The First Piece of Content on Outernet


#1

My name is Thane and I run User Engagement on Outernet. That spans anything from marketing to the editorial architecture of the content users receive. It is on the latter topic that I post today.

Very soon, Outernet will switch on its first test signal. When that signal comes on, what should be the first thing sent? “Hello world?” Should it be a famous work of literature or poetry? If so, in what language? Or should it be more applicable to daily life, like instructions on how to build a water filter? As you can see, the decision is not easy. In fact, the more you begin to consider it, the more dimensions there are to the practicality and symbolism of that first piece of content.

Therefore, I turn to you. A discussion might be the best way to guide us towards an answer. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  1. Inclusion. The first piece of content should resonate with anyone on Earth. Outernet is a global service designed to help the entire human race and our work should speak to that from the outset. Yet, there is no language that we all speak, is there?

  2. Marketing. This is a great opportunity for us to spread the word about Outernet. This is admittedly self-serving, but also consider that Outernet can only have the greatest effect when the most people know it exists. Other companies might auction off the choice of the first piece of content to a valuable donor. Such an action would compromise our editorial integrity, but I believe there is a way to market with class. But how?

  3. History. When we reflect later on upon the moment when every human on Earth could access the same information at once for free, it will resonate forever. We all remember what Neil Armstrong uttered when his feet first touched another world. What will Outernet say when we first land on Earth?

  4. Impact. We want Outernet to be useful. We want it to change people’s lives for the better by giving them access to information previously unknown. Perhaps another interesting question to ask is, if you could give a stranger one memento of humanity, what would it be?

I hope this sparks some interesting discussion.


#2

Say, Hello world! You are now connected to the free uncensored world of information.


#3

My first reaction was to rebroadcast the Voyager Golden Record (http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec.html), which was as good as any attempt up to then to communicate the essence and content of humanity and the world. But, the contents are a little dated now and maybe not as attention getting. Anyone have thoughts along this line?


#5

The golden record is VERY cool and I am a huge supporter of creating a new symbol. That is actually something we are discussing internally when it comes to the implementation of the content selection system.