So, the puzzle my Phd tries to solve (how creativity, cultural participation and the ‘democratization’ of technologies fit together) comes out of the hype around two converging ideas: the increased availability and production power of digital technologies for content creation and distribution (see Anne’s pointed mini-critique of some of this) and ‘creativity’ as life-fulfilling, as economic driver, as the means to participation and radical consumer-led cultural change (especially for the content industries). I want to find a way through this hype and try to extract what the possibilities actually might be, and for whom, and it what circumstances, and in whose interests, but first I need to say what I think is wrong with the hype.
So I love it when I find stuff like this, which contains every stereotype about creativity and every wrongheaded assumption about “production” and “consumption” I could ever wish for. Then I get depressed:
[…] the C stands for CONTENT, and anyone with even a tiny amount of creative talent can (and probably will) be part of this not-so-exclusive trend.
So what is it all about? The GENERATION C phenomenon captures the tsunami of consumer generated ‘content’ that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an ongoing basis.
The two main drivers fuelling this trend?
(1) The creative urges each consumer undeniably possesses. We’re all artists, but until now we neither had the guts nor the means to go all out.
(2) The manufacturers of content-creating tools, who relentlessly push us to unleash that creativity, using — of course — their ever cheaper, ever more powerful gadgets and gizmos. Instead of asking consumers to watch, to listen, to play, to passively consume, the race is on to get them to create, to produce, and to participate.
the fluff-piece goes on to gives lots of examples of how these manufacturers are “getting consumers” to “produce”.
See also Nations-Lite for an informative yet entertaining overview of “the most remarkable achievements and developments that are turning the UAE into a NATION*LITE* for prosperous HOME TROTTERS from Asia, the Middle East, the EU and South Africa”! Eek.