Veronica on Qik: I’ll try to be more exciting, I promise

The folks over at Qik were kind enough to outfit me with a Nokia N95, so I could test out their service. I’ve been quasi-resistant to lifecasting of any kind, for a few reasons:

1. My days are typically very boring.
2. I feel bad shoving a camera into people’s faces and streaming them.
3. You wouldn’t like me anymore if you knew just how frequently I speak to my cats.

Jason and Scoble seem to find no end to the things they want to share with the Qik (and by proxy, Twitter communities), but I find myself hesitant to turn on the camera. After some brainstorming, here are some applications that I could see Qik being useful for:

1. Clothes shopping — If I’m out shopping, and I can’t decide which shirt or shoes to pick, why not let the live audience help? I mean, they’re the ones that have to look at the outfit on camera later anyway, right?
2. Company on public transportation — As if there aren’t enough crazies on SF Muni, let’s add one more (me) talking AT my phone (instead of on it) during my commute.
3. Instant support group — If one of my girlfriends is having man trouble, it would be nice to have another hundred or so people to back me up at any given moment to say “Dump the loser!”

I’m only half kidding on some of those. What value do you guys get out of lifecasting? Why is it so popular? Maybe because it’s like reality TV, but without all the convinient editing? I’ve tried a few other services, and none of them have been compelling enough for me to continue to use them. The mobility factor with Qik is a definite plus, so maybe that will help.

34 thoughts on “Veronica on Qik: I’ll try to be more exciting, I promise

  1. So wait, does the Qik RSS feed just update after you’ve finished streaming live, or will it send me an update when you start broadcasting?

  2. HAHA — Veronica, if the World knew how much my wife and I spoke to our cats, we’d be completely outcast from Earth.

    Maybe on to a more cat-speaking-friendly alternate universe, called CatEarth2.

  3. As long as you don’t spam your twitter with “I’m streaming now!” like some person I’m following to try and win a MacBook Air who shall remain unnamed.

  4. Glugory, I’m not sure! It probably will send it out after. But Twitter will alert you to the live stream.

  5. I didn’t watch any of the real-time streaming videos until Scoble was at the Google event last week that announced Google App Engine. That was a particularly useful way to use it because not only could us outsiders see and hear what was going on, but we could ask questions of Scoble and he’d answer us in a variety of different ways.

    That’s not really “lifecasting” though — but I found it very useful and valuable.

  6. You know I LOVE Qik! I have been using it for a few months on my N95, and it is so Johnny on the spot for things you want to film it’s incredible! You know even if someone comes and smashed your camera for filming them, that it has been send over to the Qik site safe and sound! Look me up! “Gorilla72″ on Qik.

  7. event-based qik videos when there is date/time sensitive information is going to be the advantage. Take for instance the protests in the city early in the month which were the perfect use-case example of timely content. High-cost to get a helicopter up in the air to follow the torch.

  8. You know, I got an N95 because I thought that lifestreaming would be cool, but then after I got one I realized that my life really isn’t that interesting. I guess it would be cool to archive my own stuff for myself, but other’s couldn’t care less about what I’m doing “right now”.

    Maybe if this new podcast gets off the ground I’ll have something more substantial to say, but do I need to say it from the road?

    I like your ideas though. The technology behind real-time feedback still impresses me.

  9. I’m not a big fan of lifecasting. But if I’ll follow one, I’ll definitely follow yours.

    As a girl fascinated with technology, I always wonder what you do on the daily basis. You may think your life is boring, but you have to remember most of us have got it worse.

    Personally I’d love to see what you do behind the scenes. How you prepare for interviews, mahalo daily; how you set up your work environment; what’s your workflow (email, blog, photos..).

    Veronica, your life is a lot more interesting than you think. And yes, I’d love to watch you shop, getting a haircut and give you unsolicited advice. :)

  10. I think Qik is super cool. It might end up fading into one of those “purposeless amazing things that I can do with technology.” I have Nokia N95 and I’ve been experimenting with the service. I’m going to live stream a tech event tonight in Santa Cruz. My Qik username is: Qikker59546 (I can’t seem to figure out how to change my username because I am a total moron). Come check it out and you too can ask nerds in Santa Cruz questions live!!!

  11. 0.o just a few weeks after i mention i get to watch a workday meeting on a cellphone video… now that i sort of have participated in the meeting i feel tempted to demand a pay raise… hmm. definitely more cat videos though, mr. littlejeans is so smart.

  12. I think all this user-generated content is getting too far.

    Scoble is the king on this. He’s freaking out with Qik, and it’s BORING. Most people’s daylife is BORING as you said, and nobody wants to see it.

    Editing is there because of something.

  13. And in a timely fashion I just so happened to QIK a professional stylist who goes Clothes shopping with you ! I had promised Gayle that we would head out shopping and QIK it all but now I am thinking we should get her out with you for the day.

