Convenience of Creation.

Sep 14

Its been a while since i had the chance to sit down and write a blogpost. It takes a certain amount of time and inspiration to sit down and ramp out some words onto an empty screen. But what it of course also takes is the discipline to shut off the procrastination shield that might keep you from getting your words out there. Some of you might know what its like : You run around with an idea (or an itch) to create something ( audio / video / blogpost / cartoon etc etc ..)  but you haven’t gotten round to finishing it. Reason for that might be the fact that you don”t “have” the time, or you don’t make the time cause you are procrastinating “getting it done”. One of my personal reasons for procrastination is sometimes that I can’t make up my mind how ( with what device, on what computer, using what application), that I want to create the content. There is always that annoying factor of “being on the wrong system” / “having the wrong app” or just plain indecisiveness between the different options, that holds you back.

Hopping from computer to computer, location to location and from platform to platform this is a symptom that I run into from time to time.
It seems like the more “options” you have to create stuff, the more opportunities you have to put it off just a while longer. But inspiration and a creative mind is like a flea with atomic powers. It keeps bugging you until you scratch it.. and scratch it you will.

When I take a look at the content I produce and the devices I have to do it with .. i’m sometimes a little embarrassed at the sheer amount of gear I have collected. (and how small the amount of content is that is produced by that gear). Digital Videocamera’s, laptops, Digital audio recorders, lapel mikes, monitors, headphones, mixers… the list goes on and on. And the one downside to having all this specialized gear is that : A: You don’t produce anything because you can’t decide what tool to use for the job,  or B: You HAVE decided what gear to use for the job, but you don’t have it WITH you. On more then one occasion i’ve bumped into an AWESOME street artist who just NEEDS to be recorded and uploaded to Youtube .. but I don’t have my camera or my Audio recorder with me.  The downside of increasing the number of devices you have also increases the possibility that you either have the WRONG device with you OR you can’t decide what device to use. Lets face it. As a “content creator” who is mobile for about 90 percent of his waking day, its rather impossible to carry around a Digital audio recorder, laptop, camera, broadband connected device, mp3 player and so forth. Believe me : there have been times where I foolishly tried to “pack all the gear I thought I would need” into a little geek bag, and head out.  A few hours later my bag (and back) where killing me and I could not be bothered to pull out a single piece of gear to get ANYTHING done.

What has all of this taught me ?

Years of experience with procrastination and the abundance of “content creation devices” have taught me a valuable lesson : “Its not about quality , its about convenience”. The convenience of creation without the hassle of ‘peripherals’ is what enables you to quickly record a piece of audio, scribble down an idea or a blogpost, shoot a picture or doodle a cartoon without the “threshold” of booting up a laptop, pulling a giant SLR camera or wiring up a microphone.    Just imagine : A day out with Nyana to some nice city … To be completely “covered” one would need to take along an SLR camera, perhaps a “point and shoot”, the Zoom H2 recorder, A laptop (or at least the ipad etc). Pretty soon I would look like a digital “pack-rat” and would probably end up not using a single one of those devices because its too big of a hassle. 

Then what is the solution ? Well, as I was browsing through my pictures, my Facebook and and my twitter stream from the last few months..  I started to notice something. A LOT of content was uploaded and created … using my Iphone ! The second hand 8 gigabyte 3G Iphone I bought a few months ago seems to be the portable pinnacle of my creativity. Since its my “phone” , I have it with me most of the time. The twitter and Facebook applications are used quite a bit to check my feeds or quickly ‘tweet a tweet” (is that how you say it ?). The camera has since snapped over 300 pictures which have been uploaded to Flickr. Even several audio clips where recorded with the voice recorder application and sent into various podcasts as audio comments. When taking a closer look at the content, the shocking realization dawns upon me that all of this content is not as GOOD as it could be. The pictures would have looked better when I would have used my SLR camera. The audio would have been FAR higher in quality if I would have recorded it on my ZoomH2. The tweets would have come with fewer typo’s if I would have just used the laptop. However : the ‘procrastination threshold’ to pick up any of these devices, take the time to create and upload the content and ignore the “curious stares” of the bystanders, is WAY to high . Why not quickly whip out the Iphone, point, shoot, click, type … UPLOAD and slide it back in.

Do the math : 300 pictures on the Iphone over the last few months.. Perhaps 40 on the SLR …  Only 10 percent of the “high quality content” contributed to the net … 90 percent of the Iphone content was created and uploaded instantly … It appears that the convenience of creation outweighs the high standards of quality.

It has got me thinking about the new Iphone 4 ( Yes , you may gasp now ) but before you shake your “bigotry fist” and scream “fanboy” ask yourself the question : Would it not make an awesome content creation device ? The high quality camera could rival my “point and shoot”. (The HDR function might even implicate the illusion of quality). The onboard microphone is of such high quality that even Allison Sheridan from the Nosillacast podcast, preferred using the Iphone as a recorder instead of the Hassle of the ZoomH2. The HD video-recording capabilities might even help to shoot some decent quality video .. and the second ‘rear facing’ camera helps in snapping self-shots or even the occasional “video stand-up”.

What I’m trying to say is that the convenience of having ONE “content creation” device that is small, convenient, discrete and CONNECTED to the net, might have its advantages. Sure it won’t be able to compete with the ‘awesome quality” of the “specialized devices” but the “convenience” of use makes the creation of content much simpler.

The question of course remains … What do YOU like ? More content of a slightly LOWER quality ( audio – Video quality) OR less content with a higher degree of quality.  .. Tell us in the comments section.

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