by Pen Lister, on Mar 27, 2014

Content and Creativity

Snapshot: A short piece on content and creativity, for an upcoming seminar given as part of the Holloway Arts festival 2014

The New Consumer Creators: curation and creation in digital worlds

The greatest challenge today is in how we deal with all the information currently spewing out of the internet from all directions, often ending up in our overflowing inboxes or never opened feed readers. We are drowning in information, much of it unwanted. If we have our own creative work online, it's a nightmare for other people to find it, as it's buried in a heap of stuff they aren't interested in. But this situation is changing.


Mark Zuckerberg's promo video for Paper recently said that it's as much about how you tell (present and consume) a story as about the story itself (1, see below). The truth of this statement is being felt all over the internet every day, and not only in connection with Facebook. Slowly we are beginning to find ways of sorting and consuming the content we want, and in that process we are also reinventing how we present and share our own work.


Bringing flair and understanding, creative attitude and presentational quirks to collating and creating digital content can often be as exciting and creative as creating any original content itself. The challenge of communicating to an audience and fostering engagement and loyalty is perhaps just as important as creating our own originality in our unique work, and the mix of the two can produce uniquely recognizable digital products. This makes our content easier to find, as well as how to interpret and understand our work and identity as creators.


A context of understanding

The real secret for many who excel at this is the mixture of their own unique content and their vision of context: setting their original work in a context of wider creative content presentation, and how they mix it up. It's all in the mix. So with tools now available to create almost any type of digital content, the new challenge is in how we share that content, and how we present that content, including our own. 

The Seminar Session

This is the theme for a session I have been asked to take for "Owning The Arts", a conference/seminar produced by Rowan Arts, on June 5th 2014 at London Met, Holloway Road, part of the Holloway Arts Festival. I will also look at a variety of tools and platforms, and where possible provide hands on experience, as well as talk about how to build a digital personality around our own content.

Platforms and tools discussed:
  • Flipboard
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Paperli
  • Storify
  • Facebook (pages, interest lists, sharing buttons)
  • Instagram
  • Honourable mentions: Speakerdeck,,, Pocket, Vine

Facebook Paper Promo video

(1) This quote was part of the voice over in the video for the new Facebook app Paper, a Facebook version of (2)Flipboard.  This is the promo video, in YouTube. 

Flipboard Promo video

(2) Flipboard has been around since 2009, and steadily grown its userbase to now many millions (60 million+). Flipboard is an app, available on all mobile devices. It creates full screen magazine style page flip content, building magazines from shared links, images and videos. Users can create limitless amounts of magazines which can be read offline. The production value of these magazines is comparable to any glossy coffee table magazine of the past. Users subscribe to magazines, and magazines can be continiously updated. Flipboard has been a game-changer for content creation and sharing. This is the promo video, in Vimeo.

Flipboard on desktop: visit for a more basic version of editable Flipboard. Though functional, it does not really give the full picture of the quality mobile Flipboard user experience.

View my Flipboard Magazine.  

Baby Saatchi Online

Baby Saatchi Online - the Flipboard magazine, and the normal webpage, which pulls data from its Facebook counterpart, and automatically updates when new content is added to the Facebook page.

The webpage:



Download the seminar slides, available from Speakerdeck as a PDF: 

Speaker Deck slides for New Consumer Creators 

Facebook Paper Promo video
Flipboard Promo video
Baby Saatchi Online
Getting Started