I can say with almost complete certainty that the launch of a new awards show Web site has never created the least bit of interest on my part until today and the launch of the Grammy Awards new site WereAllFans.com. The site creates pseudo photo mosaics of 11 featured artists from Dave Matthews to Beyonce out of YouTube, Twitter and Flickr content that was tagged with each of the artists. Each image only borrows from the photo mosaic aesthetic but is more of a semi-transparent image imposed over top of all of the content. Putting the social media content into this format takes it from the thing we have started to overlook because it is so ubiquitous on every site to an interesting and compelling experience that makes it fun to explore. You can look at all the content at once or narrow it down to just site through the simple control interface at the bottom of the page. ‘Join the Conversation’ lets you sign into any of the sites and post your own content with the correct tags so that your content will appear on the site for your favorite artist.
The other half of the site is the The Fanbuzz Visualizer that is a real time data visualization that monitors the daily and total social media buzz for each of the Grammy nominated artists. This experience isn’t nearly as well done as the social media mosaics as I found it littered with technical and design problems. I started with Today’s Posts and was only able to drag and scroll down the 3D list once in 10 tries. Frustrated with that experience I switched over to Total Posts that changes the view to a 2D list and I found that I could click and drag to scroll the content. That relief was quickly replaced by a new frustration as I found that if I kept my browser window in it’s normal more vertical shape the artists and the results were cut off to the point where I couldn’t read a lot of it. After some exploring I realized I had to change the window to a more horizontal shape and that would force the content to zoom back so I could read it. So while it would have been nice to see the same level of innovation and polish put into both halves of the site, the social media content mosaics make it worth checking out.