DanaCam FAQ

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"This All Seems Too Weird. Why Were You Doing This?" aka The DanaCam FAQ

First, the question that most people are wondering about:

Why is the DanaCam no longer up and running?

I got really busy with freelance teaching and video production, and I simply wasn't home very often. So the camera fell into disuse. In October, 2003 I began a wonderful relationship, and that meant even less time available for the camera (not to mention situations in which I wouldn't want the camera turned on in the first place!) Unlike Jennifer Ringley who had her boyfriend on her camera, I didn't feel it was appropriate to alienate my girlfriend by having the roving golfball eye activated while she was visiting my apartment. And so DanaCam has become pretty much dormant. R.I.P.

When the camera was still up and running, though...

Why wasn't the DanaCam up 24/7?

I�m wasn't home all the time, and it seemed a waste of bandwidth to keep uploading a picture of an empty room that didn't change (at least, I hope it didn't change when I wasn't around.) If you were going to check in, it should at least be interesting, I figured.

Well, okay. When could I see you live?

The best times were most evenings (unless I was out a movie or the pub.) Occasionally, I'd have a day off, so I'd often be in the apartment hacking around at the computer or reading, or even possibly doing something more interesting! Weekends were obviously a good bet, too, since I wasn't at work, and was often kicking around the place.

Why did I see different shots in the archives? Did you have several cameras?

Nope. The camera was mounted on a small mount with a big magnet on the bottom. I had lots of steel in the apartment (doorframes and so forth) so the camera moved easily around the place and stuck to different surfaces. Usually, it lived on an articulated arm next to my computer monitor. This made it easy to move around so you could see more of me in the apartment.

Didn�t it feel a bit odd that there could be somebody watching you and you wouldn�t know it? What if you were naked or something? And, did you "act" for the camera?

If you were looking for nudity or sex, you wouldn't see it here, even though with a bachelor apartment, the bedroom was part of the camera's "active space." Actually, I�d found that I got used to the camera - or rather, became completely unaware of it - fairly quickly. This isn�t for everybody, but there�s a certain sociological curiosity about this. Jennifer Ringley (the Jennicam site) was one of the originals, and certainly the one to popularize webcams as a "slice of life" of other people. Let�s face it, most of it is pretty uninteresting - working at the computer, eating dinner, reading, that sort of thing. Occasionally I�d clean the apartment or something. I didn't act for the camera - what you saw is what you got. If I was signing off the camera for the night, I�d try to leave an interesting frame on the site, and in those cases, you may have found that I mugged a bit so at least it�d be vaguely interesting. Other than that, I ignored the "golfball eye", by and large. One of these days I should really finish that article I've been meaning to write about this whole experience.

Is that a Barbie doll I saw in the background of many of your webcam shots? What�s that about? Isn�t that a bit weird that Barbie�s in your apartment?

Happenin� Hair BarbieTM, actually. Oh, and now she has her twin sister, PowerPuff Girls BarbieTM, with her, too. I picked her up in NYC on 42nd Street (no, I'm not kidding.) Nah, it isn't weird at all. Lots of guys have girls in their apartment, don't they? I never had a Barbie as a kid. I mean, she�s a part of 20th century (and, it looks like, 21st century) culture, isn�t she? They don't say much, though - they just kind of hang around. Don�t eat much, either (which, I guess, explains their figure...)