Interesting's been getting a bad rap lately. 'May you live in interesting times' isn't exactly necessarily a good thing. 'Hmmm, interesting' also isn't usually a good thing. I was reminded of this at Interesting2009, the third (or fourth) compere did a whole schpiel (spelling?) on it. So what to make of a speaker from the Really Interesting Group? Tom Taylor was up next, who with Russell Davies and Ben Terrett amongst other things forms the RIG (and the Newspaper Club). I've been keeping an eye on RIG for a while (wow, that sounds a bit stalker-y, I don't mean it in that way, I mean it in the interested in a good way and getting exciting about what they're doing kinda way, you know in that bookhistorian-print-is-interesting kinda way. You understand. I even got one of the papers they made earlier), and I was excited speak to hear Tom speak.
What I love about RIG is the ethos behind it. 'Delighting and inspiring people is a good thing'. And tinkering and doing and experimenting are all also good things. Tom talked about how do you retool 20th century infrastructure (printing presses) into 21st century tools? He called it 'put the web back into the world' and that's something I've been interested in for a while now too. The 'real' world of atoms colliding with the 'virtual' world of bits and bytes. Except for maybe the distinction isn't so black and white. The one isn't real and the other virtual. And they needn't exclude eachother. In fact, how cool is it when they reinforce eachother? Enough rambling, back to the talk.
'It's never been easier to make things', 'how can you reuse and repurpose TV, FM radio, manufacturing plants?'. All great questions. Questions you can get excited about. Well, I do. It speaks of optimism. Of delight and enthusiasm. I'm a little bit frustrated with the pessimism, the whole 'the internet is ruining everything'. Yes, newspapers as we know them are going down the drain, but that will also open up opportunities to do new things. And yes, traditional advertising on TV will go the same way as newspapers, but that can also be a good thing. New isn't always bad. New can be exciting. A new opportunity. A new way of doing something fun.