Man spending six months living online, letting viewers control his life

Yesterday, 35-year-old Kieran Vogel “[became] the first person to give total control of his life to the Internet.” As part of the aptly named site “Our Prisoner,” he will spend the next six months living as viewers want him to, sort of like Big Brother in a shakable snow globe.

Kieran is “voluntarily confined to a suburban home” and “every aspect of Kieran’s life will be streamed in real-time and unedited,” according to the web site. Viewers will decide everything for him, from his clothes to who he’ll date to what he eats. He’ll also take calls from viewers.

The site is sponsored by BigString Corporation, and it’s not exactly a secret that the site pushes people to “sign up for a FREE Bigstring email account” when they register to be a voting viewer. TechCrunch even calls it simply “a publicity stunt for the email company producing it.”

In fact, Vogel once “created ads for BigString,” according to MediaPost. While promoting the company’s recallable e.mail service, he “mused that he wished someone would control him–presumably to help him overcome his ‘various neuroses.'” Now that his wish has been granted, let’s make him wear Cheetos and eat his boxers.

Our Prisoner

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.