What it is that I can say about people’s blogs that the blogs themselves are not communicating? And, even if my comments on the digital storytelling of others are valid, are they useful? Am I offering anything new to the conversation about digital storytelling? Or, are my comments just a mash-up of pre-existing concepts – the blogs I’ve researched, what I’ve read for this class, other people’s comments in class – remixed in a peculiar way? Is this blog, for example, like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox and the ideas with which I’m working have less and less integrity each time they’re are reproduced?
Or, is my remix more than the sum of its parts? Does the stealing and welding and reshaping of ideas I’ve found interesting form something unique – an original work?
In my search for the blogs of digital storytellers, I happened upon the site of one artist who would say “yes.”
In class, we discussed the possibility of using a blog as a place to try out ideas, to have unfinished thoughts, to make a mess. At the beginning of this blog, I made a post about how uncomfortable I was using this space that way. I was loath to post anything that wasn’t “finished;” as soon as it was “out there” it could be graded and judged. I didn’t see the blogosphere as a place where I could ask dumb questions, or sift through ideas without having fully articulated my arguments. But Kleon’s blog – for better or worse – made me feel a little more free to think of ideas as a jumping-off point for mine; to not wait for perfection before making something – even if what you make turns out to be a mess.Messes – the many, many awful ideas you try out before reaching one you think you like – seem a necessary part of the creative process, but it’s one I think the schools I’ve attended have encouraged me to keep to myself. The web offers thinkers the opportunity to do the opposite. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet, but I’m giving it a try. I’m basing this take on my academic work on the suggestions of a non-academic. Here’s to letting everyone see you sweat.