An interesting IndieGoGo project is attempting to spread the idea of street based social media around the world, one city at a time.
Deehubs is a new crowdfunding effort from the country of Georgia. It is made up of a series of billboard or street sign style projections in certain neighborhoods that display social messages left by strangers after dark.
It is now based in Seattle. You can walk through different streets and see messages lit up on walls, images of people and their friends or family, and read anything from quotes to little love notes.
Right now, they are attempting to bring the phenomenon to twenty-five different cities across the United States through a roadtrip. They hope that it will take off, and create a new form of social media that will stick around.
Why? Because they think that we pass by without noticing too much. So we should be forced to stop, engage our brains, and connect with other human beings out in the real world, just as we do online. Even if it is only for a second.
So far, the project has been pretty well received. It is an interesting combination of modern social technology and socially motivated art experiment.
In their first month of launch, Deehubs managed to engage with 60,000 people during an initial 10,000 message release. Though many businesses were against the idea when the projections first started showing up in Seattle, it has since been embraced by many.
I am personally mixed on this particular project. Yes, it is sweet, and kind of cool when you see modern tech being used to create a real world interaction.
But think for a moment about some of the people you see online. Think of some of the horrible messages you read. Keep in mind that some people are just horrible human beings, and still more are brave enough behind their keyboards to spew out hate for no reason other than they find it funny. Or worst, because it is how they really think.
Do we really want to give them a chance to post that on the street? At least online, you can mostly avoid it by staying away from comment sections on news stories or YouTube videos. Here, it would be plastered on the side of that pizza place that sells the garlic bread you like.
Maybe I am just jaded. There is every chance that only the good who want to inspire will take part, who knows?