Felix Writes: Drops In A Digital Ocean

DigitalThoughts / Drops In A Digital Ocean

In a recent speech about the modern reality of journalism, Ariana Huffington (of Huffington Post fame) said:

The same people who never question why consumers would sit on a couch and watch TV for 8 hours straight can't understand why someone would find it rewarding to weigh in on the issues -- great and small -- that interest them. For free. They don't understand the people who contribute to Wikipedia for free, who maintain their own blogs for free, who Twitter for free, who constantly refresh and update their Facebook page for free, who want to help tell the stories of what is happening in their lives and in their communities... for free.

I'll add that the same people are OK with consumers playing computer games instead of watching TV. Because, you know, they're supposedly more active. But when the same consumers become producers, suddenly it's not OK to be active anymore. What is it with people being freaked out by creativity, generosity and/or altruism?

And please, don't try to tell me that "nothing is free". How much does it cost you to breathe? Or take a walk? Or, once you're in town, snap some photos and upload them to your blog? Over the same Internet connection you're paying for anyway?

It costs you so little, you can't even measure it. Yet your blog can bring joy to people you'll never know, for reasons you wouldn't dream of. I'm constantly surprised to see which of the little things I publish on my website are being sought out. Or which of my photos people actually like. What if I had censored myself? What if we all did?

Think of it this way: the world would be poorer by 4 billion photos. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. See, life is not a zero-sum game. Neither is the Internet. So dare to be creative.

2009-12-03