Buzzfeed’s Chris Menning takes a further look at Canvas, the new SoHo startup from 4chan’s Christopher Poole, which gives us a little more insight into the currently closed-for-beta site.
Even though Canvas is differentiating itself from 4chan, the site is clearly inspired by the mixing and remixing of images that takes place at forums like 4chan and Reddit.
These sites produce memes like Ice Cream Guy, the proliferation and desecration of a New York Post photo of a man running through the December blizzard with an ice cream cone, and Sad Keanu, which repurposes a photo of Keanu Reeves pensively enjoying a sandwich, which have a propensity to go viral.
Canvas makes it easy for users to edit photos on the site without the need for external tools like Photoshop or Microsoft Paint. Someone posts a photo to kick off the game. Users inspired to riff on the meme can click “remix” on the image and use some simple photo editing tools to tweak it. It’s also possible to upload files or use an embedded Google search to drag and drop images onto the derivative work.
The site also encourages users to vote up the best remixes with a smiley face or cookie badge or “sticker” or indicate disapproval with a “wtf” or horrified face badge.
The site reminds us of another New York startup, Dump.fm, a image-based chatroom, as we mentioned when we first brushed with Canvas. But Canvas is hinting that images are just the beginning: other media won’t be far behind. Canvas will likely roll out video remixing at some point similar to the Budapest-based video remix site Dragontape.
Another clue from Manning’s review–users are giving the choice to post each remix anonymously, something Mr. Poole wisely realizes is important to optimize creativity. But will unleashing the anonymous lead to the misogynistic T&A that runs rampant at 4chan’s infamous /b/ forum? Perhaps that’s part of what this locked-down beta period is meant to determine.
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries
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