Justin Kan Vlogs 24/7 at Justin.tv

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By JAKE COYLE
The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 28, 2007; 5:01 PM

-- Justin Kan has strapped a camera to the side of his head, and he won't turn it off.

For over a week, Kan has been video blogging nonstop, 24/7. Everything he does (including going to the bathroom) streams live on http://www.Justin.tv, where his phone number is posted for fans to call him and a chat room facilitates discussion.

He calls it "lifecasting."

"I've always had the theory that people like watching people," Kan, a 23-year-old Yale graduate, told The Associated Press in an interview over the phone from his San Francisco apartment _ and broadcast on Justin.tv, naturally.

The experiment might recall movies like "EDtv" or "The Truman Show." After going live around the stroke of midnight on March 19, the site promptly attracted attention thanks to coverage from blogs. Kan, who runs Justin.tv with three friends, tested the site privately for more than two months, he says.

Except for when he's sleeping, Kan is rarely on camera himself _ we simply see from his perspective. It's a commercial enterprise and has several sponsors, including Zipcar, the unique car rental system, and Bawls Guarana, an energy drink he guzzles.

Kan generally goes about his life as he would normally. In a fittingly postmodern twist, you often are watching him run Justin.tv. It has made him more active, though, he says. The site lists his schedule for the day, which often consists of meeting with various tech companies to learn how they do things.

"One of the ideas for Justin.tv was that it would force me to go out and be sociable and talk to people," says Kan, whose last venture was a calendar Web site named Kiko. "Our last company was really just four dudes sitting in a dark apartment coding all day."

There have been some surprises already. Kan says his two phones have been "destroyed" by heavy volume and he doesn't go a day without a viewer asking him to go to a strip club.

On March 21, Kan and company were pranked when someone reported a stabbing at his apartment and made it appear that the call came from Kan's phone. Police arrived about 2 a.m. with guns drawn _ all of which could be seen on Justin.tv. The next day, a fire was reported, and the authorities have since decided to confirm any emergency reported at Kan's apartment.

Generally, watching Kan's life is quite boring, but nevertheless oddly mesmerizing.

Kan believes he has a special opportunity to live "an open life," and says the experience has made him more positive. It's hard to lie or talk behind someone's back when it's visible for everyone to see.

The lack of privacy doesn't bother Kan, whose lone refuge is instant messaging, which can't be read given the low resolution of the broadcast. He says his very public life is "reflective of a cultural change" in a generation that posts its biographies on MySpace and bedroom musings on YouTube.

He doesn't plan to stop anytime soon; next on the agenda: find a date.

"I actually want to go out and try to date girls," Kan says, adding, "I mean, ones who want to be on camera."

___

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: "I (Heart) Huckabees" Blowup

Last week, video of the well-known blowup between director David O. Russell and actress Lily Tomlin on the set of 2004's "I (Heart) Huckabees" surfaced on YouTube. The video made its way around Hollywood talent agencies back in 2003, but the recent YouTube postings (which can be found by searching "Lily Tomlin" or "David O. Russell") make the clips available for public amusement. The tirade is almost perfect: multiple entrances, fleeing crew, witty comebacks. The best might be watching Jason Schwartzman, who hardly moves throughout the ordeal.

___

EDITOR'S NOTE _ What's your favorite Web site? E-mail AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle at fcoyle(at)ap.org


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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