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Yahoo! Time Capsule 19 October, 2006

Posted by Jay Ball in web 2.0.
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Yahho! Time Capsule

This is rather lovely. Yahoo! has worked with Jonathan Harris to create a digital time capsule. The capsule is open for 30 days ending 8th November and allows Yahoo! users to contribute content (written, photographic, video, audio) under 10 broad categories. After this date, the resulting capsule will be will be ‘sealed’ and entrusted to Smithsonian Folkways Recordings based in Washington.

The capsule’s creator explains:

The aesthetic of the Time Capsule is that of a ball of thread, spinning like a globe, its shifting surface entirely composed of words and pictures submitted by people around the world. The thread ball concept relates to threads of memory and threads of time, where threads are taken to be any continuous and self-consistent narrative strand. When the Time Capsule opens, it displays the 100 most recent contributions, which form the spinning globe. The ten themes orbit the globe in a pinwheel pattern. At any moment, any individual tile can be clicked, causing the globe to fall away and the selected tile to expand, revealing detailed information about the tile and the person who created it. Using a search interface, viewers can specify the population they wish to see, exploring such demographics as “men in their 20s from New York City”, and “Iraqi women who submitted drawings in response to the question: What do you love?”. There are an infinite number of ways to slice the data, and each resulting slice then becomes its own thread, which can be browsed independently, tile by tile, like a filmstrip.

Jonathan Harris specialises in creating wonderfully evocative digital experiences. They tend to have a touch of whimsy about them. They are also addictively compulsive with beautifully intuitive interfaces. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out 10×10 and we feel fine (as well as his other work here).

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