Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing


You talkin’ to WeeMee?

This site often describes the efforts of businesses to provide personalization of real world products that reflect a person’s real world identity and personality.

Examples of WeeMee's
WeeWorld are almost the polar opposite of this – they allow customers to create a personalized identity for the online world. WeeWorld are creators of the WeeMee, a multiplatform visual identity. The company claims to have more than 10 million WeeMees in more than 39 countries around the world, and have recently announced the launch of WeeWorld (www.weeworld.com) in the United States. WeeWorld’s says that it provides users with a simple, new way to create, update and maintain a consistent, personalized visual identity throughout their entire online and mobile life.

Founded in 1999, WeeWorld has offices in Boston, Glasgow and London and is funded by Accel Partners and Benchmark Capital. The company opened its North American headquarters in the Boston, Massachusetts area in June 2006 and appointed Lauren Bigelow as General Manager of North America. Bigelow has a background in online portals, community, gaming and mobile applications and joined WeeWorld from Mobot, where she launched groundbreaking mobile visual search promotions as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management. In this role, she will spearhead North American business strategy, drive awareness and lead WeeWorld into the forefront of American digital culture.

Today’s technology-immersive users have multiple opportunities for personal expression online, offline and on their mobile phones. WeeWorld enables users to create their own personalized identity that travels throughout their digital world. WeeMees can be used on instant messaging, blogs, social networks, Voice Over IP calls, email signatures, forums and message boards, personalized caller ID alerts, wallpapers or picture messages on cell phones.

WeeWorld already boasts global partnerships with many of the world’s biggest Internet and mobile organizations, such as MSN, Skype, Vodafone and Motorola. The company has also announced an agreement with AOL to allow users of the AIM service, the largest instant messaging community in the United States to create a WeeMee to use within their AIM application. WeeMees will also be available for any AIM user in Canada and throughout the United Kingdom.

The WeeMees have dynamic behaviours. As users chat, their WeeMees respond to key words, emoticons and Internet shorthand. WeeMees can be placed in fun and dynamic backgrounds such as Hollywood or a baseball or football stadium. Themed animations happen in every background, such as a user’s WeeMee being picked up in a HumVee limo, or joining a cheerleading squad.

As the company continues to cultivate strategic partnerships with companies such as Skype, MSN and AOL, WeeWorld say that they are poised to become the standard for online/mobile digital expression and personalization.

In addition to WeeMee portability, WeeWorld.com provides interactive games and personalized ecards to send to friends. Users can create ‘WeeBuddies’ for their friends, keep their own blog and continually update their own WeeMee to express their current mood or daily attire.

WeeWorld also plans to evolve into the broader social networking realm by allowing each WeeMee to create and personalize their own space.

“Expanding WeeWorld to the U.S. market is a tremendous step forward in our ongoing efforts,” said Lauren Bigelow. “We are committed to innovation; we offer users creative means to extend their digital expressiveness and are motivated by the opportunities ahead as offline realities and online experiences continue to converge.”

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