Canvas, an online community for sharing, remixing and otherwise interacting with images, is now open to the public having been in private beta since January. The site is the brainchild of Christopher Poole, who until now has been best known for founding the recalcitrant online world of 4chan.
This new endeavor is a much friendlier and tidier site than Poole’s early creation, evidence of the $3.6 million Canvas has raised from Union Square Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Founder Collective and SV Angel. There’s even a code of conduct prohibiting adult content and putting limits on profanity. Users have to register with their Facebook ID, too, in contrast to 4chan’s cherished anonymity.
There are no signs of a business model yet, but there are obvious opportunities to offer premium features and capabilities. Members can upload images, then mess around with them and add captions – just as they can do to other members’ photos. There are “stickers,” too, icons that can be stuck onto photos as commentary and that add points to the popularity rankings that along with voting determine placement.
The MIT Technology Review recently honored Poole as a “world changer” for his work designing online communities for anonymous collaboration. It cited as evidence the pioneering 4Chan, which has more than 12 million active users who account for 600 million page views a month, and where many of the Internet’s memes started. He also was invited to address TED in 2010 (see video, below).
GigaOm – http://tinyurl.com/42f3mar
ReadWriteWeb – http://tinyurl.com/3ng26dc
Embellished photo of Christopher Poole courtesy of Canvas