Designing Interactions

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Jorge Just

While at Williams College studying history and political science, Jorge fell in love with the public radio program This American Life, so he taught himself to edit audio, moved to Chicago, and applied for an internship with the program. Ira Glass gave himthe opportunity and helped him learn the art of storytelling. During his time with the program, Jorge developed a friendship with the members of the band OK Go and became interested in finding creative ways for them to communicate with their fans, and for the fans to connect with each other. When OK Go began experimenting with music videos as an art form, Jorge helped them reach an expanded audience through an ingenious viral campaign that leveraged social networking and YouTube. OK Go won a Grammy award for the video that accompanied the song "Here It Goes Again," which featured members of the band dancing on treadmills. Jorge also writes, sometimes with pen and paper, and enjoys delving into television and radio. His work can be heard on This American Life, and he is a frequent contributor to the Canadian radio program WireTap. Jorge has also applied his insights about creative collaboration to another kind of social venture, leading an open source technology project called RapidFTR that helps reunite families in emergency situations.

Jorge Just masterminded promotion for the band OK Go, making them famous through viral videos published on YouTube. Jorge is still young, but he has already made a lot of new connections. He learned digital audio editing in order to land an internship at This American Life. He connected with the band's fans by writing them personal notes that invited them to engage with the musicians. He developed a Web site that connected with journalists and advertisers professionally and with fans intimately. He made the connection with YouTube before any other musician, band, or label had ever contacted them. The members of OK Go came up with music videos that were intricate dance routines, a hybrid of boy band dancing and cheerleading. Once on YouTube, these videos turned viral, and total strangers around the world began emulating the videos with their own creativity and fantasy.