What started as a bet between a guy named Ola and a guy named Jørgen has turned into that rarest of Web phenomena: A ‘crowdsourced’ site that isn’t Astroturfed, has a substantial following, and, most importantly, has a noble goal: Collecting one million pictures of giraffes by 2011. Ladies, gentlemen: OneMillionGiraffes.com.
Unlike many flash-in-the-pan Internet trends, OneMillionGiraffes has been going strong for almost a year: When the Telegraph interviewed the site’s creator in August of 2009, two months after its launch, it was up to 134,227. Currently, it’s at 798,873: So, 200k left to go in the next 239 days.
From the Telegraph interview:
[W]hat began as a “silly art project” had grown into something more meaningful, he said, showing how the internet could help spur traditional family activities and old-fashioned fun.
“It’s become a way of spreading joy and to get people to turn off their televisions and creating something real,” he said.
“I love getting emails from parents and grandparents telling stories of how they sat down with their kids and fooled around with crayons for a few hours.
“Drawing, laughing and sharing something real with the people around them really seems to bound people together.”
The site really is something to behold: There are some really great giraffes on there, there are some really lousy giraffes on there; there are some giraffes drawn by salty old vets and some that are drawn by toddlers. If you’re interested in chipping in, you can go to the site and click the “please send in your own giraffes” button; keep in mind that they only accept handmade giraffe drawings and depictions, so no computer-generated giraffes (that includes MS Paint) or storebought pics. An interesting tidbit from Hacker News: the world’s total African giraffe population is somewhere between 110,000 and 150,000, so the giraffe artworks will outnumber real giraffes by an order of magnitude.
Obligatory SNL sketch:
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