December 14, 2009

Collaboration with a point: Help Me Fix The Last Picture Of My Mom

Help me fix the last photo of my mom
All too often I see examples of collaboration on the web that just don't stand up to the initial "so what?" test. The end results could have happened without the technology, people collaborate to find out things that just don't matter to most folk or they are contrived as if to solely provide an example for a snakeoil salesman to regurgitate at his next dubious conference keynote.

But Reddit provided the platform for some technically talented creative people to make a fundamental human difference to the individual initiating things:

My mother died of cancer yesterday. This is the last picture of us together and I wondered if anyone with mad Photoshop skills could touch up the picture and remove the oxygen cannula. I would greatly appreciate anyone who could be of assistance.

Follow the discussion trail to see how respondent after respondent tries to build on the work of the photoshopper before him or herself. Heartening stuff, and meaningful.

How many times can the collaboration we all take part in, online or in endless meetings at work, be called either heartening or meaningful? One worth thinking about the next time you enthusiastically embrace 'collaboration'.

Thanks to Dean Shareski for saving this to his online bookmarks for sharing.

The Edinburgh Informatics' Startup Café has a lecture from Reddit's founder, Alexis Ohanian, explaining how the site came into being and what makes it such a great space for these kinds of collaborations.


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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