When Christopher Poole (aka Moot) started 4chan, it was a very basic image board that attracted an incredibly active and vibrant community. But 4chan itself is not a pretty site. It is almost Craisglist-like in its barrenness. That is why Poole is re-imagining the image board with his latest startup, Canvas, which just launched in private beta a couple months ago. Demand to get in is so high, that he’s had to throttle back the number of people he is letting in even on a private basis.
In the Founder Stories video above, which is Part II of this interview, Poole explains how Canvas works and how his goal is to make it much easier for anyone to manipulate and share images. You can already see how much better it looks. The video includes a few live screenshots, and here are some open threads anyone can check out. One of the breakout features in Canvas is remixing images. The image editor on the site lets users do simple photo and image editing in the browser, which is awesome for meme propagation. Be sure to also watch Part I of this episode, in which Poole talks about the origin of 4Chan and the evolution of memes.
In the video below, Poole and host Chris Dixon talk about the importance of social grooming and setting the tone early in social communities like 4chan, Canvas, and Flickr. (Disclosure: Host Chris Dixon is also an investor in Canvas through Founder Collective). One reason Poole isn’t letting everyone in at once to Canvas is because he wants the a small, core group to define the norms and early usage patterns of the site. The way to deal with garbage or offensive material is to either bury it, do more to surface the best stuff, or allow the community to sort itself self-defined sub-groups, which is what Canvas does.
(Subscribe to Founder Stories on iTunes).
Christopher “moot” Poole is the founder of 4chan—a simple, image-based bulletin board. Since its inception, 4chan has grown from a niche site targeting anime fans, to one of the largest and most influential communities on the ‘Net. Commanding over 9 million users a month, many popular viral videos, phenomena and memes get their start on 4chan. In 2009, moot was selected by TIME Magazine’s editors as one of the TIME 100”: an annual list of “The World’s Most Influential...
4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images. Different boards are dedicated to different topics, from Japanese anime to videogames, music, and photography. Users do not need to register a username before participating in the community.
Canvas is an image-centric social website currently in development, led by Christopher Poole. Canvas has an imageboard that allows users to anonymously share and comment on media, with eventual plans to include video and audio. The site also has image editing tools built into its interface, so users no longer need to rely on desktop editing programs to manipulate content.