Internet Guru, Clay Shirky, wrote a book entitled "Here Comes Everybody" in 2009. He predicted that the free "social web" would unearth new ideas which galvanize people more efficiently and more authentically than top down organizations ever could.
Leveling the playing field by making it easier for people to publish isn't like "giving them a fish." It's like giving them a fishing pole but not teaching them how to use it. And with everyone crowding around the edge of the water, the people who know what their doing can't get to them to demonstrate.
To further complicate things, the internet is a multimedia and interactive technology. Even professional creative people aren't prepared for all the disciplines involved. Some have studied writing, or visual design, or music composition. Editing is something few are really good at. So there are very few professionals who can demonstrate how to do it all. And most universities still teach these expertises in a vacuum. There are no advanced degrees in multimedia offered.
So we can sit back and wait. Hope the next generation figures it out. After all many great artists have learned to draw, musicians to compose, and storytellers to write. But learning to create is a lot easier when the choice of medium is limited to music, or writing, or visual composition.
Where does one begin to develop the story and the workflow? The choices are abundant - words, images, music, movie, organic or electronic, in real time or archival, dynamic or static, etc., and which language (knowing your work will be automatically translated into other languages adds a whole other dimension to carefully choosing your words). Oh and remember that the audience can respond, how do you anticipate what comes next?
Each additional choice or consideration adds another brick and more mortar to the "creative block".
No one person can master all these skills. With technology evolving so quickly, mastery isn't even durable. So both natural insecurities about collaborating in a creative process and continually re-learning how to apply one's expertise add reluctance to the creative block.
Sure young people may be willing to take the dive and figure it out. But the truth is independent creative professionals have a head start. And young people who work beside them will benefit from that (and I don’t mean as free interns).
To disrupt this creative block, we are encouraging independent creative professionals to work with us to blaze the trail, in three ways.
First, we're creating a directory of independent creative professionals who want to blaze this trail here.
Second, we are raising funds to develop COMRADITY Digital Arts Resource Centers, a physical place for independent creative professionals - web developers, producers/project managers, visual designers, music composers, writers, editors - to share resources by co-working, co-learning, and co-creating. We will provide support services, such as tech and admin, to free time.
Third, once we have freed time, we will offer a “Cooperative,” a business structure used by artisan farmers, to overcome uncertainties professionals have about working together in a collaborative creative process. One project we’d contribute to the COMRADITY.COOP is this workshop we are developing to help amateurs learn how to use images and music in addition to words to express more complex and nuanced concepts, mediamashing workshops.