March 15, 2009
The Ghosts in the Machine
After taking a moment to digest some of the insights from the two awesome panels this morning, this thought is still dancing in my head a bit. At one point, John Mark Josling said (in paraphrase), I want to push the idea of deepening the social aspects of software. What if Photoshop had a sandbox that could enable you to watch designers/photogs editing a photo in real-time, so you could replicate their actions later? What if Fireworks allowed you to view “ghosts” of other editors creating projects?
I’m fascinated by that notion, especially as apps like Photoshop take their place in the cloud. What if you could “follow” Quentin Shih on Photoshop Express, getting notified whenever he was editing an image, and watch his virtual ghost create art in real-time on your screen? Or watch the ghost of Kutiman splicing and editing hundreds of YouTube clips?
This gets back to Robin’s notion of the emerging “public artist.” It also ties in with my argument about the responsibility of journalists to encode into their work information about how to replicate that work.