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A Map Of New York's Lost Mittens
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - 01:52 PM
I Found Your Mitten is a single serving site which maps the locations of lost mittens throughout New York City.
It's pretty simple. To report an orphaned mitten, you either tag a photo with #ifoundyourmitten on Instagram, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. When someone accesses the site, they can see lost mittens by map or by tiled photo.
So we're all grown-ups here, and we can admit that the actual number of people likely to be reunited with a lost mitten through this website is somewhere between none and few. But I like it anyway.
There should be a name for this category of website. A word to describe a site which presents itself as a utility, but is probably more of a whimsical proof-of-concept. It's kind of like a less-than-single-serving-site (which is not the name I'm proposing!)
Whatever these are, to say they don't pass the test of non-hypothetical usefulness isn't to say that they're bad. I'm a sucker for a good mitten map, and I don't think the world's any poorer for having this one. But for better or worse, it's one more example of a website where most of the value it offers is just as a link. If the site were completely broken, I'm not sure how much less useful it'd be. It's exists as an idea for people to be charmed or annoyed by and then tell someone else about.