Ever get the feeling that the good inside joke started to die with the internet? Ok ok, maybe i’m reaching a bit, but between myspace and email forwarding, private just isn’t private anymore! With the onslaught of google crawling/caching secret webpages and images hardly stay that way. And as much as having a public space like NOTCOT has been fun for me, i’ve been quietly loving Radar.
What is Radar? Its a simple service to bring back the fun of those inside jokes VISUALLY…. think NOTCOT.org for just you and the elite few of your choosing… that while you wander the world, cameraphone in hand, you take those snap shops, add a witty comment, and beam it over to your Radar Channel… and only those with permission can see it. Not to mention, beautifully clean UI that is both mobile and computer accessible…
In a world of broadcasting yourself (myspace? blog?), your images (flickr?), your videos (youtube?), etc across the world ~ gorgeously intuitive personal invite only playgrounds are hard to come by. Their site falls into my “it’s so easy” category of usability. They create easy playfully memorable emails to send the photos to, and you can set your own password to have your friends join. Simply adding a ‘p’ before your subject line will make it completely private when it gets uploaded. Had a conference call with John Poisson, founder and ceo, yesterday ~ and conceptually i’m in. Screenshots and more below!
That up there is John Poisson, he used to head mobile media research and design for Sony R&D in Tokyo! So we know he’s definitely a go to guy when it comes to user experiences in the mobile realm. As most of you probably know, user experiences and design are my obsession/profession ~ so Radar has caught my attention on multiple levels.
But first some screenshots to see what i’m talking about…
The big questions through design school in 2004 while i was in Milan were how will mobile phones and the ever shrinking digicams change the way we communicate… what will happen with things like VOIP and Video Chat? How will behaviors evolve? What is the next step beyond the obvious uses emerging? And the bottom line? It is about HOW we have (and perceive) CONVERSATIONS.
And if you’re reading NOTCOT, i’m assuming you are relatively visually oriented… Personally, i scan and enjoy images SO quickly in our info-overloaded world, the last thing i need is another 100 emails to try and clean through ~ sad thing is that even the ones with friends fall through the cracks at times. That’s not a conversation. While MMS allows you relatively directed broadcasts, people can message you back and forth a few times, but the images get deleted/disappear from view. (and let’s not even get into the cross international network issues - my scottish friend sent me an mms, and i had to take some cryptic codes and find the tiny button on the orange homepage, ugh)
Radar has done for my personal uses, what NOTCOT.org originally intended to be… Visual Conversations. I post a picture of the traffic jam because i’m in following the slowest cop ever… my sister responds with a snarky comment about LA traffic, and posts up the football match on a gorgeous green field outside her office window in Oxford. Gives you a chuckle, and a different type of connection to the people in your world. Sure those could be messy MMS’ but this way, i can go back and see them all in one place, as can she…. and rumor has it that sometime in the future videos will be possible! As well as a way to export these conversations to your blog/archives/etc.
I think what the boys at Radar are trying, is a step in the right direction… and it will be fascinating to see how services like these start to play out in the next few years… for now, people on my radar channel will be seeing things like things i’m iffy about while out shopping, street signs that make me giggle, gorgeous sunsets, and who knows what else…
So go try Radar, and be careful who you invite, don’t want to fall into the trap of myspace/etc and end up with TOO many people and groups. (Ok, be honest, are all 700 of your friends really “close friends”?) Be selective, its worth it.
So in the name of privacy, and needing my outlet to share the ridiculous sides of myself and views of the world, to my group of work related Radar buddies, don’t be offended if i drop some of you off my list… i just haven’t figured out who or what i want to expose on here yet! And yes i’m notcot on radar… and no i’m probably not going to share my password with you yet to add me =P.