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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Online Creativity Is Dead! Long Live Online Creativity!

Many people, myself included, regularly bemoan the forces of centralisation and homogenisation online. People don’t have home pages any more, they have social network profiles; an ever-growing amount of content and personal data is simply shovelled into the privacy-averse maw of Facebook; interaction and commentary is often reduced to clicking a button to show approval.

But is the internet really a duller, less creative place nowadays? A couple of people made comments to that effect on Twitter the other day, and my kneejerk reaction was to agree before I stopped to think it through. Yes, some of the excitement and optimism of the new frontier has inevitably faded, but almost every day I discover interesting new projects, and when putting together an imminent Link Dump post found I had a huge number of URLs noted down, far more than when I started doing them 7 years ago.

Online creativity hasn’t died off, it just changed and, if anything, is flourishing amongst those who want to do more than merely consume. People are playing with video instead of GIFs, experimenting with WebGL instead of VRML, spreading ideas via social networks instead of mailing lists, creating programs for wireless devices in their pocket rather than wired-up boxes under their desk, and so on. As with pretty much anything else, don’t listen to old farts moaning about how it’s not like the Good Old Days.


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