My best friend and I live apart. 1,138.31 kilometres apart, to be precise. It’s been 716 days of long-distance friendship during which we have missed each other a lot, in many different ways. Graduations, Christmas markets, existential crises, beach days have all been spent apart. But the worst? The worst has been birthdays. My best friend and I spent a total of 8 birthdays together, which might not seem like much, but it represents a quarter of our lives (and a solid half of our conscious lives). That’s not insignificant. On this second year of being apart, I had to do something special for her birthday. So, on her special day, I sent her a magic box, packed-full with myself and 11 of our friends. That’s crazy, I hear you murmur through the time and space continuum of the Internet. Except it isn’t. For that magic box was, in fact, a website. To be precise, it was a web page that contained video messages from my friend’s nearest and dearest who, ironically, were quite far away from her. Creating a website is not easy. Creating a website as a person with very limited tech experience is near impossible. But I made it. Hi Lucija. You’re old(er), the title read, to celebrate the happy occasion with a pinch of humour that I knew she would appreciate. Then I added my video message, and so did her closest friends from uni. Getting a hold of them and convincing them to record and send their videos was no easy feat. Some were reluctant to appear on camera, but joined in after I told them how happy she would be to hear from. Others forgot about the videos, and needed a gentle nudge. Or five. In the end, it all came together. The font was not the exact shade of black that I wanted, the videos were not aligned perfectly, and the background did a funny flickering thing that I could not fix, but there it was: Lucija’s birthday celebration. And boy, did she love it. In fact, she sent back a video in which, amidst a stream of happy tears, she explained how much her digital celebration meant to her and how she felt she was together with all of us, on her special day. In a way, while orchestrating this whole venture, I also felt more like I was with her, imagining her surprise and joy. And tears. Above all, the time and effort spent on organising our friends and creating the surprise was all worth it; for there is no greater reward than seeing your most important people beaming with joy from being celebrated and loved. Luckily, this is something you can also do for your friends, family, colleagues, and just about everyone, thanks to our brand-spanking new platform, The Video of Everyone. Even better, you can do it without the blood, sweat and tears (oh! so many tears) from coding out a website from scratch. Unless you like coding. Then by no means will we stop you. With The Video of Everyone, all you need to do is enter the lucky recipient’s name and select their happy occasion. Is it a birthday? A wedding or anniversary? Perhaps a graduation or retirement? Or there’s an absolute legend in your community that deserves a special shout out for their greatness? Take your pick! Once you have created your greeting, all that’s left to do is record your video message and invite everyone who the recipient would love to see in their digital celebration. Oh, and to share it with the lucky person. Our advice? Bring tissues. Or mysteriously mail them an industrial-sized package of Kleenex before you send them that special link. You’ve been warned. What occasion will you be celebrating next? Do it with The Video of Everyone and tell us what you think!