Actor Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office, has debuted a new community Website, SoulPancake.com, to provide a venue for thoughtful, irreverent, and real conversations about creativity, spirituality, and what it means to be human.
The first-of-its-kind site, which was in beta testing for nearly a year, has experienced heavy traffic and rapid growth: Since its launch, it has had more than 7 million page views from 2 million visitors across 212 countries. “SoulPancake is about creative expression as a form of ‘worship’—a way to connect with the world and with the rest of the people on the planet,” Wilson says.
SoulPancake.com ladles up thought-provoking, sometimes humorous content, including provocative Life’s Big Questions; exclusive videos; articles and interviews; and creative challenges. Wilson will also host his own mini-talk show on the site called “Metaphysical Milkshake,” where he interviews various noteworthy people about the intersection of faith and art.
User engagement is rich on the site, as well. Take the Question Collective, which encourages the more than 28,000 users registered on SoulPancake.com to pose their own questions and engage in the debate that follows. The section has emerged as one of the greatest drivers of honest, deep, interactive, and thoughtful dialogue on the site. In fact, these discussions often scale into threads with hundreds of responses in a matter of minutes.
“We wanted to get people talking,” Wilson says. “These are the questions everyone thinks about and no one has the guts to pose. At SoulPancake.com, you can ask. In fact, we command you to ask.”
A sampling of recent Life’s Big Questions posed on the site:
· If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
· If you had one hour left on earth, how would you spend it?
· What does art have to do with the soul?
Wilson developed the idea for SoulPancake.com two years ago. Working with co-founders Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry, Wilson wanted to allow students, misfits, professionals, and artists to have a place to express themselves without being stigmatized by organized religion or bound by the “airy-fairy, hippy-dippy” versions of spirituality that historically turn off the site’s target demographic.
The founders partnered with Portland, Ore.-based software & technology firm Think Brilliant (www.thinkbrilliant.com) to turn their vision into reality. Under Think Brilliant’s technological guidance, SoulPancake has continued to thrive on a custom development platform, while delivering innovative and powerful features to its rapidly expanding community.
“Take a meaningful piece of content, active and intelligent users, and give them awesome tools to talk about what’s important—that’s a winning combination,” says Aviv Hadar, owner and co-founder of Think Brilliant.
SoulPancake.com, which launched in January 2010 after a year in beta testing, is the brainchild of actor Rainn Wilson and co-founders Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry. The site’s mission is to make conversations about creativity, spirituality, and philosophy cool again. With the use of smart, thought-provoking, exclusive content coupled with a seamless user experience, SoulPancake.com engages its members as they “Chew on Life’s Big Questions.” To see a video of Rainn Wilson talking about the site, visit http://www.soulpancake.com/post/80/what-is-soulpancake.html.