MtvU filling out application for social networks


MTV Networks is set to announce today its plan to license a new social networking application discovered through its 24-hour college network mtvU.

Developed by Georgia Tech students David Jimison and Jeff Crouse, Hit! or Sh!t, as it is now named, is a social networking media player designed to build online community groups based on how members rank and recommend clips seen on the Internet.

In the announcement, MTVN said it will deploy the Web-based application, developed through last year's mtvU Digital Incubator 2.0 program, across MTV Music Group's online properties as part of its efforts to discover new musical talent.

A second season of student group-developed projects will be funded with as much as $30,000 in grant money and a chance this year for one recipient to be awarded $100,000.

Digital Incubator 2.0 is a collaboration between mtvU and networking technology company Cisco. The program is designed to serve as a national platform for the next generation of digital applications and content based on social networking, mobile, interactivity and broadband programming elements.

"Youth in general are inundated with so much content, and what we liked about this application was that it gives them the power to filter very easily through so much of it," mtvU GM Stephen Friedman said. "We could see this working for comedy, user-generated content and film and as one that lets our audience narrate and curate what they like and don't like."

This year's greenlighted programs include the hybrid social networking/mobile reality game "Casablanca"; the online hip-hop destination "RapHappy" from NYU; the online ranking technology "Selectricity" from MIT; "Osiris," an MP3 "visualizer" that uses song lyrics to automatically create music videos, from Brown University; and "How Do I Say This?" an interactive advice-based online community from UCLA that grew from last year's program and has been extended.

Friedman said all were chosen because of their ease of use and originality as well as the fact that they weren't previously available on the Internet.

"Each is a really smart and different application that enables us to integrate our audience into the process to create interesting programming," Friedman said.