Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some Buckets are Barrels

Metaphors are powerful constructions.  By linking a known concept with an unknown body of knowledge we can “jump start” a dialogue much more quickly.  Consider this blog for example.  You know what a bucket is – you have used one.  You put stuff into it in order to move the “stuff” from one place to another.  Hence, the title of the blog tells you that it will be discussing the ways in which new communication media will be moving content from one place to another.

The title of today’s post indicates a shift.  The image I have is of communication software like Photoshop™, and GarageBand™, transformative software.  Photoshop claims it will give users “more intuitive user experience, greater editing freedom, and significant productivity enhancements.” (Adobe) and GarageBand™ asserts “If you want to learn to play an instrument, write music, or record a song, GarageBand can help. (Apple)

These bits of software obviously intend to do something far more than simply contain content.  They intend for content to pass through them and come out the other side as something different, hopefully better.  I see grape juice going into a barrel.  Time passes, the barrel and the juice work together for awhile, and voila, out the other side comes wine.

Our authors assert that “The Internet has unleashed an explosion of creativity.  .  .” (Palfrey and Gasser, p. 12.)  That may be true, but it wouldn’t have happened if Digital Natives didn’t have this “barrelware” to play with.


Adobe Software.. (n.d.). Create powerful images with the professional standard. Retrieved Aug. 25, 2009, from http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/photoshop/

Apple, Inc.. (n.d.). Musicians wanted: No experience necessary. Retrieved Aug. 25, 2009, from http://www.apple.com/ilife/garageband/

Palfrey, J., & Gasser, U. (2008). Born digital: Understanding the first generation of digital natives. NY, NY.: Basic Books.

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