Blog Post

40daysofdating: An awesome new kind of long-form story telling

Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

What do two designers — one a man, another a woman — both friends based in New York do when they have continued relationship problems and a tough time finding the love of their life? Well, they embark on an experiment: they date each other for 40 days, and share their story with millions of strangers on the web.

The two designers are Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman and they are telling their daily dating stories on their joint website – 40daysofdating. The experiment which actually happened in March 2012 is being broadcast starting from July 10, 2013, and will end on August 22, 2013. It is one of the most addictive and amazing “reality” web series I have read. (Don’t worry, there is TV, too, except its videos on Vimeo.) I am following their lives closely and their website has become a daily read for me.

My own obsession with the lives of these two strangers aside, a project such as 40daysofdating is a reminder of the creative possibilities of the Internet. When we as media creators treat the web and mobile as their own individual and brand-new mediums we almost always end up creating brand new media forms, ones that don’t have to be appropriated from the past and retrofitted for today’s digital reality.

Needless to say, we have barely scratched the surface. At some level, 40daysofdating is like reality television — reality web if you will — and a good signpost for what could be a more episodic approach to content and story telling. In the past, it was comic books and stories in noir magazines that kept you hooked. So why not web-based episodic story telling?

And as for Jessica and Tim —- hopeless romantic that I am, I am rooting for them to find true love and live happily every after!

Bonus Link: The design duo tell all to Adobe, which blogs about how it all started. Great read.


3 Responses to “40daysofdating: An awesome new kind of long-form story telling”

  1. I like many of the things you point out, but truly, this was a huge snooze. While there may be some novelty in a couple graphically sharing their dating life, there was nothing compelling about this site whatsoever.

    • CJW

      If you followed this from day one, then you realize the awesomeness of it. I guess we both have different tastes and find amazement in new things.

      As far as I am concerned, this is a new way to tell a story — I see this and could easily see a travel writer, or a sports writer using different elements to build up an engaging experience that has our attention.

      I see possibilities!