At first, it’s tempting to look at Farfromhomepage and think, “Why would I need this?” However, dig into it and it’s actually a very interesting way of presenting and sharing online content in a way that tells a story.
The idea behind Farfromhomepage is ‘Creative Browsing’, the term that the German team behind it uses to describe the idea of taking websites, YouTube videos and audio clips from SoundCloud and turning them into a multimedia presentation called a ‘Tour’ that others can play back in their browsers.
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Tours are created by using a tool that allows you to make clippings from web pages and import YouTube and SoundCloud content just by pasting in a URL. Text can also be added, and everything you’ve collected can then be assembled on a timeline, similar to video editing. Content is loaded from the source on-demand, meaning that pages included in tours get views added to their stats, and videos and audio clips’ play counts increase.
While the tools available can take a little getting used to, they are being used to great effect by some early users. Take this tour called ‘Run’ for example (the play button’s in the bottom-left corner), for a simple but effective idea of what could be done as people get used to the service.
Farfromhomepage is still in an experimental phase, but a paid-for version is planned for next year, enabling users to embed tours on their own websites. The Berlin-based developers believe that this will be especially useful for product demos, as this example tour of an Android app demonstrates. However, there’s real potential for this to be used in journalism, as an effective way of turning Web content into a documentary-style experience. This tour about the concept of karma, while a little rough around the edges, hints at the possibilities.
Although you can’t sign up to try Farfromhomepage from its homepage yet, if you use the link below, you’ll get right in.