• Opiniontoo

    Opinion: Madeleine Morley speaks of the worryingly short shelf-life of online content

Opinion

Opinion: Madeleine Morley speaks of the worryingly short shelf-life of online content

Posted by Madeleine Morley,

This week our Editorial Assistant Madeleine Morley reflects on her four weeks at It’s Nice That but wonders if the fast turnover of creative content online is really a good thing. Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to join in the conversation below.

I’ve been at It’s Nice That for roughly four weeks now, and during my time here I have come across some of the most interesting, inspiring work that I’ve ever seen. In search for content, I’ve travelled to many strange corners of the Internet, and I have come across artists and publications that are pushing boundaries in the most innovative and thought-provoking ways.

What I have found strange about my constant hunt for content, and what I have noticed on my countless explorations of blogs and e-zines and Tumblr pages, is the sheer amount of new material that is flagged up on each of the millions of sites, every single day. I find it overwhelming. It is difficult to consume all the information, and to engage with each new, wonderful thing to the extent that it deserves.

Some of the the content that I’ve stumbled across is making provocative points, and deserves time and thought to fully appreciate. I think of the things that have made me who I am, the songs that I listened to as a teenager, which I spent so much time scrutinizing over. The time spent with these songs allowed them to become part of the fabric of my personality: without this time, the things I love wouldn’t have sunk into my sensibility.

The speed of content turnover that the Internet demands doesn’t allow for lingering, so it feels impossible for the art to develop a meaningful place in our minds

The speed of content turnover that the Internet demands doesn’t allow for lingering, so it feels impossible for the art to develop a meaningful place in our minds. Material has such a quick sell-by date and lasts for 24 hours at the longest, and then it falls off, it is pushed out, tumbling back into the abyss that it was originally fished out from, by people like me on their content expeditions. Perhaps the new context for all this information is actually speed, not absorption, and I need to embrace this. But I still can’t quite get over the idea that whilst a quick fix of images is great and gets inspiration flowing, critical thinking and contemplation is vital, in order to fuel debate and let one artist’s view of the world flow and enrich and maybe even change yours.

The speed in which I have written this article, and then the speed in which the article will be read, and then the fact that the article will both stick around forever at the same time as being completely forgotten, is something I find interesting. To write in such a way feels organic and freeing and unhinged, at the same time as being nerve wracking because I know this will stick around, but not really, because it will just become amassed with all the other posts from the past. I find this change in the way we write and think about writing fascinating. Debating whether the speed demanded by the internet is a good thing or bad thing is perhaps not the point, rather we need to carefully consider what might be happening to our minds as an effect of the turnover of content and writing, and how the changes might be effecting our aesthetic judgement.

With online content, it feels like we’re often racing ahead, eager to know what’s next, instead of letting the intricate, subtle parts of an idea soak in. It’s astonishing to live in a world where all this endless art and illustration and information is available at our fingertips, but without context, does it mean anything other than simply being a way of passing the time?

comments powered by Disqus
Oo-xtcya

Posted by Madeleine Morley

Madeleine joined It’s Nice That as a freelance editorial assistant in May 2014 having graduated from Cambridge University where she edited the student newspaper. In the autumn of 2014 she will begin her Masters course at The Courtauld Institute of Art where she will specialise in architecture.

Most Recent: Opinion View Archive

  1. Opinion-list-new

    This week It’s Nice That director Will Hudson talks about why he reckons the new Randall Wright-directed documentary Hockney is so brilliant. You can let us know your thoughts in the comment thread below.

  2. Opinion-list

    This week assistant editor Maisie Skidmore asks what it is about weekly podcast Serial that has got the whole world talking. As ever, we want to hear what you think! Add your two pennies in the comment thread below.

  3. List

    This week Rob Alderson examines Paper Magazine’s attempts to “break the internet” with their nude Kim Kardashian photoshoot. He asks if it’s actually a good cover, and what (if anything) it tells us about the magazine industry. As ever you can add your thoughts below…

  4. List

    Ahead of a panel discussion we’re hosting at London College of Communication next week we’re keen to explore whether the gap between design schools and the creative industries is a problem that needs addressing. You can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

  5. List

    In a special Opinion piece, Rob Alderson explains why the closure of London’s Kemistry Gallery is a cause for concern, but why its ambitious future plans need to be encouraged. You can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

  6. Lead

    This week online editor Emily Gosling looks at who can really claim authorship of artworks created using technology designed by someone else. Who can really take the credit for art that might not be possible without the tech know-how of others?

  7. List

    This week Rob Alderson reflects on an interesting blog by Chloe Markowicz which suggests that people are ashamed to call what they do advertising. As ever you can join the debate and add your comments using the discussion thread below.

  8. Main

    Wake up! Freshers’ Week is done – all that colourful IKEA kitchenware your mum got you is nowhere to be seen and you’ve gained 478 new friends on Facebook and an awkward conversation with your home friends about who you’re actually going to Glastonbury with next year. To be honest, being a fresher usually goes on for way longer than a week. After a month or so of partying and drinking Glenn’s Vodka and Robinson’s out of tupperware bowls you wake up with a whole load of briefs to tackle and studio space and equipment to fight over. This is the START of ART SCHOOL.

  9. List

    In recent months the question of so-called spec work has been raised with us over social media in light of various design competitions we have helped promote. Off the back of that we have spent a lot of time discussing this thorny issue with various people so as to formulate a consistent approach, although the nature of these things is that each is best analysed on a case by case basis.

  10. List

    This week Rob Alderson reflects on the launch of the new Design Museum website and the strange suggestion that the redesign should have been given to a British agency rather than Dutch studio Fabrique. As ever you can add your thoughts using the comment thread below…

  11. Opinion-list

    In the wake of the launch of Printed Pages Autumn 2014, Editor James Cartwright wonders and worries about the secret of designing a great magazine cover and asks for any handy hints you might have. Do him a favour and add your thoughts in the comments section below.

  12. Main

    In light of New York Fashion Week’s main event, a star-studded play put on by Opening Ceremony entitled 100% Lost Cotton, the It’s Nice That team began to ponder their own individual dream play, and what that would look like if they were given the chance to direct it. The results are pretty weird to be honest, but you can’t deny the appeal of each and every one in its own way.

  13. Main

    This week Editor Liv Siddall addresses the world’s distraught reaction to the announcement that MSN Messenger will terminate after 15 years in operation, and wonders if we should get so nostalgic and wet-eyed over technology.