5 Sites Taking Steps Towards User Collaboration

<p>Sick of being a passive spectator? Participate and collaborate with some dope websites and applications.</p>

Don't own a television? No, I don't either. That's because I watch most TV shows on my computer, with the ability to control when, where and how I watch. There's a paradigmatic shift taking place in the entertainment industry right now, and it's about to explode all over your early 90s, single-player Game Boy.

As people shy away from the passivity associated with a previous generation of entertainment, creators and developers are taking steps towards designing for participation. Over the last year and a half, we've seen an impressive number of websites and applications spring up that transform the spectator into the user. From iPhone apps like Draw Something to music discovery sites like Turntable.fm, people want to interact and collaborate, changing the way we experience entertainment. We've compiled a list of five innovative websites and applications that use collaboration as a means of expression, revolutionizing the way we consume and interact with entertainment and media.

In no particular order:


Founded by 10 Things I Hate About You's Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this "open-collaborative production company" takes work from every type of artist and builds upon the original foundation. The production house just put out their first anthology, titled RECollection, which combines 1,201 contributions from 471 collaborators. Additionally, the company hosts live shows, publishes books, and even produces documentaries. Their site is less of an exhibition space and more of a studio where collaborators have the ability to build upon one another's work. Have something to contribute? Head over to HitRecord to see what they're about.

Multiplayer Piano

Exactly what it sounds like, the Multiplayer Piano is a communal keyboard enabling users from around the globe to create beautiful music together. An incredibly simple project, the site works like a 90s chat-room, except people communicate through A-minors and C-chords instead of A/S/Ls and foot fetishes. Check it out and play some Heart and Soul with a Danish shoe cobbler.


Doodlr began as a real-time, interactive experiment by Love Labs, a studio "bringing physical spaces to digital life." The installation used a collaborative drawing game projected onto a shop window to demonstrate the differences in interpretation. Participants activated a QR code on their smartphones and were given twelve seconds to draw a picture. Six other people were given the same task at the same time, and the pictures, distinguished by color, were layered on top of each other outside Mad Lab's studio. Check out the video above to see how users reacted. The results may surprise you.


Integrating social media, music discovery, and friendly competition, Ofthemu.se brings people with similar musical tastes together to compete in an online DJ set. Each user, who the site calls “Musers,” has the opportunity to impress the audience with three songs. The best two out of three are chosen by the virtual crowd, and the winning Muser goes on to compete against the next player. Unfortunately, Ofthemu.se is currently an invite-only sort of deal. If you were lucky enough to snag an early glimpse, let us know what you think. In the meantime, put yourself on the wait list over at their site.


Mixel is the world's first social collage application for smartphones and tablets. To start, users grab pictures from anywhere on the web to build a work of art they then share with their friends. Upon viewing, users have the ability to rework and remix a piece by a stranger or friend. A competition to build the most creative collage, Mixel inspires anyone and everyone to become an artist.