Experimenting with Air-B-N-Me

The past three days have been emotionally draining for me. Personal stuff has gotten in the way of my school work for the past three weeks and I feel as if I haven’t been able to keep up. So when I remembered that we needed to “Loan” some lives and get a sense for the Netprov project I thought that this would be a perfect way for me to destress. I was excited to live someone else’s life for about a minute of two.

I went through the list starting at the top and read all of the ads. I only clicked on the videos that I thought would interest me the most and I was pleasantly surprised that people kept with the improvising concept. I found Martha’s two videos and Debbie’s two videos. Recognizing their usernames I watched their videos first. Martha stayed true to her life at home and shared what it is like to read a magazine in front of the fire and pet her dog while listening to her husband pick the guitar. I laughed at her ad because my boyfriend does the same thing. He will pick a song he wants to learn and he picks the same notes over and over until he gets it. It can get annoying to listen to after a while. But I liked that she brought us in to her life in that way. She also shared a video of her dancing with her husband. I have no idea how she was able to film this but I really felt as if I was dancing.

I experienced Jessica’s freaking search for her next victim in a serial killer’s crime spree. That was fun to think about for a few seconds. I also ventured out and tried a few other lender’s lives. One video was a woman petting a dog and reading a book, the other was a woman cooking for her kids, a guy walking a dog, and the last was someone walking around a library and then sitting down to work on homework. I found that most people were creative with their videos.

Debbie’s two videos were with her granddaughters. She did Ballet with her one granddaughter and I thought it was really genius to use her as a mirror to what Debbie was doing so the loaner felt like they were doing the moves that her granddaughter was doing. The second was more watching then doing, it was her granddaughters on the trampoline having fun and freaking out about bugs haha. My favorite part of this post was the review that someone wrote. It was perfect, this person kept in character and explained how they felt during the experience. The third was a look around a costume shop. I thought this was a cute and creative idea. I enjoy reading all of the responses as much as i like watching the videos.

That is the second part of the netprov is responding to the lenders. The loaners inhabit someone’s life for a few minutes and then they normally would write a review on how they enjoyed or disliked that person’s life. In the spirit of improvisation everyone kept their character and talked about the videos like they actually experienced it. I got involved in this too. I tried to write my review as if I had a visceral experience while watching the video. This part was fun because it allowed me to respond to the video but also be creative in how I enjoyed the “loan.”

I think the Youtube videos allowed this project to flourish. Periscope was a bad choice for this project. Periscope, as a concept is great. Periscope in reality is not. I think the project was a success because everyone involved was able to play a character and keep that consistent character throughout the experience. Improvising is the whole goal of the experiment. Between the profiles, ads (swappertunities) and reviews this project kept up the creativity and interest that I hoped it would. I found some videos to be better than others but the simple fact that people were creating and thinking outside the box was what I think makes this project a success.

The conversation that is happening with the reviews and the responses from the loaners I think this netprov could go on for a while. As long as there is content being uploaded and someone to watch and review this could go on for a while. The site also allowed the users to jump around and search just like Air B N B. It felt authentic. There is so much creativity and ingenuity that can be used for this project and I was very interested to see how each user demonstrated their life through their point of view and a camera.