Digital Economy and Pro Status
Just randomly thinking here . . . please pass if you’re busy and looking for direct application.
I’m not a photographer, yet I’ve got over 10,000 images scattered among three flickr accounts. I haven’t bought film recently (or ever that I recall) but I’ve got to imagine that the film combined with processing would have cost quite a bit. Then I’d have to figure out how to store all these pictures etc. I’d also have even fewer friends than I do now as I tried to get them to look at all these pictures and give me some feedback.
Instead the accounts have around 45,000 views -that includes one that’s pretty much totally private – just stuff for family and friends. Strange to see things stack up like that.
Does this matter or am I just indulging my ego?
I think it does matter. The web combined with digital photography has created the right economy for a lot of non-professionals to really improve at a number of skills. I’m talking about photography but it could just as easily be writing, art, music or film etc. Granted it doesn’t work for all things (math would be far different for instance) but that doesn’t mean we should ignore what it does work for.
I’ve now got a free audience (voluntary and various) with different experiences, skills and points of view. That’s basically what I feel college is a lot of times. A place where you pay for a, hopefully enlightened, audience and feedback. I can do without any more student loans but I still want that feedback, that audience.
I can put up huge amounts of work, get feedback and learn from others all virtually for free. Granted there are some comments that are useless and some that are left by trolls (see virtually all youtube comments) but learning what is and is not constructive criticism is exactly that- learning. I can be selective and I can check out the commentor’s work, which either lends credibility or doesn’t. I’d have liked that option for some of the teachers I had in high school (not sure if I should smile or frown about that).
So it seems the economy is in the publishing/media, storage, and audience/expertise/interaction. Cheap, fast and frequent feedback.
Practice makes perfect right? And feedback guides practice. The more frequent and timely the better.
I’ll pretend I’m not quoting Borat when I say “Thattt’s Niccceee.”
Image source YangPing