4 May 2010
A team of Hyper Island digital media students launches an organic, video-based communication experiment
Now there's nothing we like more at Contagious than championing a bit of young blood - some of the cream of which courses through Sweden's progressive Hyper Island school, headquartered in Stockholm. It is here that a team of digital media students will today unveil a brand-spanking new communication experiment - Whydeo.
The new community-based website can roughly be described as a mash-up between Twitter, Chatroulette and Yahoo! Answers - with less phallic results, of course. Users simply ask a question into their webcam before naming, tagging and posting it. Other users then browse across the Whydeo world map and find a query that they feel informed or inspired enough to answer. They then record their reply in exactly the same fashion, which is then attached to the original question - resulting in an organic and spontaneous video conversation between complete strangers.
There is a 30-second time limit for each video, ensuring the content is kept suitably bite-sized, and in order to answer, users must first login to their Facebook or Twitter account. Not only should this encourage real-time response rates, but it will (in theory) limit any excessive Chatroulette-esque nakedness as their identity will be laid bare along with everything else...
Elin Aram is one of the students responsible for building the Whydeo world - she explains how the team envisage it being used: 'The idea of building this interactive video platform came from the notion of how asking questions breeds your curiosity and this is our way of celebrating it. We aren't dictating which way it should go - it's up to the users to decide. After all, something that aspires to be serious can turn into entertainment and vice-versa - that's what's so beautiful and exciting about the internet!