"Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003." - Eric SchmidtOne of the fundamental shifts that has happened with the advent of digital media is that we now have access to way way way more content than we could ever process. Even if you could process it all, you'd find that 99.999% of it (rough estimate) is of poor quality and even less is of use.
Lately, I've been working on a project called first-stop.org, which allows photographers and illustrators to submit their work if they agree to cut back on the number or paper promos they send out. We created the site for a few reasons:
1) Those promos are a huge waste of trees and we thought we were in a position to help change that practice.
2) To help artists promote their work to ad folks.
3) To give ad folks a central place they could quickly and easily search for artists.
Working on the project has got me to thinking about the different role we have taken on. We concepted and created the site, but our primary role now is as curator. Because we need to keep the quality of content the site high if we're going to be of value to art directors and designers, we have to decide what content to include (when I say we, I'm speaking mostly of our head curator, the very talented Lance Vining).
I don't expect that our roles as creators will ever disappear, but I do expect that the role of the creative will continue to expand to include more things like curating, community management, conversation moderation, etc. It's a different set of skills, probably more like being a creative director of a crowd-sourced creative department. The key will be to find those projects, or those conversations, and then get them rolling until they have their own momentum. Once they're rolling, the job then shifts to keeping them on track. Creating, then curating.
I'm kind of thinking out loud a little here. What do you guys think?