I guess I started to understand the importance of creative commons when I started to recognize my role as a producer of online content.  Prior to this year, I used the internet predominantly as a consumer – borrowing, listening, reading, shopping, but never adding much to the resource.

Now as I continue to blog, and build connections online, I realize the importance of having what people create attributed to them.  As we build our digital footprint we want to connect to content and have others connect to us.

Sourcing content is nothing new, but previously my perceptions of online sourcing was that it was something that was to be done for books, articles, videos, and sites – but for some reason not images.  In my clouded perception somehow images were free to use, abuse, and reuse. Free for all, all for free!

But as an art teacher – images are what I trade in – why was I so flippant about the use of other people’s images and not worried about sourcing them?  Again, maybe because I had never had anyone use something I had made.  Maybe because a tenet of postmodern art is appropriation?

The flickr account I have is a relatively new and often forgotten resource.  I have about 6 photos online and I haven’t used it in a while – gotta get on that apparently.  Here is one from a workshop I ran that dealt with the artwork of Mohammed Kazem.

Great workshop inspired by the work of Mohammed Kazem
Do I have to source my own photo from flickr?

What I think is interesting about creative commons attributions is that people want to be connected with their content.  They want people to know that they created that particular image.



This is a basic human concept – that we have wanted to make our mark as creators.  We are now just simply changing the form in how we do so.





2 thoughts on “Paradigm Shifting in the Sand: Consumer to Producer

  1. Hey Matt, I’m on the same page as you. I just never thought about the stuff I was using, or the people that the stuff belonged to, but that’s changing.

    I think the connections that you mentioned are the biggest thing I’m taking away from these past 2 courses, and giving credit where it’s due is a big part of that shift for me. When I was in high school, whenever I had to write papers and cite sources, I always felt like I was doing it as proof for my teacher that I wasn’t making stuff up. Which I guess, I sort of was. But adding the connection to the content along with the attribution gives it all so much more purpose. It makes the attribution relevant and meaningful. It builds further growth into the content that I’m producing, and it’s a gateway to another person’s work. For me, it really sort of opens up the web for what it was meant to be. Before, information was linear. Stuff came from the web and there was a giant arrow pointed at me. Now I see myself more in the center of things with more and more arrows pointing back outwards.


    1. I like the linear vs. connected imagery you spark. I am seeing the giant arrow turned around, multiplied, and pointing in many directions.

      Connecting and collaborating have definitely been the big take homes for me in the first 2 courses. The thing I appreciate most about attribution is that it is more real time in a way. There is a sense that as the web grows and content is shared, making the connections occur at a faster pace based on attribution. I really like the fact I can attribute a photo from someone’s flickr account and tell them that I have done so. I think I like the streamlined aspect of that. The other thing I like about attribution is that there is a sense that if a connection is made it may spur a connection being made both ways. You connected to my post, I replied – perhaps we will look at each other’s blog another time? Developing a connection!


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