Thursday, 6 March 2014

Ponderings: Making is Connecting

Teaching a one off media class 4 years ago I came across David Gauntlet and his concept that making is connecting.  His fascinating lectures (an example in the link below) look at how through the open source nature of Web 2.0 (or the web as we know it now) you can feel more connected and engaged with the world around you.  So when you think about tradition media, like the TV, you are just sat watching, you are the audience, but when you think about social media, you are a creator as well as the audience.  If you post a photo on facebook people interact with that, and most of the time that is a positive experience that makes  you feel more connected with the people in your life.

Because the internet allows us to make more connections with like minded people we can take these relationships deeper, for example websites like Ravelry allow like-minded creatives to work collaboratively or just through inspiration.  This is a major success of the internet.

Another wonderful side of this making & connecting is open source content - or for non-techies - free stuff!!  In my quest to improve and develop as a designer I made the decision not to charge for my patterns, just to accept and absorb feedback.  This is working wonderfully, without the constraints of making my pattern perfect or developed enough to sell I can whizz through the learning curve and test patterns on the market.

But this is the thing I enjoyed most, the emails from grateful knitters thanking me for my free patterns, it feels wonderful, often they include details about who and why they will knit my pattern.  I have had several emails explaining my pattern will be used as a gift of love to someone recovering from an illness, or maybe to keep a precious head warm after chemo.  Every time I receive on of these messages I get a huge pull to my heart from where-ever this message was sent.  So, if you've never done so, I really advise you post something free online, make and connect with others and the best thing of all is it makes you feel amazing too.

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