A social experiment

Author: Slanted editors is a personal website and social experiment, created in collaboration with—and for—Máuhan Zonoozy (known as M), to defy the ordinary and make people think.

The concept for the website started with an observation: today we are all terminally connected. So, what if we took this concept to the extreme, and created a website where M is always available, 24/7, for a 1-on-1 call, with a truly permissionless connection? How would people feel about being catapulted in an intimate setting with him? Just to discover that maybe he wasn’t really there? This became our social experiment.

As people land on the website, they think they are landing on a Google Meet, and see M walking in the room and staring at the screen as if he’s distracted by something else on his desktop (it looks like he forgot to exit a meeting and left the camera on).

For the experiment to work, we had to make the experience feel believable, so we carefully designed every element of the landing page (including a custom set of animated emojis) to look realistic, while also conveying M’s unique and refined look and feel.

As users interact with an interface they are familiar with, their actions surprisingly take them to additional unexpected pages on the website. Only then it may occur to them that it’s all meticulously staged, and that M is not, in fact, there.

Once M shared the website on social media, the response was immediate, and in no time the engagement soared, reaching over a million impressions on Instagram within the first few hours of sharing. As a result, Mauhan also heightened his personal profile.

Love it—or hate it—the site doesn’t leave room for indifference. Don’t believe us? Go ahead, try it for yourself!


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