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

40daysofdating

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.

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