A few months back, my friend Elan Miller* reached out to me to tell me about his new company Phoundit. While he noted they were still in stealth mode, he explained that they have ambitious plans to re-design New York City’s Lost and Found System. At the time, Phoundit’s app was still in the works and he was looking for a partner for a very exciting social experiment they were about to embark on. This is the explanation Elan sent me:
“have you heard of 1000 journals? it’s a visual collaborative experiment following 1000 journals through their travels all over the world. while it’s not a “novel or groundbreaking idea” i’m looking to recreate this on a hyperlocal level in nyc, with my own twist. so i thought to myself, instead of using boring notebooks it could be an interesting opportunity to use poppin notebooks instead (way more fun). ideally, we’d be asking for a donation of around 50 notebooks, and we could share the content that New Yorker’s would fill it with.”
So naturally, I was intrigued. If you know anything about 1,000 Journals (or just click the link and get a quick idea), you’ll think this is a pretty cool concept. Add in the fact that Poppin people like to “Write Things Down,” those who are not quite ready to give up their pen or pencil. We love a good note, a phone number on a matchbook, doodles in the back of a notebook, sketches, notes, checklists and on and on… basically, this project is right up Poppin’s alley.
Once I declared my interest (there were a record number of exclamation points in that email), Elan sent me the process details:
Phoundit / Poppin Collaborative Storytelling Experiment
We’re human, and we lose things all the time. But even though we’ve never been so connected, it has never been harder to recover lost property. Phoundit is a mobile lost & found network, designed to connect finders of lost property with their original owners, for a meaningful return.
So as we continue product development, we’ve approached Poppin to collaborate on a storytelling experiment, designed to better understand New York’s creative, tech saavy community.
Goal of the Experiment
- To visualize how offline experiences organically spread online.
- To understand where (by location/neighborhood) New Yorker’s are more likely to engage with digital media when finding something (ie a lost notebook).
Phoundit to ‘drop’ 50 notebooks across New York City:
- the Flatiron District
- Union Square
- the Lower East Side/SoHo
- the East Village
Each yellow notebook will contain the following copy on its front cover:
A few guidelines:
Looking forward to your contribution
So I sent off 50 small yellow Poppin sketchbooks and waited to see some results….
Tune in tomorrow for some of our favorite entries thus far (as collected on Twitter, via #phondit), or if you just can’t wait, hop on Twitter and search for #phoundit and see what comes up! (And while you’re on Twitter, make sure to follow @Poppin if you haven’t already! Yes, I’m completely fine with some shameless self-promotion if it gets us some more Twitter followers).
Plus, these notebooks are still out in NYC, floating around, so keep your eyes peeled!
* Elan and I met a while back when he worked for RedScout and they launched the HAPIFY app. The name speaks for itself. Hapify has the same spirit as Poppin and we jumped on the opportunity to work with RedScout on the HAPIFY launch event.
Download Hapify! (It’s Free)