In the post-industrial era which was partly made possible by the Internet, two-way communication is taking over from one-to-many knowledge transmission media such as newspapers. Nowadays we can each create our own content and place it on the World Wide Web for all to see. When we do this, we are creating content for others and they can comment and update our contribution. This may help us to see that all knowledge is tentative – it is only there for us to use until we find a better alternative. Of course, this has been true since the time in history when many ordinary people learned to read and the printing presses first started. It is much more obvious nowadays. However, with our new capabilities come new responsibilities:
As we seek out and browse through web content we will have the opportunity to add our expertise to the world’s knowledge or to add our voice to the various opinions around issues which have no concrete answers. When we add our voice (or our expertise) we are co-creating knowledge and potentially changing the future of people who are influenced by our contribution.
Many online forums, such as the ToyHouse blogspace are set up so people can comment on the posts and in turn on each other’s comments. Blog writers can use this feedback to fine-tune their knowledge and test their opinions in relative ‘safety’. This input and debate co-creates content. There is an outline for the next few episodes of the series on innovation, but they are not yet finalized. If you post comments, you can help determine what future posts will contain. They get more interesting and you have co-created that content. It’s as simple as that!
Sometimes a contribution can be an apparently frivolous re-interpretation of a someone’s work of art. Sometimes Hollywood and the music industry oppose this form of reworking or ‘mash-ups’ which creatively combine video media (see next Innovation blogpost titled Intellectual Property).
As an example of co-creation, view these two lip-dub videos, based on the Backstreet Boys’ song ‘I Want It That Way’, which feature surprisingly sophisticated and innovative group improvisations. The first is from two students who call themselves the ‘Back Dorm Boys’ and the other is from a group of office workers and will be available here soon.
Back Dorm Boys
Day at the Office