Sunday, 15 June 2014

Creative & black

When it comes to black social media – and I'll say now, Twitter and blogging is where I started but not where my interests end – there is one person who can take the credit for making it all possible.

One person who enabled the whispering in the corners to become a shout out.

Creative people ...
Colour outside the lines

One person who set us all up to be able to speak for ourselves and start a new conversation....where Indigenous  people -  Aboriginal mob, black fullas -  could broadcast I am excellent at what I do, I have dreams, I am here and I am not going away

One person responsible for all the blogs. All the twitter handles.

One person responsible for all the campaigns, the protests and the growth of Indigenous opinion online.

All this was made possible by one person…

...this guy ~~~> the bloke who invented the internet.

Ever since then we are all working it - refining it, learning from it, improving how we use it, and hopefully benefiting from it.

Creative people...
Think with their heart

Social media is a powerful tool, especially for people with a strong sense of community responsibility: a respect for principles and cultural practices, and it is the most efficient means of sharing resources and information. People use social media to fight against racism, and promote better ways to deliver health services and education. They talk about social issues, injustice and inequity.

Hate the rules & make lots of mistakes

There is no regulatory body for black social media. There is no standard set of protocols. 

I’m not saying we need one. A person would be all kinds of crazy to think one was possible, or be the one to try and make it happen.

There is no requirement to reveal identities. No elections. No unifying social media presence. No accountability and no transparency. No one has all the answers, speaks for everyone, and no one has an agenda that is any more or less deserving of attention than another. 
What do you mean ‘we’ ...
... clarity around who ‘we’ and ‘us’ is exactly when fund raising for projects associated with ‘the Indigenous community” would be awesome so people know what they are buying.
BREAKING NEWS I’m not part of any group that is asking, hoping, encouraging or praying for donations, or advertising merchandise for sale.

We can’t claim diversity without acknowledging there are vastly different life experiences, different priorities and different aspirations.

Creative people...
are risk takers

Social media  – depending on who you are – in no particular order, is your job, your leisure, your source of income, your connectivity, your activism, your art, or where you ‘pay it back’.

Change their mind a lot

Talking of way... the issue of 'pay the writers' took a while to play out, in media in general. I think it was universally agreed that if your business plan involves the writing of words - and you do not have the means to pay the person who produces the content, then what sort of 'business' is it, exactly.

Now...listen up - and I'd be confident in knowing this (and the cat pic that I will conclude with) are probably the most compelling parts of this post because many people enter into social media with a business model in mind:   in the early days of an online transaction, everyone's a winner when an unknown writer is providing content for an unknown site. 

But then comes the day - if the person writing is any 'good' and the person operating the site is any 'good' - that there's money in it for someone. And instead of exposure, it becomes *cough* exploitation. 

Indigenous writing - blogging - social commentary - is not immune from this. In fact, if it plays out like most other business opportunities, the black person could expect to come out of this worse than others in similar circumstances. Sad, but true. 

Carpetbaggers: eg, unscrupulous business people who target communities to sell dodgy mobile phone bundles and funeral plans. 

If you are Indigenous you can be made to feel (when this is a choice any individual should get to make for themselves) that it's more incumbent on you to have a social conscience, the pressure is greater to do it for your people, or for your community, on the suggestion of others or a commercial entity that was savvy enough to see an opportunity.  Or other times and probably most of the time because the snippets we see of each other are not enough to really know where they are coming from when it's people making the connections and developing the networks that social media is GREAT in developing, though how would YOU feel if this was your week for example...
...I field 2 requests a week to have my work on someone's blog; in someone's book, lecture; for their students, their column, their radio show, their pozible campaign and their grant application, their festival and their ph'd studies, their social media workshop and their rotation curation account; their community arts group and their organisation's fundraising project...

Social media can be an adventure and where an artist chooses to promote their paid work, that travels through combinations of all the above – eg, you start on twitter because you work alone, live in the middle of nowhere and even though writing is definitely not a team sport and best done alone, there's a creative need to connect with other artists, then - BAM -
Creative people...
Dream big

..... a year later you are coordinating an online International Indigenous Social Media Festival.*

Social media is the means to experiment – to flex your writing and your voice. It can be as much or as little as you put in to it. No one can make or give you a 'social media presence' – and to suggest otherwise is mythmaking. And social media can be a hella wake up call to what you would not have done if you had known better when you started – trust me on this.

Work independently

The nature of social media is that it grows and changes very rapidly. It’s why it appeals to me. If I want to tell new stories, change my world, achieve my goals, and make a living as an artist, then social media is the place for me because I can reinvent myself over and over and over again.

Creative people ...
Easily bored
Have a reputation for eccentricity.

This post was inspired by a tweet I saw today with a list of the characteristics of creative people. The tweet was protected so I am unable to give credit where credit is due.

I’m a writer. There is more than one voice. There is more than one story. There is also more than one way to affect social change. And I can't count the ways there are to influence – some are subtle, and other forms will burn it down to the ground.

And thanks to the internet there is more than one way of telling a story. The chains on a community, around a group, an industry or a society need not apply when it comes to the world wide web. They just don't need to. 

True, them mob broken down on the side of the road might need a lift, and that's no worries, I'm happy to help, but they're not bringing their stuff - there is no room for their baggage in my vehicle.

New technology, him good way to tell em stories. Can use em computer to make em story in picture, in sound and in little boxes.

And we can express ourselves in different languages; different narratives; new industries, and new genres. New formats of publishing, and new ways of bringing stories to life in webseries and hangouts are already here now. 

Top tip: Combine new technologies with a social media strategy and a business plan.

And it’s cheap mate. Put your mind to it, and you could just about do it for nothing. Providing you open your mind to the possibilities.

And if you are a creative person – an artist – that’s what you do.

*2015 – World Indigenous Storytelling Hangout Festival
WISH Festival
Online – interactive – free
Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment