How the Internet Has Democratized Creativity
by Lynn Osterkamp
Being able to sell our self-published books on Amazon is a great example of how the internet has opened up opportunities for so many of us to share the products of our creative nature beyond our local community and/or immediate friends and family. The internet has democratized creativity by opening up the creative and/or problem-solving process to everyone.
And we are SO ready! Human beings are creative, imaginative and inventive by nature. We like to express our ideas through visual arts, music, and literature. We like to discover new solutions to old problems. We like to consider issues, formulate opinions and speak out. But for a long time we’ve had an elitist system that is biased in favor of credentials, expertise, experience, and connections.
The internet is changing all this by providing an opportunity for people to share or sell ideas, knowledge or creations without having to prove they have the credentials
- We have Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia created by anyone and everyone working together, which is about as accurate in covering scientific topics as Encyclopedia Britannica, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
- YouTube, a site where people can upload, view and share original videos complete with music, has over a billion unique users a month, and gets about 72 hours of video uploaded every minute.
- Kickstarter, a website that provides a platform for designers, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and other creative artists to raise funds to launch their creative projects, has funded more than 39,000 projects since its inception in 2009. More than 3.8 million people have pledged over $567 million to help bring creative projects to life.
- An online t-shirt company called Threadless gets all of its designs though an online contest that brings in hundreds of submissions each week. A few are posted to the website where anyone can rate them, and the ones with the highest ratings are made into tee shirts and sold on the site.
- At the InnoCentive website anyone can register as a potential problem-solver to take a shot at coming up with a solution to technical or scientific problems posted by “seekers.” Seekers and solvers are anonymous to each other. Companies evaluate proposed solutions on the basis of their merit rather than by evaluating the resume of the person proposing the solution. Solvers whose solutions are selected and used are paid for their ideas.
- Blogs provide millions of writers the opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions and activities with readers all over the world.
The elitists among us continue to insist that the internet’s level field promotes quantity over quality. They want gatekeepers to save them the time of wading through the muck in search of something worthwhile. They say that most people’s views are not worth listening to, most people’s writing is not worth reading, and most people’s art is not worth looking at.
But I think they are fighting a losing battle. Thanks to the internet many of us have gotten a taste of freedom of expression and we like it. And we’re not going back to the old elitist system.
Genre - Mystery
Rating – PG
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