The PLANET YOGA project is essentially a full-length documentary (produced by our friends at InformAction Films) which takes us on a voyage from East to West through the universe of yoga. We meet passionate individuals who reveal this oriental discipline which in our time has been adapted and integrated into western culture, demonstrating the thirst for meaning that characterizes the beginning of the millennium.

The web feature is designed to extend the experience, broaden the approach, and encourage contact via a platform that allows all yoga fans to talk about and share their own story.

Allowing visitors to contribute content has become a very easy feature to implement these days. Sometimes, it’s like a sauce used a bit too liberally that spoils the recipe. So although we offer users the opportunity to create original content, our objective is to guide them, help them, and make the task easier.

It’s something we’ve named “guided storytelling”. It will guide users through the process of creating their profile by providing a framework for content. The result then is a more accessible and captivating structure that’s easy to assimilate.

The creation of profiles maintains an interactive aspect so it fits within web 2.0 culture but it also eases the complex learning curve when getting started. We think the steps we’ve developed in this feature are successful because they are enjoyable for users. We wanted the navigation to be fluid, simple, and fun so visitors will enjoy considering what to contribute to the site as they add information to their story.

The fun side of creating profiles and the very supportive process of “guided storytelling” is at the heart of the success of this feature in the website. We have made the portrait creation process very appealing. The process has to be simple and the results convincing for visitors to be proud of their profiles and interested in sharing them.

The idea is to create an informative online feature on yoga but also to make the visit entertaining and encourage people to come back to the site or at least to refer to it.

So the creation of portraits is our way of boosting people’s interest since you can’t count on a weekly broadcast (as would be the case for a documentary series, for example) to generate new traffic. In this sense, all the portraits have a unique URL address. This is how portraits can travel across social networks and create a viral effect on the web to generate traffic to the site.

At the same time, we are conscious of the fact that visitors don’t all have 30 minutes in one sitting to create their profiles. So the idea is to let users create theirs “step by step” and take into account the amount of time they have to spend.

We have also created 6 web documentaries of about 5 minutes each that treat a specific topic within the discipline of yoga. Each documentary serves to demystify yoga and allow the visitor to reflect on it. While we’re not trying to answer every possible question, we are still able to explore very interesting topics.