Friday, February 13, 2009

digital minds.

if you have a social life with at least one internet savvy person -- and who hasn't -- you have heard of popping popcorn with cell phones. in may 2008, short clips with small groups of people from different parts of the world appeared on youtube and instantly became a conversation topic that was impossible to ignore. they were doing something everyone in my circle of friends wanted to try if only we had eight cell phones and a set of corn seeds available at the same time.

we definitely were not the only ones. over four million people watched the clips during a fortnight. here are some of the first posts on youtube all rolled into one.

after two weeks a company called cardo systems revealed that the clips were their adverts for handsfree sets.

the pioneering advertising campaign utilized youtube as never before: it created hype around a hoax and caught everyone's attention. the downside of the campaign seems to be that their revelation failed to reach the same audience and people are still doing exposés explaining the phenomenon with the popcorn. moreover, almost no-one is aware that the originals were ads for headsets and without a doubt there were some branding issues involved, as well.

but cardo systems got us talking. the power of viral has been apparent for a while now and it is ultimately changing the way we relate to each other. in april 2006 a silent, masked guy posted a 41 second video on youtube where he wrote something on his palm, held it out to the camera to reveal “one world” and was followed by a text urging responses. madV’s video became the most responded clip in youtube’s history with hundreds of clips sent within days amounting to over two thousand. madV combined everything to a powerful montage of a sort, below. the song playing in the background is by one of my favorite bands, mogwai, called "kids will be skeletons".

many of us enjoy internet channels for their imitation of television, that is, we use them for reminiscing the goode olde tymes and often catching up with shows we missed the previous weeks. nevertheless, a new mindset is emerging with the use streaming possibilities and it seems internet video has huge potential for future communication if we're only able to approach it in digital terms. it takes pioneers like madV to show us novel ways to reach each other through the web. stream on...

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