Startup Technology – PortableYou

Strietzel – December 15, 2008 | Jon Snoddy

Startup Life – People who frequent Big Stage Joint tend to dream big. Kind of an unspoken requirement I guess. We started this thing with the vision of digitizing humanity… all of it… everybody. We wanted to create a technology so transformative that it would launch an unstoppable series of domino falls that would result in a planet sized population of digital people, all dressed up and looking for somewhere to go. For this to happen, we knew that the tech would have to be really easy to use. It would have to rely on hardware that everybody has laying around and it would have to happen fast because we are all so crazy busy. We set goals: a standard digital camera, a couple of photos in a couple of minutes, and your friends have to recognize the results, and who would have thought; we’re there, and more. Woo hoo! Let’s go digitize a species.

To entertain the digital us, we took the next step with the launch of our Startup, www.bigstage.com, our social network in which you create and share the digital you in cool digital content. Adding yourself to content you like is great good fun and sharing it is hard to resist, so pretty much everyone gets bigstage.com.

That’s now rolling so we are on to our third act in which
“The Digital You” gets up and walks out the damn door! We call it PortableYou and we are inviting all our friends are to the party. Any web site, video game or virtual world can adopt PortableYou and add instant personalization to their world. They can play, fight, learn, travel in the wonders of cyberspace, with their friends, as themselves. Life is good in Digitalville. You can digitize yourself before breakfast at bigstage.com, dash off to a class at thevenuenetworks.com, then star in the film, The Spirit on your iPhone, and close out the day hanging with the digital star of a hit MTV show. Yes, the digital life is sweet.

For those who don’t know, PortableYou is a set of standards, code samples and API’s that allow 3rd parties to reach into the technobowels of our Startup, Big Stage, for a taste of personalized goodness. The partner site/ game/ world inserts some sample code into their system and their users can upload photos and get back a digital version of themselves. Thought not every experience requires me to be me, many do. Video game competition is just plain old more fun when I can recognize my opponent or team member. Training becomes more relevant when the people I am interacting with are real, with their ranks and titles and back stories.

It has been said that what we really want is to do normal things in extraordinary settings, and extraordinary things in normal settings, and it is all happening. What is most amazing about the photo-real version of cyberspace is just how normal it feels. It is pretty cool to look around and recognize your friends. It feels right. I think we are going to like cyberspace.

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