Cisco and MTVu Winning “Digital Incubator” Sites Now Online
As mentioned in this space in May when we announced our winners of Cisco and MTVu’s digital incubator grants, we said the winners’ sites would be online soon. Well, “soon” happens to be today. Watch a MTVu video of winners being surprised.The Digital Incubator program was developed jointly by mtvU and Cisco to discover talented college students to create new media and entertainment concepts. Together, we provide the monetary, creative and technical resources for students to bring their digital media ideas into reality. We want to encourage the next generation of talent to experiment with new forms of story telling made possible because of video and broadband coming together and mtvU reaches a college audience that is consuming media in new and exciting ways.So, again, congratulations to the winners and please check out these creative, innovative sites:RapHappy – New York UniversityThis new online and mobile-phone-based hip-hop community enables members to easily record, collaborate on, search and listen to freestyle or written raps, without any need for software or file uploading. RapHappy can be used as a self-promotion tool for aspiring musicians, a communication tool for recording private audio messages for friends, or simply as an artistic medium. Members can dynamically collaborate with other artists, rate and comment on submissions, and participate in battles for a chance to collect cash and other prizes.Osiris – Brown UniversityFrom the phonograph to the PC, technology is constantly revolutionizing the way music is distributed and enjoyed, but very few technologies have ever tackled the visualization of music. That all changes with the launch of Osiris: a first-of-its-kind MP3 visualizer using song lyrics to dynamically generate music videos, using images pulled from Flickr and a user’s own hard disk. This free application gives users a whole new way to enjoy their music, using each song’s lyrical narrative to tell a visual story.Casablanca – New York UniversityThis free online and mobile-phone-based ice-breaker party game combines elements of social networking, espionage and alternative-reality gaming. In Casablanca, two teams square off, with members messaging each other online and off, making friends and forming alliances as they vie for control of a virtual city. Players begin with connections to four other people – whom they’ve never met – and use these contacts to create a social network that grows as the game unfolds. Members of the Resistance are trying to liberate the city by finding each other and organizing networks to identify the Occupation agents hidden in their midst; while the Occupation must infiltrate and undermine the Resistance networks. The game is played online, through text messaging and email.Selectricity – M.I.T.An online communal ranking technology, Selectricity focuses on preferential decision-making, shifting away from a winner-take-all paradigm to a more democratic standard. Using a drag-and-drop mechanism, users rank choices in order of preference and the Selectricity application generates a winner that is most acceptable to the group as a whole. Anyone can set up a Selectricity question in under 30 seconds and tap their friends to help settle daily dilemmas such as, “which restaurant should we eat at tonight?” “what bar does everybody most want to go to?” and, “who are the best indie rock bands out right now?”How Do I Say This? – UCLABuilding on a breakout pilot year, the award-winning “How Do I Say This?” re-launches better than ever today. The site is an interactive Web-based advice wiki, where users help script and create video messages for people with problems that have left them at a loss for words. A new topic is selected every month and members weigh in with advice and suggestions, in the form of user-generated videos, illustrations, photos, prose, poetry and cartoons. The feedback accumulates and inspires a final video, which is created by the student-led production team, and can then be sent to friends from the site (anonymously or not).