Mind the gap.
No, not the warning in the Underground.
I’m talking about the generation gap. That’s right. Here it comes:
Items of Interest: Ep. 14
Generation C, the DIY Generation
Generation C is not your typical generation. It’s not defined by dates, birth year, decades. The “C” stands for Content.
This phenomenon captures the avalanche 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. They’re using technical tools to create and publicize their own content. It’s easy. Blogging, social media, self-publishing, YouTube videos, Flickr. There are hundreds of ways for you to spread your content far and wide. You also have the opportunity to focus your content laser on the people who are interested in what you have to give.
The ultimate shouting into the void.
And, it’s not limited to content. The upcoming generation has taken a Do-It-Yourself approach to business. The entrepreneurial spirit has captured the young generation. Look at Google. The founders didn’t even meet each other until 1995 and now it’s one of the most influential companies in the world. Apple has changed from living in Microsoft’s shadow to a leader in technology.
What is bolstering this Do-It-Yourself spirit?
Technology. Need to make a bank deposit? Use a machine. Need to hang a shelf? Go to the hardware store and buy the materials. Need to rewire your house? I’m sure there’s a YouTube video on that somewhere…
But, wait! There’s more!
Most professional content industries (production studios, publishers, news corporations, recording studios) have gatekeepers. And, they have gatekeepers for a reason. There is value in the gatekeeper.
Let’s be honest. I can take a picture of a pier. Doesn’t mean it belongs on a poster or postcard. It’s just something I put up on my blog when I *cough* don’t have anything to write that day.
Just because I can record a song in GarageBand doesn’t mean I can cut an album (nor should I). You can list every successful content creator out there, but for every one success story, there are hundreds of failures. Why?
I’ll tell you.
In Creativity, Mihaly Csikszentmihaliyi tells us why being “creative” isn’t enough. You must know your domain and know the rules of it. What’s a domain?
Like Psychology or Literature. The category of “thing” you want to contribute to.
Then, you need to be in a field, a place where people can judge if your innovation is novel and relevant enough to be added to the cultural knowledge base. While the Internet is used by millions of people, how many visitors do you get on your blog?
Think about it. There were nearly 290,000 books traditionally published in the US in 2009.
Which ones did you read? (What Oprah told you?)
I’m proud to be part of Generation C. I love hanging out on social media. I like blogging about things I find interesting.
But if I want to be added to the cultural knowledge base, there are a few gates I need to crash.
Read more about Generation C here.