The debate following this week’s Media140 Brands event in London continues apace, with practically every panel and keynote speech avidly discussed all over the interwebs.
Below, Stuart Witts reflects, from his personal perspective as a creative designer, on the pros and cons of crowd sourcing creativity and wonders whether or not this latest buzz word might be yet another reflection of our recessionary times:
I think of myself as a creative, and have focused predominantly in the digital arena for more than 14 years but certain recent developments in the social scene have left me troubled.
Now I have nothing against crowd sourcing. In fact, in all of the truly great agencies this is exactly how creative concepts are created – except it just used to be called brainstorming. Nic Ray’s strategy of utilising the power of crowds to open up the flow of ideas to everyone, from seasoned Creative Directors to Bill, the plumber from Swindon, is a noble one – but I fear that this only goes to further devalue the currency in which creatives such as myself trade.
I am not for a minute suggesting that I am the font of all ideas (and having worked in agencies where those in charge are the guardians of all concepts, I have seen how this can corrupt the system), but to suggest that my skills and years of experience are worth no more than Bill’s seems totally unfair.
After all, if I were to ask Bill into my home to fix my toilet, I would trust him to complete the job in the best way possible, mainly because of his experience (and partly because he’s my Dad) and I would never dream of inviting a group of strangers around to suggest other ways of doing it.
Before I completely discount the benefits of crowdsourcing, I would like to go on record as saying that “as a method of generating that spark that leads to the roaring inferno, I believe it is second to none”, but in these recessionary times, it is difficult not to think it will simply be used as a way to source campaigns at bargain prices and finally prove to the public that we creatives are the chunky glasses wearing, man bag carrying tossers that they always suspected we were.
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