Waterloo based web start-up, Melonbytes, wants to index human experience — all of it — with a scope possible only through the internet. The self-proclaimed ‘Experience Encyclopedia’ launched in December 2008 and is steadily growing as more and more visitors register to create and view the range of content already available at the network.
Melonbytes works with a simple but highly novel concept — give anyone with a computer the ability to share as much of his or her experience as possible while simultaneously taking in what others are providing. Combining the tenants of social networking sites like Facebook and education-based networks like Wikipedia gives Melonbytes a firm background. The success of the project seems to hinge only on how many users it can get to sign on and provide interesting content.
The site allows authors a wide range of tools for expressing their experience, providing the media of text, photo and video as manners by which to convey a given event. Content is set up to run the gamut of family-friendly to NC-17 as well, evidenced by the fact that Melonbytes requires a user account with an 18+ birth date for viewing experiences containing references to drugs, alcohol or sex.
Creator Scott McCarter ensures that Melonbytes’ writers should have no worries when it comes to sharing some of their more private moments, citing in-depth security measures and the value of anonymity as factors that have been well-considered during the site’s inception. Last names and email addresses are kept private from Melonbytes’ visitors and privacy settings can be changed easily, an important aspect for keeping experiences honest.
Melonbytes holds a lot of promise and appears to tap into one of the last innovations still left in the oft-beaten horse that is social networking. It’s definitely one of the sites to watch out for in coming months and should only prove to become more and more interesting as authors continue the infinite work of writing the Experience Encyclopedia.