SPECIAL EDITION: Espyrial will be taking a break from your normally scheduled architecture and design content to discuss some digital and social media related things. The fact that this semester I am heavily immersed in marketing and political science classes is 100% to blame for this shift in content. Not to worry, this will be temporary, I’m about to set up a “spin-off” blog pretty soon to discuss more digital/technology related things, watch out for news about that.
You know what the best thing about the internet is? It connects people. It sets up a community for people to communicate and interact with each other. You know the saying two heads are better than one? Well just imagine what 1000’s of heads can do! (No the answer I am looking for is not chaos, or mayhem) Collective action can achieve many things. I have two great examples that I have been itching to share.
The first is this website called Kickstarter. If you haven’t heard of it yet, check it out, and then go design something worthwhile.
Yea, cool right. Someday I’ll have an iPhone of my own, and I can buy this sweet little charging station.
Anyhoo, upon researching this little guy, I discovered Kickstarter.com and I am so excited that someone invented a platform like this. What an awesome way to help fund products and designs that people actually want. Simply put: 1)You have an idea 2)You submit it to kickstart 3)Start spreading the word and trying to reach your funding goal for your project by the stated deadline 4) Your idea becomes a reality. Share your idea with friends, family, twitter followers, the cashier at the grocery store, a random pedestrian and ask them to support your fabulous idea! Through Kickstarter, people can contribute as much or as little as they want to help you reach your goal and turn your idea into a reality. Generally, the designer will offer special product offers to those who contribute, as an appropriate thank you for their support. The limits are almost endless, an idea can literally be to create anything; art, music, technology, film, etc. Individually, $10 isn’t going to launch the production of a sweet new phone dock, but collectively, if 500 people donate 10$ that’s a whole other ballgame. Talk about having power. You, the people, get to help pick and choose some of the real life products that get created.
So finally the supa cool iPhone dock is made, in all its glory, and your friend Suzie wants one. Her birthday is coming up next week and you feel awesome because you can actually think of something to get her (which by the way, I never know what to get people for their birthday, so props to you). But alas, it retails for $40 dollars and you went to the movies last night ($12 dollars a ticket?!, seriously? Can I just stand in the back for half price?), and you bought a large popcorn (but it was only 25 cents extra!!) so now you only have $8 dollars to spend on Suzies iPhone dock. Poor Suzie, you think. Looks like her phone will have to remain dockless…
There is a light at the end of your $8 dollar tunnel my friend, because I am going to tell you about this wonderful new social media program called Giftiki!
Seems like Suzies phone will be forever charged in a classy dock after all. Giftiki is a social gift giving platform which basically lets people “gift” their friends. Here’s the scenario: Imagine if all of Suzie’s Facebook friends “gifted” her $1. Imagine how many iPhone docks Suzie could get then!? I’ll tell you; lots and lots. And the program is so easy, just sign up on their website, and start gifting your Facebook friends. All the money you gift to your friends can go towards whatever their heart desires. If they don’t know what they want to spend it on yet, your account can be exported as an AmEx gift card, or it can be saved and used to gift other people. Like their website say, “When everyone gives a little, together you give a lot.” Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
So here’s the thing. Collective action can achieve many wonderful and fabulous things. Social media and technology are opening all kinds of new worlds for sharing ideas, and showing your friends some love. The best part about them, there are visible results. There are (semi-) tangible products that result from both of theses collective platforms. Just let your mind float around in what else collective action can achieve.
Now someone go invent a way for there to be more hours in the day, and I’ll make a donation on Kickstarter.
p.s (Seriously though, I decided it I would rather write this post than read some article on neo-liberalism… good thing I like to hang out at the library)
p.p.s (Hope you liked the Pilot episode of EspyrialDigital…stay tuned)