On Monday, videoblogger Dan Brown is planning to turn his life over to his viewers. By voting, they will tell Brown what he should do day-to-day. However, no one is telling you what you should do. You can read more here about Brown's stunt/social experiment. You can watch Brown unveil his project here. And you can read an exclusive Q & A session with him below. It's your choice.
NPR: What is your living situation? Will you run Dan 3.0 out of your parents' basement?
Dan Brown: I've actually been out of my mom's basement for a few months now — I'm in the process of buying my first house, have a roommate, do my own laundry, am learning how to cook, etc. While I'm mostly excited about the "big stuff" the PogoTribe community will be doing with Dan 3.0, it'll also be interesting to see how the community can help with littler household things. I'm pretty curious as to how often I'll actually be home, too — my audience is international and I wouldn't be surprised if Dan 3.0 winds up involving lots and lots of travel.
In what denomination is your mother a preacher?
The Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.
What does your father do for a living?
He works in child protective services for the state of Oregon.
Do you have brothers and sisters?
Yes — two brothers. I'm the middle child. Adam is 21 and is a musical composition major at Chapman University, and Benjamin is 18 and a junior in high school.
Do you have a girlfriend? Can you tell me about her?
Yes I do, and yes I can. Her name is Danielle, she's from Pennsylvania and we met through an online forum that I started — South Pole of the Moon. She applied to be an administrator, we got talking on Skype — casually at first — and the more we got to know each other the more we realized we liked each other. Last New Year's Eve, I flew out to P-A to meet her in person for the first time, and our suspicions were confirmed. We were a match. We've been doing the long-distance thing ever since — we've had a chance to see each other every month-and-a-half or so. She went with me to VidCon just last week to see my announcement of Dan 3.0 (video here), and we've done a lot of talking about what this year is going to be like. My viewers know of her existence and seem to like what they've seen — hopefully they'll get us together a few times. Even if they don't, however, we have a backup plan — she can come to me no matter where I'm at.
Do you make a living with your YouTube channel? If so, how? And how much money do you make? If not, how do you make a living?
Yes! I've been a YouTube partner since 2008, and it's the most fantastic job I could ever ask for. Google AdSense ads are placed next to my videos, and I'm paid monthly based on how many impressions and clicks the ads get. I'm not going to disclose anything specific about my earnings, but I do well for a 20-year-old.
Will you make money on Dan 3.0?
Yes — Dan 3.0 is just the next step in my video blogging career. It's still my job, and I'll still be making money from advertisers.
Have you ever met Jennifer Ringley? Is her experiment with JenniCAM the closest thing to yours?
I actually had to Google "JenniCAM" just now, but I think I've heard something about it before. Dan 3.0 is to JenniCAM as The Sims is to The Truman Show. My viewers will actually be dictating what it is that I'm doing with my life for a year — not just watching.
What are the parameters on suggestions people will be able to make to you?
I won't break the law. I won't change my girlfriend or anything about my relationship with her. I won't change my family or anything about my relationship with them. I won't move out of my house permanently, and I won't do anything that would have a significant negative impact on others.
At the end of the year, will there be an option to renew? And can you see living the rest of your life as a crowdsourced enterprise?
That's a question I'll be much more prepared to answer after a month or so of the project. If it's a smashing success, then it's definitely a possibility, but there are far too many unknowns at this point.