Collaborations

It is strange to log into a blog that is not my own.

My WordPress dashboards have always been intensely personal places, filled with words that I know my way around. Creative spaces to tinker with and through which I can translate my thoughts into something physical. A corner of the internet that feels like mine.

I have been drawn to the word “collaboration” in the past six months. It is as though my ears are fine tuned. The more alert to it I am, the more it crosses my radar, although, of course, I know that we actively seek out things as we integrate them into our worlds.

The idea of a collaborative blog was the first thing that appealed to me about Vie Hebdomadaires. A shared space; a different way of writing or, more specifically, of bringing writing together; the formation of some sort of community or network.

I am interested to note that the pride and responsibility I feel for my own work has transferred to this area. That ownership is no longer important.

The concept of collaborative consumption is one of the things that has passed through this radar. It looks at whether we still need ownership and how we can collaboratively pool products and skills. An extension or version of what I’ve been exploring, it is the social aspect of this movement that enchants me. The notion of people coming together and everyone coming out of it for the better.

Do I sound idealistic? Or naive?

Maybe.

It is ironic that my fascination with this concept derives from spending the majority of my life existing at the other end of the spectrum. Viewing the world – and other people – as competitors or enemies rather than collaborators. Sensing that we all had to fight our own corner without realising that the moment you erect a corner, you create a limitation that did not exist before.

When you’re on the defensive, you assume that everyone else is the same.

I have learnt, over the past few years, that this is not the case.

In my day job, I work in social media. I have fallen in love with the medium. My experiences of it – and through it – have been characterised by seeing people work together, and share and form communities in ways that I didn’t realise existed. The lessons that I have learnt online have transferred into how I see the world offline.

I know that everything is shaken up at the moment. That there have been huge amounts of tension and fear and anger… but, it also feels like there has been a movement towards people coming together. Whether through facilitated means like some of the collaborative consumption websites, or organically through the Occupy movements; in relation to products or how we communicate and create, this different way of doing things seems to be branching out.

I do not know whether it was always there and I was just blind to it –

But it feels, at the moment, important to keep joining in.

P.S. So I woke up at 3am this morning and started looking for a cartoon or video to go with today’s post. Yet again, TED saved the day. This is old (or I’m way behind the curve!) but it has some interesting examples of collaboration and brings in a whole host of words that I’ve forgotten to mention. Cooperation, trust, sharing, collective… There’s a whole other post in there!

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