You know what I’m obsessed with…same as all of you other crazy humanoids out there?
If you’re not familiar with them, photo quotes consist of a picture (Maybe it’s pretty, maybe it’s not. Maybe there is no picture at all…just a picture of words.) and a quote – pithy, witty, naughty, stirring, inspiring, shocking…whatever you like.
And, these little suckers seem to be the currency of our curation right now. People (myself included) are collecting them with a fervor — pinning them, posting them, sharing them or just sitting and sinking in all of their quotable glory.
And that is fabulous…I sincerely mean this.
Because most of the photo quotes are from the great thinkers, quippers, writers and artists of our collective social history – people whom we may not have thought about in awhile. People like John Lennon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Suess, Maya Angelou, C.S. Lewis, Ghandi and Einstein. And most of them are damn inspirational.
Lately though, I’ve noticed a strange new addition to the photo quote cannon — quotes by people, just like you and me, (like “britney746”) or quotes from no one in particular at all, just vague commandments floating in the ether like, “Go exploring.” (Um…okay. Like, right now?)
It’s as if any directive from anyone about anything is more compelling than anything we’d tell ourselves.
With all of this reflexive scavenging and sharing, we’ve become so complacent in our roles as content curators that it seems like we’ve forgotten to create some content, too.
Make no mistake, my friends. You are members of the content creation army, and it’s time for you to lock and load.
The only thing that separates you from the content creators and quoters is moxie and means. And really, when it comes to photo quotes, the means part is likely more in your head than in your computer.
- Got a camera?
- Got a picture of something interesting, with some blank space for copy?
- Got an interesting thought in your head?
Congratulations…you are now quotable, too.
Don’t be afraid to create.
This tendency to default to curation rather than creation is a problem far bigger than photo quotes.
Thousands of us seem to be operating under the belief that someone out there is generating content that is REALLY GOOD, while we are creating content that is merely okay. So, we keep turning to the same pool of prolific thought leaders in our respective industries to provide us with “the goods” to keep our social lifeblood flowing.
Over time though, this tactic can become a crutch.
- Is it hard to find new and original ideas that your social community may have never seen before? Yes.
- Is it hard to produce original content using those ideas? Yes.
- Is it hard to avoid the urge to retweet the same Mashable post that fifty other people just retweeted? Yes.
Because otherwise, we’re going to find ourselves comfortably numb in a self-generated echo chamber of “meh.”
No matter who you are, YOU ARE NOT MEH.
You are a content artist — just like Enstein and just like britney746. And the social web needs you and your original thoughts now, more than ever.
The social web is an anarchistic free-for all of ideas and action, but only if we all choose to participate. So, that’s what I intend to do. Even if only seven people read this blog post, I’m going to give those seven people something fresh and meaty for their brains to chew on.
The social web is what we make it to be, and we do that not just with our eyes, but our voices as well. So speak up and create. We want to hear what you have to say.