Sunday, March 27, 2005

Graffiti hyperlinks in the physical world

How's this for a wacky project?

1. You're on a streetcorner. You take a picture of yourself at it with your cellphone camera.

2. You email the picture to ''

3. You take a piece of blue chalk and write 'jason was here' on the streetcorner, and underline it.

4. Someone else comes along who knows about Grafedia. They see your tag, and IM 'jasonwashere' to Grafedia.

5. They get sent the picture you took of yourself on the streetcorner.

Pointless? Perhaps. Cool? Oh yes, how so! The creation of an interactive-telecommunications graduate student named John Geraci, is no less than an attempt to take the power of hyperlinks and apply them to the physical world. Don't want to create site-specific content? No problem - create a poem as a post, for example, then use a blue marker to tag an underlined "jasonpoem" in bathroom stalls around the city. Make a little video about yourself as a post, then tag a blue, underlined "aboutjason" on your forehead at the next hipster party you attend. The possibilities are endless! And the coolest thing is that no special setup or membership is involved; just pick any word, send an email to that word, and assuming no one else has used it already, that email becomes your post, along with any media files you've attached. Anyone else who writes to this address, then, gets your post returned to them. Anyway, keep an eye out for underlined blue text in the future - Grafedia has already caught on in New York, San Francisco, Germany and Argentina, so who knows where it'll get popular next. (Thanks to Wired News for pointing this out.)