PERSONAL: Projects, Purpose, and Online Identity

In the midst of an all-nighter with fellow Signalite Stéphane Lachance, a conversation kicked up about our oncoming future, and the strengths and weaknesses of our various outlets: The Signal, The Writers Bloc, social media accounts, etc. It got me thinking about the future of my many net-based projects and outlets.

We’re both nearing the end of our undergraduate careers, and it’s suddenly becoming very real that we will be responsible for building our own futures. And that puts everything, suddenly, into a new light. Time is suddenly more valuable. Content, too. Now that we’re going to have the time and resources to make our outlets something professional-grade, instead of a side-project while we drift from essay to essay, its become clear that there are many uses for them that we aren’t exploiting properly.

Stéphane was smarter about this than I. His experience with our program’s fourth-year Production Practicum project hammered home the idea of taking something we make, and turning it into something other people will want to help make, that people will want to use, that people will want to pay for. Essentially, his work within Practicum has resulted in the creation of a start-up company responsible for the creation of an independent smartphone game, and with that comes the realisation that this is real. That we can make something, and if we make it well enough, it will have value to complete strangers.

So I find myself revisiting my many projects that have either floundered or suffered in silence because I did not afford them the time, the priority, or the excitement I might if I were building, as Stéphane is, a professional product. Yet, every new outlet I create out here on the net is essentially that. The Signal isn’t just a ‘fun little blog’, it’s an entertainment publication. My Twitter account isn’t just a place for me to retweet television news, but a place for outreach and conversation with people I know, and with complete strangers. The scripts I write aren’t just for entertainment, but proof of my talent. They are my calling card. And The Diversionist isn’t just a personal blog. It is my hub. It is my headquarters, where I can speak my mind about anything, and where my opinion is, to whomever judges it so, worth reading. And it offers the potential of so much more than I have allowed it to.

As I look over these disparate properties, I’m realising that all of them have been bullied by distraction and wounded by a lack of passionate, directed leadership. I have held my hubs, my lines of connection with the outside world, to a lower standard than I would allow my schoolwork or my script work. And I’m just beginning to realise how unacceptable that is.

Starting in the new year, I’m hoping to approach my online work in a fashion inspired by Google: fix what works, cut what doesn’t, and bring a centralised leadership to the whole mess. It will take a lot of work, and some help from a handful of people with skills I don’t have… But I think it will make everything I’ve devoted so much time to finally worth all the effort. December, in addition to being spent enjoying the Holiday cheer and digging into dormant writing projects, will be a time to rally the troops and draw up a plan for 2012. And, if that looks rosy, even further…

It seems, my friends, the future is on its way. And I don’t want to miss the train.

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One response to “PERSONAL: Projects, Purpose, and Online Identity

  1. Kara November 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Holy smokes. Who are you?! Finally he gets it! Glad youre alive btw. Lets do lunch. Ciao baby

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