Here’s the ugly

In some of my presentations and workshops about social media, I often use this image to preface a session as a means of introducing this thought – there are many facets of social media and communication and why you might use them or not, as well as how you use them.

As a glass-half-full type of person, I typically focus on the good while recognizing there is bad. I’ve yet to talk about the ugly.

That moment is here.

A fad in the United States – which hasn’t yet hit the UK – is so-called lifecasting, the real-time broadcasting of events in a person’s life through video over the internet.

It’s typified by the lifecaster walking around with a wearable video camera and microphone and transmitting all he or she experiences live via a service like

It’s a terrific idea, one that anyone can do with some inexpensive video equipment and some imagination. I can see great potential in the workplace for informal communication of this type, whether it’s called lifecasting or something else.

Look at Microsoft’s Channel 9, for instance, a larger and more established model that if started today may well have embraced the lifecasting notion.

The problem, though, is when a lifecaster behaves as if he or she has an absolute right to just go somewhere and start broadcasting.

That problem is amplified when the lifecaster is convinced he/she has been severely wronged when prevented from doing that, posts a video recording of his encounter and tries to justify his “right” to lifecast anything, anywhere.

Watch the two videos in this example and I think you’ll agree that this is definitely the ugly.

Thankfully, every one of the 26 commenters (so far) agrees, best summed up in these two comments:

You are in the wrong here. The lady was just doing her job and you were giving her attitude. Deal with it, having a camera doesn’t give you a right to do anything you want.

And summarizing overall feelings:

If you’ve accomplished anything with this, it is to prove that an always on world is not a good idea. At least not when a moron has the camera.

(Via TechCrunch)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Ronald Lewis


    Where in my video did you get the impression that I felt entitled to broadcast within a movie theatre? Did you not read the blog entry where I’ve specifically pointed out my protocol prior to the start of the movie? It doesn’t appear so.

    Let’s stop the negative spin already and cite the facts. This isn’t about a lifecaster who was trying to broadcast a movie. It’s far from that.

    Thus, this is far from “the ugly.”

  2. neville

    I think you’re missing the point, Ronald. This isn’t about using a video camera in a movie theatre and getting into areas of perceived piracy. You made the point clearly in your post that you weren’t intending to video a movie.

    The issue is about your behaviour with the theatre employee. From watching your videos, it seems to me that you treated her in an appalling manner.

    Sorry, but I agree with all the commenters to your post – just because you walk around with a video camera gives you no automatic right to do anything you want.

    Surely you can see that?

  3. Sarah Wurrey

    Thanks for linking to this Neville, I missed it on TechCrunch.

    I think people were quick to call Ronald out for being a jerk, and his defensiveness is understandable on that front; who knows if he was just having a bad day, or if he’s always rude, etc. I suppose we’re all guilty of snapping at people or being rude on occasion.

    What’s disturbing here to me is the lack of understanding he seems to display as to why people are reacting the way they are. It’s not about piracy, or his “rights” to lifecast. It’s just about being a decent person. Unless he has footage of this woman attacking him in some way, or being rude to him, his name-calling and attitude towards her were in no way justified. And if you’re going to broadcast yourself 24/7, you’re going to have to expect that people will call you out for your lower moments.

  4. Ronald Lewis

    Neville, Sarah:

    What most of you fail to realize is that I encounter these types of people weekly — People who are highly judgmental for no reason at all, and rather than confront most of these people, I move on about my business.

    If you’ve spent the past five months with me as a friend, then you’ll well know that I am one of the most humble and decent people on the face of this continent (North America). I’ve gone out of my way to be kind toward others, even when all that I do in society is rarely reciprocated.

    The reality is that Bryanna not only startled me, but pissed me off at the same time. I am not the world’s first human being to respond in perhaps an unfavorable way to a situation and it’s surprising to me that the world is now “perfect” because of this.

    What bothers me most is that mere strangers have taken this as an opportunity to bash someone they haven’t a clue about. They’ve summed up 28 years of a man’s life of striving to do the right thing with little reward to being an asshole and douchebag in a minute’s time.

    So, no, I haven’t failed to realize anything but that our world still turns and people haven’t changed.

  5. neville

    Ronald, what do you expect?

    You may be the world’s nicest guy but all I know about you is a) your post b) the videos you posted and c) what other people are saying about you on your own blog and on TechCrunch.

    Let’s set aside what others say for the moment. Purely from viewing your videos, my own opinion is that you treated the employee of Regal Cinemas very poorly indeed, as I mentioned in my post and my previous comment.

    Not only did you lie when she asked you whether your device was a camera, you also insulted her.

    But, judging just from your comments here, you really can’t see what you did wrong, can you?

    I agree with Sarah’s comment on what’s disturbing is the lack of understanding you display as to why people are reacting the way they are to your behaviour in the cinema and your treatment of the employee.

    You owe that employee an apology, Ronald. Just do it.

  6. David Tebbutt

    Maybe I missed the subtleties discussed.

    It seemed to me that Bryana accepted the explanation and all was well. Then Ronald banged on and on creating the friction he’s accusing her of creating.

  7. Ronald Lewis

    Neville —

    You cannot rely on TechCrunch and a minute long video to understand anything about me. And, yes, I am fully aware of my actions, but I’m hardly about to apologize for them.

    Since the world believes me to be an asshole, I’ll just start living up to the name, because all the great things I’ve done in life have always gone unnoticed.

    It seems the world only cares about our weakest moments or when we’re not so perfect in their eyes. I couldn’t care less about people’s opinions of me, because it doesn’t change who I am — It only gives people something to talk about.

    Furthermore, my “insult” was an afterthought and was not said directly to the employee. Again, you all go ahead and live your perfect lives. You’ve never cursed, never been pissed off before. Yeah, whatever.

  8. Sarah Wurrey

    I don’t want to nitpick, and yes, I absolutely agree that we all have poor moments, and get angry or swear, etc.

    But Ronald’s defense of his insult directed at the employee would hold a lot more water if he hadn’t printed her full name along with the video in his post. It probably won’t take long for her to discover that after handling a situation professionally and politely, she’s been rewarded by being referred to as a “f—ing b—h” on the Internet.

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