The social Web challenges me to get out of my way and to think anew about whatever it is that I am doing – whether it is washing dishes or crafting a Tweet. But still it’s easy to get stuck in a mindset that values fast and efficient over fun and meandering. It’s a times like these that I go mingle with the creatives to recharge with what’s new and exciting.
If you don’t get off Facebook much, you might want to meander around Kickstarter and see what’s playing front page. Your friends or your kids have probably sent you to this service that provides a great set of tools — from video to messaging to marketing advice — to help you fundraise for your project. There’s one caveat. You have a deadline for raising your nut and if you don’t make it, you’re out. A stroll around Kickstarter is always amazing , often moving and usually inspiring. Seeing others creations might give you some ideas for your own.
This week, I stumbled upon a Kickstarter project: Good Ol’ Freda. Freda Kelly was the secretary for The Beatles from the early days at the Cavern Club until 1970. She’s still a secretary and until now has been mum about her life with the fab four. Now she’s opened up her scrapbooks to a filmmaker and they are looking to raise $50,000 by Nov. 12 for their film project. Shes offering all kinds of goodies in exchange for your donation.
Another place to easily get lost in a wonderland is YouTube. And not just in the old music video section. There’s real talent at work here making excellent niche TV shows that are better than the best of Hollywood, precisely because they are so deeply engaging with their audiences. A fan girl friend recently pointed me toward Issa Rae’s “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” which Rae creates and stars in. The production values and acting are very good. But the writing is superb and funny.
Or if you are feeling geeky, you can head on over to the Twit netcast network, “Netcasts you love from people you trust.” Here you’ll find some inspiration for that underused conference room, that yoga studio that’s empty during the day or the slow time at the café in the afternoon. Set up a stage and some talkative folks and you have a TV show. OK. The folks on This Week in Google aren’t every day people — they are some of the Internet’s most prominent thinkers — but you never know what talent lives in your building or up the block.
I was bungling around on Facebook and found actor friend Don Bender is involved in a new online theaterical production by Jamil Khoury, Silk Road Rising, which he says is engaging theater onstage and online around important issues. His play, Mosque Alert, is about ”Two suburban American families living in Naperville, IL -one Christian, the other Muslim- find their lives torn apart by a proposal to build a new mosque in their community.”
In the hopes of generating deeper engagement around this issue, I have designed a ten-step, interactive, on-line, new play development process that will assist me in developing and writing my play “Mosque Alert.” Viewers are encouraged to both influence and assist me as I pen this new play.
My ten step artistic process allows each participant to act as co-creator throughout the entire development cycle. I like to think of it as a spiritual convening of the individual with the art.
Each of these is a narrowcast co-creation with a passionate audience. It’s the way the future of the Internet is rolling out. There are millions of ideas blossoming. Yours could be one of them. If you know who your people are, you can find your idea. It can be as simple to execute [the writing wasn't simple] as a humorous tweetalogue like Dan Sinker’s Mayor Emanuel, which started as an anonymous satire of then Chicago Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel and ended up as a book. Or it can be as elaborate as a traveling global round robin musical like Playing for Change, which made its name with Stand by Me. Take some time to stroll around and fire your imagination. Let us know what you find and most important what you and your colleagues dream up for yourselves. We’d love to hear about it.