Are We Innovating, or Are We stuck on Repeat?


Image result for caveman at a computer                                                    Source: (Davidcedillo, 2011)

The affordances available in our digital landscape, enable us to create and share content that seems to show no bounds.  However how truly innovative are those sites that employ crowdsourcing, in terms of social media, produsage and crowdsourcing itself?  According to Holmes “Innovation is about putting ideas into practice” (2014, p.4).  To gain a better understanding, the social media site ‘one frame of fame’ will be looked at in these terms to see if innovation is in fact evident.

‘One frame of fame’ is a site that allows participants to send in a digital photo of themselves in line with a directed pose from the directors of the project (Moniker (poster) 2010).  These are then put together with others in a series to make up dance like movements that they then put to a song.  Thinking back to Michael Jackson’s 1991 ‘Black or White’ music video clip this idea is shown also (at 5minutes and 28 seconds in) (michaeljackasonVEVO, 2009).  Maybe the innovation shown in ‘one frame of fame’, is the affordance of social media’s ease to collaborate.    

“In networked communication environments the audience is no longer simply consumers of media: they have become participants” (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013, p. 57), or as Bruns (2008) offers the term in this context; ‘Produsers’.  In ‘one frame of fame’, this is observed by those who can both watch the video and then can also become a part it.  If we were to look at the Michael Jackson music video again, which would have been made in a design studio, it still uses individuals to participate.  In terms of innovation, the contrast can be garnered by how much more leeway and control participants have got in the finished product of the ‘one frame of fame’.

            In terms of crowdsourcing James Surowiecki’s Wisdom of Crowds offers “the idea that large groups of people can solve problems that individuals within the crowd cannot” (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013, p. 62).  In ‘one frame of fame’ the resulting diverse richness would not have been attainable if it wasn’t for a group effort – that is the sum of the individual offerings.  In terms of innovation however, is crowdsourcing innovative?  In terms of ‘putting ideas into practice’ as suggested by Holmes we could agree with yes.  However, in terms of crowdsourcing itself being innovative the answer I believe is no.

The idea that we come up with better solutions as a group rather than an individual has foundation in our anthropological beginnings.  It is what has kept us safe as a species (Page, 2008).  The point that is being made here is that the ideas seem to repeat, whereas the way they are delivered is changing.




Bruns, A 2008, ‘Blogs, wikipedia, second life, and beyond: from production to produsage’, Peter Lang, New York.

Davidcedillo, 2011, I love technology, viewed 4 August 2016,

Hinton, S & Hjorth, L 2013, Understanding social media, SAGE Publications, London.

HOLMES 2014, Interactivity, pp 1-14, in CQUniversity 2014, DGTL12002 working with social media: resource materials CQUniversity Mackay.

michaeljacksonVEVO (poster) 2009, Michael Jackson – Black or White, video, 2 October, viewed 4 August 2016,

Moniker (poster) 2010, One Frame of Fame – More is Less by C-Mon & Kypski, video, 9 July, viewed 4 August 2016,

Page, S 2008, ‘The difference: how the power of diversity creates better groups, firms, schools and societies, Princeton University Press, New Jersey.




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