Monday, 29 June 2009

Mashing Michael Jackson

Mashing: The art of digitally re-purposing something to create something new. It's the online equivalent of Play-Doh, where the possibilities are colourful and endless.

A leading Hollywood script writer I once had the opportunity to meet said that in the movies there are only ever 7 storylines, but an infinite way to tell the same basic stories. So I love finding things that scrape or re-purpose content created elsewhere. It's clever, and a brand should be flattered if people are taking the trouble to mash or repurpose your content - it's a compliment and means they've engaged with it.

One of my favourite, favourite websites is Twistori, a visually well presented scrape of Twitter using 6 key words. It's mesmerising. It can't have cost much to create but it is fascinating. And in itself it's based on an interesting project called We feel fine. Both have been around for a while now but I keep coming back to them.

In the same vein, I've just come across a very topical mash-up. Unless you've been at sea or hiding in a cave all weekend it will have been hard to have escaped the news that Michael Jackson died. Yes, really! The dubious taste jokes have been circulating by email and text for days now, and to add to the fun some enterprising developers have created this "tribute" which sets Tweets featuring words that form the lyrics to Billie Jean to the rhythm of the song and the video on YouTube. Clever!

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