leonenet. Using a multi-methodological approach that incorporated content analysis, interviews with cultural informants, ethnography and participant observation, the findings of the study reported in this article indicate that list members had created a virtual nation, defined as any community that communicates in cyberspace, whose collective discourse and/or actions are aimed towards the building, binding, maintenance, rebuilding or rebinding of a nation. Leonenet was a diasporic communicative space where Sierra Leone’s state-related symbols were generated and then held in conceptual escrow, waiting for the institutional structure to return.
Abstract from Robert Tynes’ Nation-building and the diaspora on Leonenet: a case of Sierra Leone in cyberspace from the journal of New Media & Society
Cyberchondriacs are not only using the Internet to educate themselves, many are also using it to assist in their conversations with their physicians. A 58 percent majority of adults who have gone online to get health information say that they have discussed this information with their doctors at least once in the last year. Furthermore, more than half (55%) of cyberchondriacs have searched for health information based on discussions with their doctors.
More from Harris Interactive and commentary at Ars
This article discusses the growing trend towards ‘lay’ people accessing information about health from the internet. Surveying the major studies of online health consumption, I argue that this phenomenon can be seen as a marker of a broader shift in focus within public health discourse and the popular media on health as an individual ‘lifestyle’ issue. Despite this cultural shift, the medical debate over online health consumption has been largely negative, viewing the internet as an unruly and unregulated space of mis-information and lay web users as potential victims of ‘cyberquackery’. In contrast to this reductive account, I discuss a qualitative study I conducted into young people’s use of the internet for health material that showed they are often highly sceptical consumers of online health material. Furthermore, the study found that the kinds of health material young people access is informed by issues of social positionality or ‘health habitus’ complicating individualistic notions of lifestyle ‘choice’.
Abstract from Tania Lewis’ Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria? in the journal of Media, Culture & Society
“(Online counseling) teaches clients to be aware of what’s coming out of their mouths, what they’re feeling and thinking, their wholeness and whole bodies,” Mankita said. “It’s an exciting and empowering thing that we haven’t done in the past (in person) the way we can with text. Text is really powerful.” Online therapy is particularly suited to sex and relationship work, especially for clients who crave a layer of anonymity we can’t get by going through our insurance companies or driving to an office. And clients can seek matches based on compatibility rather than proximity.
Read this item from WIRED’s Regina Lynn