My Digital Culture Manifesto

17 Nov
Digital Culture is not the way of the future: it is the way of the present.
There’s no point debating whether or not digital culture is a good thing, whether or not social media is turning us all anti-social, or, the silliest question of all, whether or not we should engage with it. It’s happening. It’s here. People are doing it. The only question should be HOW are we engaging with it.
Social Media is about engaging with society, not about socialising.
I am tired of people assuming that if I am busy on Facebook or Twitter or even YouTube I can’t possibly be working. If you keep social media separate from your work, you are keeping a vast audience away from your work. Your choice. But don’t judge mine.
Get to know the world you’re living in.
If you don’t use Twitter properly, you might as well not be using it at all. If you don’t understand who reads blogs, don’t blog. If you can’t justify why something should be online, it probably shouldn’t be. Don’t just do it because you can. Please. We learned that the hard way with Flash.
A good workman never blames his tools.
Because that’s what social media is. An amazing set of tools. They can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But if you understand them, they can work for you.
If you can’t think of anything good to say, don’t say anything.
We don’t need anymore whining and whinging. We all know shit things happen online. Unless you have a solution, keep quiet. If your favourite free site or software crashes, turn off your computer and go outside for a little.
Shut up already about the digital divide.
Technology didn’t cause the divide. And what exactly would be better? Technology bridges more divides than most other things I can think of. It’s certainly better than fixed line telephones. Or postcards.
Don’t be afraid to think for yourself.
Guess what – when you grow up, you get to make your own decisions. Sometimes people make bad ones. That sucks. And then we deal with the consequences. We cannot control the internet – just ask the US government. But why do we so desperately want to? What’s so terrifying about people making their own choices? Because, fundamentally, I believe we are all more good than evil. So for every internet paedophile out there, there’s five people trying to hunt them down and stop them.
Let go.
Share. Open your hands. Stop hoarding your knowledge, your information, your expertise, your secrets. It’s time to give in and give out to the rest of the world. Call it Open Source, call it Creative Commons, call it madness if you want, it’s the way the world is evolving, which brings me to my final point:
Culture is alive.
Biologically and theoretically speaking, culture spreads, grows, changes, evolves, adapts. We can’t stop it. We can only hang on for the ride.
So that being said I reserve the right to change my manifesto tomorrow. But please comment – add suggestions and improvements. Or you’ll find me on Facebook, @karenjeynes, on skype at karenjeynes_sa on Google Wave, or just about anywhere these days.

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