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PSFK Interview: Michael Romanowicz on Twenty4.TV

PSFK Interview: Michael Romanowicz on Twenty4.TV
culture
Allison Mooney
  • 9 april 2009

“Twenty4 Hours of Perfect Content” (www.twenty4.tv) is a new digital art project that aims to turns your browser into a TV set using crowd-sourced content.

The brainchild of Michael Romanowicz (right), Twenty4.tv creates a channel-surfing experience by streaming a slideshow of preexisting websites. Next he’s asking you, “the crowd,” to help him populate a database of sites like these. When he has more than enough to work with, Romanowicz will attempt to curate 24 Hours of Perfect Content contextual to time of day and a number of other themes.

We caught up with Romanowicz to talk about his inspiration and why you should help him.

What inspired you to create this?

I was sitting in a bar in Paris ending a month long stint of no laptop and mobile phone realizing that the quality of my life had actually gone up as a result. I love the Internet, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a proponent of a more invisible version that we have yet to arrive upon. We spend all day looking at sites, sorting through feeds, and talking with our friends through any number of communications platforms forgetting how much work it actually is and, more importantly, what we’re missing because of it — real human experience. In fact, most of my effort in this space is spent on trying to distill things to their simplest form, enabling clients and/or users to just get on with “it,” whatever that maybe, while helping them to avoid getting mired in the actual process.

So with Twenty4, I designed this idea to help people push away from their desks while still being able to feel connected. Think of it as a digital painting that plays throughout the day, offering different kinds of inspiration from video to info-graphics and interactive segments.

Have some friends over and hit play. Enjoy the conversation first and foremost, though feel free to peak in at Twenty4 if something grabs your attention.

What about from a technology standpoint?

I’m in love with the promise of IPTV and am also fascinated with ideas that make things as accessible as possible to large numbers of people. While thinking of how to pull off Twenty4, I realized that I could use the growing number of single function websites featuring fullscreen images, videos, and interaction opportunities to create the experience I wanted in the browser itself, instead of having to build an entirely new platform (a la Boxee). There is an occasional problem in older browsers trying to render HTML above flash in some sites, but overall I’m pretty happy with it. Now anyone who has built something with this kind of creative execution and format has a “channel” on Twenty4. All they need to do is simply click the “+” and submit theirs to be included.

And for the most awesome viewing experience, check it out with Barbarian Group’s Plainview browser.

Why should people contribute to this project?

Please contribute to Twenty4 if you have ever…

* been so inspired by a site like these, its changed your thought process and/or the course of your career (You da man Yugo Nakamura)
* wasted more time than you’d like to admit on a website whose contents were immature, dubious or gauche.
* created something that’s had the above mentioned effects.

Thanks, Michael!

twenty4.tv

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