Creators’ voice: possibility and innevitability.

When I think of DNs as creators, what comes to mind is our effort on the net to gather different users in innovative productions, converging different sorts of information. The results can be very varied, from projects such as Wikipedia to Online Jamming Jazz Sessions. I guess one important issue to be discussed when we think of our week’s theme, is that the Web actually turns us into voiced creators by empowering us to either embrace our own innovations and creativity, or collaborate with others’ projects.

Although Born Digital states that not all creators on the web are wildly creative, I believe that one important point of these tools is the possibility that DNs have the choice to be voiced and to gather to produce whatever they believe is relevant. Rock bands create their MySpace account, social networks create environments conducive for discussions ranging from music fan clubs to political activism. Whatever the issue, being part of such networks allows DNs to voice their perspectives on the world and share it with their peers.

Obviously, a great part of these efforts will only reproduce what was already in “non-digital” formats. During discussions about the development of Distance Education, me and my peers notice the effort to transport face-to-face instruction to online platforms. The same will happen with any sort of creation on the Internet that, having no other parameter, will usually reproduce what is standard in the non-virtual world.

But then, there is possibility and inevitability. Although many of the creations on the net are not as creative as one can expect, the routine of releasing information through the web has already become usual. From programming a new application on Facebook to creating a video or a blog on the net, these productions’ relevance is in their process of production. In his book, Wealth of Networks, Yochai Benkler discusses in depth how the interconnectivity of the online community has enabled people to collaborate, to create things together with a quality and velocity never seen before. For example, Wikipedia proved to be a great idea by acting as a kind of social network and linking people around the world. So all this is possibility, the web connects information and creations around the world, giving people the chance of producing something together.

This then brings us to “inevitability.” Creators and their creations rarely remain the same. Even though many of our creations on the web still reproduce what happens in “real life”, we have been contaminated by this new sort of interaction enabled by technology and this should inevitably pace the projects we are willing to do.

In Born Digital, a lot is discussed about the mashing-up of information, and how DNs get what is available on the net and make it their own. I myself really like this particular production, where the classic, charming tale of Mary Poppins was turned into a horror film (which is great to pass around with Halloween around the corner). This is serves as an excellent example of what I mean when describing possibility and inevitability in terms of web creation. In this video, for example, means of production have already changed profoundly and there is no way our usual ways of producing knowledge will be kept the same. More than that, I believe there is an urge for different types of production. It’s exciting to see what kinds of creative things DNs will do with these new tools in the future!

How about you? Have you seen any kind of creation that challenges standard productions? Have you or anyone you now participated in any creative sort of collaborative work? Do you see this as positive and fruitful?