This is a guest post by Peter Chmielewski who is attending my virtual organisation class – I should point out that any views expressed are Peter’s, though I can assure you that the Wilderness Downtown looks great with the postcode in Wimbledon where I grew up as an addrss! I’d also encourage any of my other students past or presents who might consider contributing a guest post to do so…
There has recently been a lot of buzz surrounding the topic of HTML5. This next major revision of HTML includes great new elements that will certainly benefit developers and Internet users – it incorporates features such as video, canvas, geolocation and offline web applications. But really, the one I am most excited about is video. Nothing new, you might say. Well have a look at The Wilderness Downtown (http://thewildernessdowntown.com/), a new collaborative project between The Arcade Fire, Chris Milk and Google. The film follows a character running the streets of the neighbourhood where YOU grew up (provided you can give an address with Street View coverage). The pictures of very familiar streets and buildings take centre stage, and you essentially get to watch a completely personalised (and deeply personal) video set to The Arcade Fire’s fantastic new single, “We Used To Wait”. I am not going to lie, I was simply blown away, but what excites me even more is the possibilities that the film represents. I will forever worship a person who can create a portal where users get personalised music videos to every song – give it 5, 10, 15 years? HTML5 will be great competition for Adobe Flash, after all it’s much cheaper and doesn’t require stupid plug-ins, making it far more universal.
One major drawback to The Wilderness Downtown – the folks at Google decided not to make it work well in any browser other than Chrome. Call it selfish, but after all, this and all other projects are Chrome Experiments (http://www.chromeexperiments.com/) that would require more effort to implement for other browsers. You can forget about HTML5 in Internet Explorer – I can only hope that as the new language becomes more popular, people will finally abandon this archaic browser – or Microsoft will finally get to work. (http://www.wallblog.co.uk/2010/10/13/wtf-is-html5-and-why-should-i-care-infographic/)
Have a look at the film – I can’t recommend it enough. Open Chrome, close everything else, sit back and enjoy looking at the future of Internet.