Over the past decade, the web has become home to self expression for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Thanks to simple services like blogging, social networking, and Twitter, everyone has a voice. Information democratization is a wonderful thing—we’ve always believed that the open exchange of information makes the world a better place. However, we’re just at the beginning of what’s possible and there’s plenty of room for innovation.
Many of us know the internet as a seemingly limitless source of information, but information is not knowledge. We’d like to see the web evolve to a point where we get smarter when we spend time engaging. Recently, my colleagues and I had the good fortune to meet three talented young men dedicated precisely to this issue. Josh, Cemre, and Hursh have developed a prototype that enables collaborative action in the form of meaningful conversations.
The prototype, called Branch (formerly Roundtable), enables a smart new brand of high quality public discourse. Curated groups of people are invited to engage around issues in which they are knowledgeable. This service holds the promise of a new platform for dialogue on the web—a necessary departure from the monologues we have grown so accustomed to reading online. Obvious is thrilled to be partnering with such a friendly, gifted team on this project.
While this is not our main focus of work at Obvious, we like to support systems that help people work together to improve the world. Sometimes that means building tools from scratch, other times that means partnering with smart folks. In the case of Branch, we’ll join forces on the technology, the product design, the branding, the marketing, and several other aspects of this interesting new product bursting with potential. For more info, please read the Branch statement.