Creative Family Tree

Original Content Web

As we start heading towards the finish line in our Writing for Digital Media class, we were tasked with explaining our “creative family tree”. This concept has been the culminating course objective since the day we all entered class and received our “Steal Like an Artist” Journals. For those of you who may not understand what this means by this point in my blog, let me explain. There is not really very much “original and completely new” digital media out there in the world. Whether people want to admit it or not, most of their ideas came from something before it, even if just the tiniest little bit. So today, we are delving into this concept…

During class, we were assigned to come up with our own inspiring outlets of media on the web. Whether it be a famous person on Twitter, a designer on Instagram, or a really cool website. We then were supposed to trace back their own inspirations and where they ended up getting their creativity from. In my case, I decided to do the Nintendo Switch Subreddit and the Web Developer Subreddit. I decided to pick these locations because they really showcase the creativity (or lack thereof) on the Internet. The reason being, is that the content produced on the site Reddit is completely user-driven. Sure there are moderators who curate content and some news is automatically added during natural disasters and other huge events, but for the most part, everything that exists is taken straight from the users.

While most people would think that this is a really good idea with lots of potential, others (we will call them “trolls”) like to be a little bit more cynical about the whole process. One of the biggest complaints of users such as these, is the lack of “original content” that exists within user-submitted sites such as these. Today’s featured image shows a little bit of the dilemma. Much of the content that exists within one social media platform is normally directly copied into another, or altered slightly with outside sources. For users who frequent multiple social media platforms (in this case: Reddit, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and 4chan) they are likely to see this repeated content and smash on their keyboards in disgust.

However, it should be noted that the whole concept of “original content” is not even valid in the first place. As we’ve delved into over the past couple months, we saw that the majority of today’s digital media is almost always taken from, remixed, or inspired by another person’s work. That “original” work was taken from, remixed, or inspired by another person’s work. And so on and so on. This is the creative family tree at work! While there is nothing inherently wrong with this concept, it is always amazing how quickly people forget to realize this. Moreover, media spreads like wildfire on the Internet and people just like to enjoy and share things that they find fascinating.

Before I let you all go, make sure to check out the fight for net neutrality. If you are not sure if this will impact you, let me save you some time. IT WILL!

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