Here and Now - The Internet: Evolved
hereandnow.net is the creation of Erik Vidal and his company Fragments of a Hologram Rose Inc. a subsidiary of Erik Vidal Enterprises, LLC. As far as I know, Here and Now was the first truly live, continuous video and audio broadcast on the internet. Launched in January of 1999, the broadcast features a cast who live together in a house. Over time the cast has changed save two members: President, CEO and housemate Erik Vidal and current Vice President of Content Coordination and Development Lisa Batey, also a housemate.
For more than a year, Here and Now was located in Oberlin, Ohio and made one major revision. The original version of Here and Now or Here and Now 1 featured one camera located in the living room with streaming video at various speeds suitable for analog modems. Here and Now 2 featured a different cast, and more cameras – 7 I believe. In the summer of 2000 Here and Now reached version 2.5 this time moving to New Orleans, Louisiana and sporting the usual cast changes. Version 2.5 features more video streams at many bitrates, an overhauled web page offering thumbnail previews of the video streams and guest steams.
I find Here and Now to be fascinating, although there is not always action and you need substantial bandwidth for best viewing results, I can’t tear myself away. One of the reasons it is so compelling is that it truly is real life, no scripts, no artificial environments, simply normal people living their lives on camera. Or, it may be that I have no life and I am substituting theirs for mine.