Three Hot New Websites

We’re always paying attention to what is hot (and what is not), new, and trendy in the online world.

For the Cultural Elite

Coilhouse – A blog, a magazine, and a cultural artifact, calling itself "a love letter to alternative culture, written in an era where at-culture no longer exists." Created by Russian-born now-American artists living in Pittsburgh, the site and magazine attempt to fuse art, fashion, photography, modeling, literature and film together. They take their mission statement from William Gibson’s All Tomorrow’s Parties:

"Alternative subcultures. They were a crucial aspect of industrial civilization in the two previous centuries. They were where industrial civilization went to dream. A sort of unconscious R&D, exploring alternative social strategies … but they became extinct."

"Extinct?"

"We started picking them before they could ripen. A certain crucial growing period was lost, as marketing evolved and the mechanisms of recommodification became quicker, more rapacious. Authentic subcultures required backwaters, and time, and there are no more backwaters…"

Coilhouse wishes to become the backwater to culture, taking "from yesterday and tomorrow, from the mainstream and from the underground, to construct our own version."

For the Street Kids

HY-TV has been launched by Virgin Mobile. It is a new campaign to raise awareness of the one million or so homeless teens living in America today. It’s the latest from Virgin’s RE*Generation initiative, an effort for which the company has donated over $3.5 million and nearly 200,000 articles of clothing to date. The portal takes well-know reality show and spins them to highlight issues having to do with homeless youth. Sponsor shows such as American Idle, Meal or No Meal, The Simple Strife, Life Swap, My Street Sixteen or Project Runaway for $1 each to contribute to the cause. One hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to various homeless youth charities including Green Chimneys and StandUp for Kids. In addition, two winners will be selected at random from a text-to-win campaign to participate in a "real" reality show. The winner gets to spend "24 Hours on the Street" with 2006 American Idol contestant, Ace Young.

For the Soldiers

Troop.tv marches in! A year and half after revoking their YouTube privileges (citing security and bandwidth concerns) the Dept. of Defense gave men and women in uniform TroopTube.tv, a video portal specifically built for military personnel. (General David Petraeus gives a little shout out here on the site.) Once again, armed forces folks can utilize web 2.0 technologies to stay in touch with their families back home. The site was put together by interactive agency Marion, Montgomery and is powered by Seattle-based video streaming platform Delve Networks. For Delve, the project has been a coup, according to CEO Alex Castro. Troop.tv has not only put Delve on the map in terms of exposure but it has also given the company a chance to demonstrate the platform’s scalability in a surge few start-ups can simulate. "With all the attention we’ve gotten over the past 24 hours usage exceeded anything we could have remotely imagined, and there’s been absolutely no issues or no downtime," according to Castro. Delve has been plugging away trying to convince publishers how elegant and easy-to-use its video interface is compared to its competitors.

Leave a Reply