High above the west fifties in Manhattan overlooking Fifth avenue the people at Horyou -- pronounced OR-YOW -- are attempting to make social good videos viral. When one thinks of viral videos, social good does not immediately come to mind. But Horyou, which has offices in Geneva, Paris and New York, is an idealistic and international four year old company. "Horyou represents a new internet philosophy where noble ideals become actions and social media is at the service of all, says the site. "At Horyou, all generations can build a more constructive relationship with technology."
Nagdimy Marquez-Acosta, the VP of Global and Strategic Communication and Starlite Randall, the Community relations Manager, are both bullish on the prospects of making the world better through their social network platform, Horyou TV, which launched in December. "The goal is to add documentarians onto the platform on a monthly basis," says Marquez-Acosta.
Horyou TV plans to harness social good to impact neighborhoods by spreading quality content through the social network of members. Membership right now is through invitations to foundations, nonprofits and respected and admired personalities. The categories at present are science, humanitarian and education -- but there is obviously room for more. "It is not just a random connection," says Starlight Randall. "It is about sharing great dreams, the action that creates a positive change in the world."
Still, can a humanistic approach to social media work in this day and age? When one thinks of viral videos nowadays cruel pranks and animal cruelty come to mind more readily than, say, humanitarianism and lovingkindness. "We see bad viral," notes Marquez-Acosta. "We can see good."
That having been said, their optimism is positively infectious. At their offices I watched the documentary Green Bronx Machine just before the holidays. At just over seven minutes, the bite-sized video served up a healthy dose of optimism via hydroprganics. The video is about a teacher, Stephen Ritz, trying to bring healthier alternatives other than junk food for children and adults in the Bronx. Harnessing the natural curiosity of children, Ritz has a working rooftop garden bringing green knowledge, good food and jobs to the people in need. It is, ideally -- again with that word -- a model that could travel beyond Hunts Point.
Where will Horyou TV be in five years time, I ask. "In four languages ...releasing the platform in Arabic," says Randall, looking to that most in need of humanitarian social media troubleshoot, the Middle East. Being active and having a presence around the world is the goal, said Randall, "with people making a difference."
"Every day is an opportunity to do something good,to change the world," said Marquez-Acosta. Horyou TV is doing that one step at a time, by combatting the corrosive influence of junk food in public schools. "we want to change the notion (of virality)," concludes Marquez-Acosta. "Promoting or wanting to do good .. it should be normal." Yes, it should.