Crowdsourcing the Meaning of Life

Marc Erlbaum has an audacious dream.

He would like to get closer to figuring out the meaning of life. And he’d like to span the globe via social media to do it.

“With all that’s going on with communal and collaborative abilities of the web,” he told me, “We ought to be able to communally solve problems that have eluded us until now.”

The filmmaker behind such positive movies as Everything Must Go starring Will Ferrell envisions a web community of positive content produced by both professional and everyday videographers.

To that end, he’s started a web campaign at . With $103,000 of their $150,000 goal raised, they have just a little way to go before the second phase of the project. “It’s been amazing,” said Erlbaum, “That people for whom there’s no profit motive are contributing to something they believe in.”

Once the money is raised, they will ask filmmakers to create short films about the meaning of life, awarding microgrants to the winning proposals.

With the content the filmmakers create, Erlbaum plans a web channel full of stories, both fiction and non fiction, with optimistic, hopeful themes. The channel will also include user generated content, to create a conversation between filmmakers and the public.

Like any visionary, Erlbaum hopes the product changes the world. “We are affected quite significantly by what we watch. We want to change society by creating positive content.”

By having that content come from a global perspective, he hopes to get some answers to life’s deepest questions. “If I’m giving my perspective, that’s limited and parochial. But hundreds of people contributing different views? Maybe we’ll create some universal perspectives.”

For more information, you can check out or visit their Facebook page. 

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  • This project is right up my alley. Definitely gonna keep tabs on this one. I’ve been enjoying your blog Rebecca. Good stuff.