/// Hey, Boy Scouts, Be Prepared for Some Digital DIY Competition

October 19, 2012  |  All Things Digital


I loved the “Reading Rainbow” and “Rainbow Brite” of my youth — and the books and toys that came along with the shows — but every so often, I see something that makes me wish I could be a kid again. A start-up called DIY is creating an online-offline universe where kids are encouraged to learn skills like woodworking, magic and astronomy from online tutorials and projects. Then they can post pictures of their creations and adventures, and (soon) earn stitched physical patches sent to their homes. The DIY universe could also include a movie where a troupe of these maker-kids save the world from becoming a soulless mass-produced dystopia (just a little bit of an agenda here!). The project is currently in development with a major Hollywood studio. So it’s Boy and Girl Scouts 2.0, with a big-screen movie, to boot. DIY is run out of a former laundromat in the residential Mission Dolores neighborhood of San Francisco. The team includes Zach Klein of College Humor, Vimeo and Founder Collective — an Eagle Scout who flies to New York every other week to work on a cabin he’s building from scratch — and Isaiah Saxon of the digital animation team Encyclopedia Pictura, which handcrafted a fantastical enclave in the Santa Cruz mountains while creating music videos for artists like Björk. An upcoming DIY badge (Seriously, those are their resumes. I only hope their guilty pleasures include following the Kardashians.) Klein and Saxon lose a little bit of credibility in that they don’t have their own children, but they do have youthful energy and a wooden clubhouse built into the interior of their office, which they cram into for team meetings. You can get a flavor of the aspirational community that Klein and Saxon are trying to build from a sort of trailer they released for DIY this week. They’re calling it the “DIY Anthem.” They say this gives a glimpse of what the movie will be like, though it will combine live action and computer-generated imagery. Okay, so that all sounds great, but DIY has a long way to go to succeed. The site launched in April of this year, and has just 25,000 kid members so far. Right now, it’s all free, and posts are all public — kids participate with pseudonyms after getting parental permission. Laws around child social networking may change and, if so, DIY could adapt its model

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Hey, Boy Scouts, Be Prepared for Some Digital DIY Competition


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