December 30, 2011
When I first checked out Remixt.us’s beta, I was a bit skeptical: it looked like a bunch of nice image collages, but I wasn’t sure why users would create them. But talking to cofounder Angela Min, I began to see how it could be beautiful and meaningful.
Remixt.us’s bookmarklet lets you grab content from all around the web, like images or tweets, to add to your “mixes.” You then drag and drop that content into a grid, and resize it as you like. For example, a user named Yasmin personalizes all her collages with an artistic Y. You can use Remixt.us to tell stories, like this love story, or make lists, like stocking stuffer ideas.
New York-based Remixt.us can also connect people across the globe. For example, the creator of this mix was excited that it was “remixed” by someone in India – who took the collage and traded out images to create something new. It’s like Tumblr with your own personal spin, says Min, which creates even higher engagement with the content.
“One of my secret secret goals – if we can give people in remote parts of the world these tools to dream and to feel connected and see outside of their maybe-unpleasant circumstances – you give them the power to do something really amazing,” says Min, who has a background in interior design.
In the future, she plans to let users make collages with text, videos, and music. All these mixes and remixes can be shared on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter or embedded on your website.
Min has clearly thought deeply about the future of the web and where Remixt.us fits in. With “discovery engines” popping up in food, entertainment, and more, she explains, Remixt.us lets you stumble on new images, products, and people through a web of content tagged with keywords and descriptions. It also follows the trend for content curation, as in Storify and Pinterest, and the increasing popularity of tablets, where remixes will display beautifully.
Finally, Min is not optimistic about young people doing much serious writing online, so she’s contributing instead to a more creative, non-linear web that may appeal to women: “I know this sounds so crazy, but I’m trying to architect a more female – or a more yin – platform for the web.”
Her bets are backed by outside support, including recently appointed board adviser Rajan Anandan, the country manager of Google India (and Min’s brother). Remixt.us is also in the process of raising its first round of capital.
Besides the occasional bug in Remixt.us’s Chrome bookmarklet, copyright could also become an issue. Min plans to add a disclaimer absolving Remixt.us from responsibility for illegal use of content, but she acknowledges that users sharing original artists’ work may be tricky. She’s just hoping it won’t be a problem: “It’s just so easy to grab content from the web. That is the culture – we are reblogging, remixing. If somebody objects to the content, we will pull it down, but the chances of somebody objecting are very minuscule because everybody does it.”
What do you think? Is Remixt.us just a fun site for making pretty collages, or something more?
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