In the past 20 years the internet has evolved and affected our lives in ways we could not comprehend. And as always there are people that think it is a great medium with lots of promise and others that think it is ruining our lives. In the past few years, in particular, a number of new places have sprouted on the internet that deserve some credit for mixing things up. You may have heard of them; Facebook®, Pinterest®, Twitter® and Google®, just to name a few.
Some believe the internet is an oppressive killer of creativity. Saying that people don’t express their own opinions, but regurgitate ideas of others. Well, I suppose that is true for some on the internet who are just trying to gain an audience. But, hasn’t that always been true of those people? In fact, the idea of rumor and plagiarism has been around since humans started to read and write.
Sharing not Creating
Others point to the fact that the popular tools of the internet (Flickr®, Pinterest®, and Tumblr®) are designed for collecting, organizing, and sharing, but not creating. This is also true, but not the whole truth. My truth is… that we get used to looking at and interacting with our world in the box that it is in and forget to “think outside the box”. A small example of this is Pinterest® and the advent of the long pageflowchart format. Doesn’t this new format conjure up ideas for how to present your own ideas and perhaps even enlighten you on the way humans are path driven? For me, it spawns new ideas on how to build websites that are one page in length, but hop up and down the page as you click and scroll.
Another point of view is that the organizers of our data on the internet are so tightly controlled that they are not interested in innovation. First, I would doubt that these organizations are not interested in innovation, since the choices are just a click away. They have to be innovative to stay alive. Pinterest®, for example, launched in Beta only in 2009. Nine months after they launched they had 10,000 users and Pinterest is currently valued at more than $1.5 billion.
If you don’t think the internet is inspiring innovative ideas I invite you to checkout Vectorpark. Vectorpark is the product of Patrick Smith, a 36-year-old Brooklyn based artist. His art is interactive and can be “played” on your computer or a touch pad device like an iPad. Some people think it is a game, others a series of puzzles. In fact there is a lot of discussion in the art and design world as to what it is exactly. Myself, I find the Ball game amusing.
I invite you to look at the internet and creativity in a whole new light. Let me know how the internet has sparked your creativity.