Some artwork of mine, that I am displaying at an art show at Mast Kalandar, Bangalore, India.
Websites like deviantART, a website for sharing and creating art, and Wattpad, a website for fiction writing, have shown collective effort on the internet that fits the description of cognitive surplus. These websites are for users interested in specific activities like art or writing to come together to create something. They put aside time, energy and effort to create useful stories, pieces of art, and so much more to generate surplus. Several community or destination sites such as these allow users to create and share their work.
I have personally benefited immensely from both sites over the past several years. It is not just a place to showcase my work, but seek comments from peer artists that I respect and admire. This participation is what makes these sites richer and keeps people coming back. In Wattpad for example, writers I know had not only found sympathetic and engage readers, but fans who design cover pages swap marketing tips. As with any community, the primary goal is to create a sense of belonging, a safe place to experiment and get encouragement and inspiration.
As an Indian kid working on manga, deviantART allowed me to not only sample manga work of many nations, but meet other similar kids who were crazy about manga as well (Otaku as we are called online).
I believe in looking at the positive perspective of life. Take the lost cell phone story we read a couple weeks ago, for example, after posting an advertisement and talking about the cell phone online, discussions with several different kinds of people sparked, the owner was able to retriever his cell phone. This would have never happened if there were not place online to discuss and meet different people. I think I feel enough comfortable online now, that I would post about my lost cell phone on Facebook or Twitter. Since I just got a Twitter for this class, I feel like it would be easier sharing it on Facebook as I have been there longer.
I really enjoyed this class and came across several new topics. I enjoyed the videos about NSA and cyber networking, as they were relatively new. They also scared me to a certain extent. It kind of made me wonder if the government was reading our blog posts as we were writing our opinions on them. (Looks around nervously!) We are now a generation heavily wrapped up in our own cocoons online, so I feel like it’s good if we are a little cautious every now and then.
Clay Shirky provided some interesting points. I liked that he stated that people should take time and effort on their own to create something (cognitive surplus). He states that this is easy to do so when one is in a community, like I have felt online with deviantART and Wattpad, and is comfortable exploring themselves and what they like. This allows them to forms skills and use tools to spread their message about their interest and dedication in specific fields.
My tools, for instance, currently include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They allow me to spread word on what I am doing. Whether it’s a release of a new YouTube video or a new blog post for this class, I am able to share my dedicated work through several forms of media.
I have really enjoyed having a blog and hope to continue using one. It could kind of be like my online diary, though I am not usually comfortable having people read my writing, let alone my diary. This class has been a lot of fun and it was great interacting and meeting all of you! Good luck on your future endeavors!