  14. Lifecasting = Life-size SIMS. Lifecasting is popular for the same reason that the Sims game is. Plus, it is always nice to know that you’re not alone. Whether it’s just a “boring day” or some freak talking to her cats, there’s someone out there that is happy to know it’s not just them. By the way, I talk to my fish, cat and dog. When I’m away from them I talk to myself. There’s just sometimes a need to verbalize some thoughts!

  15. I definitly get the novelty of Qik and occasionally I may hop over and watch one but honestly when most of these Qik users are “Life Casting”, I’m usually “Life Living” and can’t stop what I’m doing to watch a grainy choppy video. I’d rather wait and get a better quality video since I do most of my watching on my commute. I love my flip video camera. Cheap, decent quality, light enough to carry with you everywhere and easy to upload. Of course this is the opinion of a non-celebrity. If I actually had anyone that cared about watching my life, my opinion might change.

  16. Veronica,

    Don’t forget the first & most important rule of blogging, twittering, web2.0, etc…

    “Everything I do or think is of interest to everyone else!”

    Half tongue in cheek…


  17. Hi Veronica,

    This is a great question.

    ONe thing I love about Qik is that once I press the button to stop streaming, the video is posted to the web and there’s no further capture, edit, export, upload, and post procedure to complete. It’s a very freeing feeling.

    Here are some ways I use Qik:

    When I turn on Qik, I think of it as crafting a short story, with the emphasis on short.

    As an editor, I think about how the whole stream will come together in the end, and shoot that way.

    So I first point the camera at what will become the thumbnail, then introduce what is happening. Usually it’s an interview, so I’ll do a quick interview and then end.

    Camera off.

    I like seeing this as storycasting vs. lifecasting.

    The other time I like to turn on the Qik camera is when I am at an event and want to share it live.

    One good example is at an Obama rally in Boston where people could chat back to me and guide my coverage. I loved that two-way experience.

    I’ve also used it to live stream presentations where they were not being broadcast and people wanted to see the presentation. In those cases it was good to have as an archive too.

    Finally, Qik is great for breaking news. As more people get this technology, we’ll see newsworthy events being captured and streamed live.

    Looking forward to see what you do!

  18. Services like Qik are benefiting from the success of reality television. Whether it’s “The Real World”, “American Idol”, or “Survivor”, millions of people seem to be interested in watching ordinary people.

    I think that you (like Jason, Scoble, and Kevin Rose) are uniquely positioned to make successful and popular Qik streams. First, you already have a platform with a built in audience (previously BOL and Mahalo Daily and now Tekzilla). Second, you cover a niche (technology). Third, you are photogenic (well, maybe Jason and Scoble don’t have that quality). So, I don’t think you will have problems with coming up with videos that a large number of people follow. While you probably won’t have a viewer-ship in the millions, I expect that several dozen would watch you at any particular time which is much more than a regular person in the streets could garner.

  19. Life casting seems pretty awkward to me. It makes me uncomfortable seeing too much of someone’s day to day life online. Almost like it cheapens some of the meaning of quality time with other people, if that makes sense. I think, shouldn’t some experiences just be shared among friends? does everyone have to know? Or time alone as well. I suppose that’s not very Web 2.0, but I prefer division between public and private.

  20. Not a big fan of lifecasting myself. Few people’s lives are really interesting enough to be worth it. Edited, maybe… but I have better things to do with my life (usually) than watch someone else’s in real time! Little stories about the mundane, however, are not boring at all if well done. I am a frequenter of film festivals and one of the reasons is that they are among the few paces such stories thrive.

    That said, talking to your cats is no problem. I talk ‘for’ my cats and my entire family does. We have two cats and two dogs and we all talk as them all the time. They have rivalries, wild histories, accents, etc.. It was many years before I realized that this practice was rather unusual… :D

  21. Veronica, You are not boring and I love how people speak to cats and ‘other animals other than human being (also animal)!’ You won’t believe how I speak to em’! And great job on Tekzilla! I love it (Much much better than Mahalo)! Yup, I would make that move too! :)!

    -Mr. Wang
    Flushing, NY

  22. “lifecasting” sucks because most people’s “lives” suck. Most people think their lives are interesting when they really aren’t to others.

  23. Wrongo, oh geek goddess. I like you precisely because you respect animals and talk to your cats (+geek thing). And the cats will talk back if you listen closely. Call them cat children or cool animals, because either works for me. Keep on huggin’ the cats and doing what you do.

  24. I wouldn’t put too much thought into it one way or the other. The uses you mentioned seem pretty reasonable but in the end if you want to throw a video online every now and again, what the hell. I’m sure it couldn’t be any worse than the agonizingly vapid videos that a certain well-known, blonde, “lifecaster” puts up continually.

Leave a Reply