Some thoughts about organising contempery media production.
In current world the spread of cheap and easily available technology opens up the production of knowledge and culture to a much wider group of people than in the 20th century. The issue is no longer the “hard issues” of access and gatekeepers – it is one of the “soft issues” of craft skills and storie telling. Along side this for co-operative production the most important issue is organisational.
“Just because work is invisible dose not mean that it dose not happen.”
Half the people won't tern up or will be useless
Half the equipment wont work or will have pieces missing so dose't not work.
The failer of the 20th century is “hard organising”
The working of the 21st century is “soft organising”
Work out a rota and fill the roles before the event. Put people into fixed times and place, then panic and start from scratch when it all changes on the day and half the people don’t tern up and there equipment fails.
Have fun role-plays and hands on set-ups to learn the skills, put people into broad groups – and only fill the completely central hard roles the co-ordinators. The rest are left open and fluid so that the most competent people can move into the key roles and the less competent can hang onto them or drift away, and best to let them go, its an open process and they have the opportunity to comeback later.
Some ways to think about why this is important
If you have a volunteer structer and few resources hard organizing will likely lead to 100% failer of a good outcome. Soft organising will likely lead to 70% success of good anufe outcome. One will leave everyone bicking and blaming over who’s fault is is for the failer and it will split and demoralise the crew. The other will nurture success and build trust so as to grow the pool of talent so that next time the outcome can grow.
In a contradictory way “soft organising” is the way to grow a “hard organising crew”. The 20th century 'professionalism' is now the clear and imedate danger to the success of the 21st century working. We are in the middle of a transition if people who aspire to work in the 20th century way won't to be useful they have to jump ship - or get a dwindling paid job in the traditional media.
How to stop “hard organising”
This needs some thought – as it is clearly the problem we face in the digital age of voluntary production. See my DRAFT post on de-professionalising the media about why this is core to thinking about this.