Take one measure of very enthusiastic blogger, a splash of voyeurism and pour liberally into glass rimmed with the frosting of Social Media du jour and voila, Dan 3.0′s latest “crowd-sourced social project”.
In case you don’t know, Dan 3.0 is a videoblogger from some off-the-map town in the States. Scruffy hair, witty retort and it seems, a significant number of followers on his YouTube channel. Now, there are many videobloggers out there, some are producing interesting content and others are just one of many annoying and pointless entities in the Social Media universe. I find Dan 3.0 both interesting and annoying. Watch the vid above to hear it straight from the horses mouth.
So.. he’s planning to let the Internet browsing public determine what he is to do in his day-to-day life, for a whole year. And whilst there’s some ground rules (he won’t do anything illegal or morally reprehensible) the public are supposedly to have total authority on his everyday actions. He is essentially, relinquishing his free-will and crowdsourcing his own life . Exciting as this seems, this is nothing new – this has been happening in marriages since time incarnate. But with Dan 3.0 this is more fascinating than predictable.
Dan 3.0 makes some valid points about the Internet which I find comfortable acquiescence with. One thing the Internet has managed to do incredibly convincingly has drastically altered how information between communities is created, organised and transferred. The Internet has become a very productive environment where collaboration has driven major changes in productivity. For a great view on things like this I highly recommend reading anything by Clay Shirky and if you’re feeling averse to paper – watch his TED talk. He’s got some wonderfully elegant and optimistic techno-social ideas about the future of society in a connected age; the Internet connects people, people are social, so in essence the Internet IS social. This sociability coupled with an assumption that humans are fundamentally altruistic is cited by Clay as precursors to how we can make the world a better place by using the technology that the digital revolution has precipitated. It sounds extremely fluffy and before I go and admire my iPad over a latté trust me – it’s a nice concept. Go read it. Anyway, we digress..
So, Dan 3.0 and his crowdsourced life. Yes, crowd-sourcing in a digital age has worked before, and continues to do so. And better than working, we could argue that it has in some ways made the world a better place. Some points in case? Wikipedia - created by knowledgeable people, for knowledge seeking people. Linux - created by techy minded people for, techy seeking people etc… the list goes on.
So what is this crowdsourced social experiment from Dan 3.0? Is this for his followers, for a greater good or even heaven forbid… for himself?
Remember what happened to David Blaine when he decided to make a perspex box his home by Tower Bridge? He was baited, teased with burgers and even had golf balls pitched at him. More often than not, anyone that indulges in wild and public gestures of ‘self’ deprivation, will often find themselves subject to backlash. Or maybe this is just a British tendency?
Anyway, I’m trying hard to see what will come of Dan’s latest adventure in Social Media. He mentions ‘cool’ a lot. This is fine, but I can’t help but feel that the ‘coolness’ of it all and its veneer of ‘social exploration’ is a rather unsubtle attempt to disguise an elaborate attention seeking campaign – and with this number of potential viewers – commercial attention is more actual than probable. If we do end up seeing him engage in something out of the ordinary or socially constructive then this might become a successful and potentially insightful excerise both in terms of social media and in terms of what it is to be human. However, all I can fathom is that we ‘ll be seeing him fry some more eggs on his hob.
Am I going to watch him time to time?
Am I going to submit a wildly outlandish suggestion that involves pliers and his genitals?