I: The whole notion of participatory makeocracy: part the beginning
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all, just like you: the Internet is a fœtid swamp of depravity and conjecture and rumour and fibbery and inaccuracy and pointlessness and Lindsay Lohan’s twat, and I can’t really come up with a compelling argument to dissuade anyone of such notions.
It is all those things, in spades and with bells on. But there’s also plenty of good to mitigate the bad. And the goodest of the good, as far as I’m concerned, is that it has brought democracy to making and makingness.
Ten years ago, I don’t think most of us thought much about design, except whenever we were mentally filing some aspect of it under a big bold heading marked “FAIL” — we’ve all had those aggravating moments when we realise we’ve paid too much money for the garlic press that looks hawt but doesn’t actually do a very good job of pulverising the garlic, and we’ve all turned to whoever else was in the kitchen right at the moment of our wretched failure and growled, “The person who designed this piece of shit should seriously be drawn and quartered and shot with a pistol and fed to some sharks and also maybe poked in the eye with a sharp stick and made to listen to Lionel Ritchie on endless loop.”
These days, however, I think it’s safe to say that nondesigner types like me think about design quite a bit, if the number of websites and blogs and portals and Intertubular nooks and crannies and clubhouses devoted to that subject is any indication — which I believe it is. Yay for that, too, because the more we think about it and know about it and care about it, the more we can help shape design and make it work for us, because the great good gift of the Internet is that one whole big corner of it functions as a participatory makeocracy.