Remember Kanye West's DONDA project? The Dharma Initiative or grand Ozymandias scheme of projects, the employer of the dopest creative minds ever, the world-changer that Kanye West came up on the greatest late-night storytelling session since Scheherazade? We supposedly have its first accomplishment. And supposedly it's... a WHOIS database.
The fact that 90% of you do not know what a WHOIS database is should tell you how terrible an idea this is. Basically, a WHOIS database lets you look up the contact information for website owners. Tons of sites exist to do this exact same thing. How is DONDA's version different? Well, it's graphic-designed to holy Hades. It's got a really nerdy wrapper/rapper pun embedded in its source. And it calls itself the "Facebook of websites," which is the most succinct parody of startup pitches that it is... probably actually a parody, guys. (And if it's a parody, then calling it "whodat.biz" is... questionable form.)
But who are we to call this? Let's compare and contrast.
KANYE: Design should improve and simplify the world.
We can collectively effect the world trough design.We need to pick up where steve jobs left off— Kanye West (@kanyewest) January 5, 2012
We want to help simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel.— Kanye West (@kanyewest) January 5, 2012
THIS: The Donda experience, according to this, is having about two screens' worth of BIG FUCKING IMPACT TEXT slammed in your face before you can get to what you're trying to do, as if the Time Cube guy did a redesign. Compare. This is the exact opposite of good design, simplification or aesthetic improvement. It is the exact distillation, however, of what you'd make if you were trying to make fun of design trends right now.
KANYE: Donda will fix the world's broken social systems, of which there are legitimately tons:
There are so many broken systems from the economy to school systemsjail systems... we need experts for this...— Kanye West (@kanyewest) January 5, 2012
THIS: Donda's first project will fix the problem nobody had of their WHOIS lookup being slathered in graphic design runoff. Nobody asked for this. Nobody can be marketed this. There is no demographic for this. But as a joke....
KANYE: Donda will produce lavish learning spaces to foster the precious brainchildren of innovative/forward-thinking/creative minds that are so much doper than Kanye West.
I want to put creatives in a room together with like minds that are all waaaay doper than me— Kanye West (@kanyewest) January 5, 2012
THIS: Nobody involved in this is doper than Kanye West.
KANYE: Donda's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Kanye West, when he's announcing his own projects or his buddies' projects, uses his own Twitter.
If anyone would like to reach out email us at contactDONDA@gmail.com— Kanye West (@kanyewest) January 5, 2012
THIS: The email address of this is email@example.com, and its associated Twitter account is @dondamedia, whose logo is literally just the letter D. Kanye West does not follow that account, although whoever's running it has taken the time to retweet context-free crap from Kanye pals Azealia Banks and Kim Kardashian (sample: "OMG OMG OMG") to look legit.
However, the first person following the Donda Media account is "new media artist" Sterling Crispin, who is working on a master's project in digital media, who's been described in words you might also use for arty prankster Banksy and who is unusually invested in retweeting/favoriting stuff about this site. In other words, the exact sort of person who would either pull a prank like this or know people who would pull a prank like this.
(Update! Not the former, possibly the latter.)