In recent years, the Internet has witnessed a proliferation of social media networking websites. With the increasing global popularity of MySpace, Hi5, FaceBook and YouTube, Caribbean Internet users in an effort to find their own socio-cultural space, have resorted to creating micro-communities within these mega-sites. However, the Datwicked network has discovered that there are benefits to having our own homegrown variety.
Just this month Deean Fontaine and Wayne Marsh of the Datwicked network launched WatchMi ( www.watchmi.com or www.watchmeh.com), a Caribbean online video-sharing community affording users the ability to upload, share and watch videos. Deean Fontaine discusses the easy functionality of WatchMi.
“Caribbean people are so culturally eclectic and creative. We need our own viral video community to share our cultural diversity both amongst ourselves and with the wider world. Also, Wayne and I wanted to find an easy, fun way to expose undiscovered and budding Caribbean talent. And we thought the message would be unequivocal against an indigenous backdrop.
Anyone with a digital camera, camcorder or even a camera-phone can upload videos and share it publicly with everyone, or privately with friends and family.”
The early reaction to this venture has been tremendous particularly within the music fraternity. Both Greensleeves and VP Records have given WatchMi their endorsement, using the site as a vehicle to market some of their own Caribbean recording acts. Additionally, management for artistes like Richie Spice have also come early on board. The widespread international popularity of Reggae, Dancehall and Soca means WatchMi will be another viable medium through which Caribbean music will find a voice.
But WatchMi is not just a music video site and the owners anticipate that users will upload a wide variety of content. Additionally, in the next developmental phase set for completion in a few weeks, WatchMi will be a full digital content community, allowing users to share not just videos but audio and photographs.
WatchMi.com, part of the www.datwicked.com network, is obviously making us reevaluate the benefits of indigenization – giving us in the Caribbean an invaluable opportunity to make a global mark in this technology-driven digital age.
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