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Actor Joseph Gordon Levitt is better known for his roles in 3rd Rock from the Sun, 500 Days of Summer, and 50/50, but the popular actor has another accolade to his name — and it’s one that you can get involved in. HitRecord, founded by Levitt and his brother, is an online collaborative production company, and it allows users to upload and share content, effectively allowing them to collaborate artistically, or crowdsource content for video, audio, and more.
Out of the site, a TV show has also been born — HitRecord on TV — which will be aired on Pivot TV, but the first episode has already been uploaded online — viewable on YouTube and Hulu. Skip to the end of the post if you want to watch the episode straight away.
Your dashboard is where you can see all of the activity from the people that you follow. Here you’ll see the content that they upload, as well as the content that they recommend, or in other words, like. When you first sign up, you’ll find that you’re already following Joseph Gordon Levitt and the official HitRecord account. If you want to get involved in the collaborative projects that are aired on the TV show, you’ll want to keep following both of these accounts. The Dashboard gives HitRecord the feel of a social network feel, but don’t be fooled. The site goes far beyond being just a social network.
If you want to browse what other users have uploaded to HitRecord (i.e. if you’re not following them), you can do this under the Browse tab. When you perform a search, you can filter the results by type (video, audio, image, or text), by user accounts, or by collaborations or albums. You can also browse uploads by popularity.
While you can use HitRecord quite passively — viewing other users’ uploads, or using the site as an inspiration, the purpose of the site is to actively participate. If you want to share your own content, you can do so under the “Record” tab. It should go without saying that any content you upload to HitRecord belongs only to you.
It’s also worth reading the Terms of Service before you upload any content to understand exactly how it can be used by others. Some key points in the Terms of Service worth knowing are that the copyright of the content remains with you, however, as long as it’s available on the site, you are giving all other users the right to modify, adapt, and remix your uploads. You are giving HitRecord non-exclusive rights to use your content, and if something you submit to the site ends up being used in production, HitRecord will pay you a percentage of the profits for your content.
To find out more about how your content could be used, check out the video below:
When you submit your uploads, they will then be visible on your profile. In order to get noticed on the site, it helps to add your submissions to Collaborations. Think of Collaborations as groups. Once you’ve uploaded any content, navigate to the collaboration you want to contribute to, and hit the big Contribute button. (From there you can actually upload new content as well).
Some interesting collaborations that caught our eye include: “Six word memoirs”.
Albums, on the other hand, are a way for you to organize your own content, and you can also curate content from other users if you’re looking to create a collaborative work.
If you want to get in on the TV show, keep an eye on the HitRecord account as well as Levitt’s personal account where requests continue to be posted with calls for specific kinds of content.
To get a sense of just how far collaboration can go on HitRecord, check out the first episode of the TV show, HitRecord on TV. The episode gives a great sense of just how creative you can get, and how users from all over the world can come together to create a beautiful piece of art:
The site is a little cumbersome and takes some getting used to, but the mission behind HitRecord more than makes up for it. And once you get used to the site, and all the terms — for e.g. uploads are “RECords”, likes are “recommendations” — and once you understand what the purpose behind albums and collaborations are, the site is a constant source of inspiration.
HitRecord is a great example of what great things can come out of online collaboration. It connects users from all over the world by bringing together skilled and talented users. Levitt’s approach with the TV show helps, along with the fact that users are compensated if their work makes it into a production. This makes it an incredibly positive example of how the Internet can bring people together to make something impressive.
HitRecord is a great example of why concepts like Creative Commons can lead to great things, and also has the potential to become a Wikipedia-like resource for the creative world. Find more crowdsourced projects to take part in, and contribute your talents.
What do you think of HitRecord? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: karmacamilleeon