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2007-10-24

Blogging ≠ Creativity

Blogging is not a creative act. Neither, for that matter, is the use of any social media, such as videocasting on YouTube. They require no more inherent creative talent than the ability to read, write, and fiddle with a bit of machinery. A post might exhibit creativity or exist for a creative purpose. But its existence might just as easily be instructive or persuasive in nature.

The true quality common to all social media is that it is expressive—it's an act of outreach, of communication. And for all my talk of content as king—which I still firmly believe—it's in that act of communication that the human interest lies. For it's in the content that we sense the personality and glimpse the person behind the machine.

We as readers or viewers intuit the risk and reward of that outreach. Sometimes we are moved to laugh or cry at a particular blog post, or we cringe at a misguided attempt to evoke a reaction. Often we just roll our eyes at yet another video or a dad getting hit in the balls by his toddler. But we're always intrigued and we imagine ourselves alongside that person reaching out to us.

And it's those who keep that illusion alive the longest—who convince us that we're center stage with them, that we're an essential part of the experience—who know how to use and manipulate social media.

2 comments:

The.Effing.Librarian said...

don't you think that formulating an argument is creative? or making a joke? I agree that blogging is not creative since it can simply involve the "look at this" post, and that's why I try not to blog. But I think the longer I do it, the more likely I am to think that my posts matter, and think I'm doing something constructive (wrongly). I need to remind myself that I should only blog to amuse myself. Anything else, and you're right, is just a turd on a stick.

Stephen said...

librarian@play said...

Who else thinks Stephen needs a blog of his own? His folksy, aw-shucks tone would play well out there.

Why bother to blog if its not going to be creative...