Sometimes, especially when doing “serious” talks with superintendents, I forget that while the Read/Write Web is provocative and powerful and meaningful and potentially transformative, it’s also just way too much fun. Alan has a tendency of reminding me of this, like his post today about a Flickr group for “vegafitti” which are pictures of plants (mostly trees, but there’s a mushroom and a cactus in there too) that have been carved with messages. And I love what he says about it:
Now one can just tsk-tsk at the strange hobbies and things people devote time to, but everyone has a passion for something, be it flowers or defaced plants or â€¦.. But letâ€™s not underestimate again the beauty, flatterning, electricity of being able to find like minded people in your niche of interest. This is the essence of social software, and like Dâ€™Arcy Norman said last february, itâ€™s not about the software, its about the social processes it enables. Silly hobbies or powerful connections?
You can probably argue for both, but you can’t deny that there is just boundless energy and creativity inherent in what we’re doing here. Just the effort we put into to creating, into publishing and sharing, and into connecting imbues the whole process with meaning regardless of the perceived (or real) silliness of the content. And the best part is, we’re just scratching the surface. When Bud posts about one of his students mashing up Othello with World of Warcraft it makes me downright giddy with the potential. Think of what a whole world of teachers and students who get it might look like.
We need to remind those we’re trying to convince that as well as being a powerful place for learning, the Read/Write Web is also a place of great engagement both in process and product, a place where everyone’s investment no matter how small or how silly can reap dividends through the connections that form around the ideas and the content we share. This is a fun space for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is the chance to build community around our passions, no matter how out there they might be.