I just finished reading On Writing Well by William Zinsser which had one chapter on writing humour. Here is a quote from that chapter:
You’ve been jolted by humor into looking with a fresh eye at something bizarre in our daily environment that was previously taken for granted.
… The columns I wrote for Life made people laugh. But they had a serious purpose, which was to say: “Something grotesque is going on here-some erosion in the quality of life, or some threat to life itself, and yet everyone assumes it’s normal.” Today the outlandish becomes routine overnight. The humorist is trying to say that it’s still outlandish.
That got me thinking about the Open Web. If Drumbeat wants to make the case that the web should remain open, and that there are “many who see this as a threat, and would neuter or dumb down the net.” Then maybe we should use the Open Web as a lens to take a fresh look at the parts of the web that are closed, and as a lens to look at the openness of government, education, or the arts.
This may be both a great way to identify new opportunities for Drumbeat projects, and to discuss the open web in a way that relates to the audiences we’re trying to reach: Artists, lawyers, teachers, designers, and filmmakers.
We are saying that the open web will affect you, and that how it evolves will be important to your field, but then we are asking people to come out and discus the open web with us, or get involved in our projects. Why not take a more proactive approach and go to where these people live.
What would happen if instead of seeing where ask a musician can contribute to an open web, we first use the open web as a lens to identify closed parts of the music industry that are affecting the musician? We would identify a real issue that is affecting people, and we would uncover an issue for us to focus our efforts to develop a project that can help the musician plus others.
This way, the open web community will be able to focus on solving a real problem, that effects a group of people, then solve that problem with a project. It’s a good bet that those musicians we helped through our efforts will then be more committed to our efforts, maybe even becoming ambassadors.
It’s a bit of a give before you receive situation.
I’ll see you at Drumbeat Toronto on April 24th: drumbeattoronto.eventbrite.com/