Refinement + Evolution = Revolution!

Category: Literary Journeys

Editorials, essays, commentaries and video presentations on a variety of subjects

Repurposing old content: A Re-think of the “New Start”

Earlier, I lamented about how I shouldn’t repurpose my old content and have it remain behind the curtain of academia. This feeling was based on my initial reaction to trying to create content solely for its own sake. At the time, I thought and said it was shit. But as I look back at it again to use as fodder . . . er research for my next piece, I realized that it might not be that bad. Not now, at least. In fact, what may have made me so judgmental was when I ran it through Grammarly and saw my text light up like an error-filled Christmas tree. I thought to myself, “That’s how much I need to rewrite?!!”

For those not familiar with Grammarly, it’s “spell-check” on steroids. As long as you don’t let it dominate your editing process (like I let it earlier), it’s a somewhat helpful tool. Zoe Bee did an excellent video about the pitfalls of the program, which you can see below.

Anyway, after relegating it to what I called “run-of-the-mill, undergrad fare,” I’m starting to change my mind. Although I still acknowledge that it lacks the polish that it would have gotten had it not been written in haste, I think it might have enough substance to stand on its own. At best, that “nugget of insight” I believe is still there, is there. At worst, it’s a lesson on how maybe I shouldn’t flaunt my old work as “good”. Nevertheless, it still merits some sort of repurposing.

Whatever the case, here is my new plan. I will once again repurpose my old content, use Grammarly (sparingly), and bank on the fact that it wasn’t as shitty as I thought it was. Worst case scenario, I can use them as examples of the futility of polishing turds.

Cool? Cool.


Once again, a new start: repurposing old content

           A long time ago, I thought repurposing old content was trite. I erroneously thought that doing so eroded its authenticity, but now I see it as misguided. To be honest, that image up there (and others in this entry) wasn’t really what inspired me to write this. It was a random post on Linkedin from the many writing companies I “follow” but don’t actively engage (sigh). Whatever the case, it does encapsulate how I felt when I decided to repurpose my old college writing. I needed to put something out there to substantiate my claim as an “emerging full stack storyteller.” Little did I know how insubstantial it really was. No amount of Grammarly.com or creative rearranging prevented me from turning my frown upside-down.

When a writer asks themselves, "What idiot wrote this?" and they answer, "Oh, I did," maybe it's time to repurpose old content
Thanks again, Lindsay Lovin’ Life

            While the content was, to put it mildly, shit, it had relevancy, at least compared to what interests me today. I still want to talk about ethical theories, sociological paradigms, and Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Generational, organizational, and media studies still interest me. What has changed is my purpose for writing such works, spurring my desire to rewrite them.

The Drake meme about not wanting to write your stories but instead fantasize with a lot of inconsistent ideas and never bringing your story to life, may mean you should repurpose old content
How many Lindsay Lovin’ Life images am I gonna get, anyway?

            I realize now that, when I wrote these “articles,” my primary focus wasn’t so much excavation of truth but instead ticking a box. These were homework assignments, after all. I just wanted to churn out something to be graded. And, as I reread them, that fact did sure show. It also didn’t help that I rushed much of my work (Yep, I’m one of those dreaded, 11th hour, last-minute writers). Looking back, I’m pretty sure my instructors fairly assessed my work as run-of-the-mill, undergrad fare (or were too overworked to care and just gave me the pass). Perhaps they should stay that way rather than something I should rewrite.

While the feeling of completing a first draft more glamorous than editing it, it is a necessary chore to repurpose old content
Aaaaall the Lindsay Lovin’ Life images apparently

           So, given this revelation, I cannot, in good conscience, repurpose old content when it has already served its purpose. Or maybe I don’t yet have the skill to polish these turds, meaning they need to stay where they are, in Academia Limbo. However, I can definitely work with the concepts I had in mind when I wrote these pieces. Therefore, that will be my current plan. I will take something that I wrote, oh, three to five years ago, and rip it the hell apart. But then I will take that nugget of insight in that pile of crap that I think is worthwhile and make a less stinky pile of crap around that.

According toe memeblender.com, a rough draft might as well be a final draft.
Hope Lindsay from Lindsay Lovin’ Life doesn’t mind this (although, to be fair, she did rip it from other places too)

Cool?  Cool.

Think Tank Thursdays: Power of the People through Youtube

This is a short essay I wrote for one of my classes in Brandman University.

It’s almost global knowledge that Hollywood’s blockbuster movies have generated a dominant cultural hegemony that echoes America’s image as the world’s greatest superpower.  A notable example is 2004’s disaster epic, The Day After Tomorrow.  In the final scene of the movie, the new President Raymond Becker, begins his speech with the traditional ‘my fellow Americans’ even though it’s obvious that he is addressing the world; as if America speaks on behalf of the global community (Langley, 2012).  Hollywood has succeeded in selling America as a utopian society that is devoid of errors (Andrew, 2014).  And even though the internet did not become mainstream until around 1999 (Spiegel, 1999) Hollywood continued to sell the United States as the undisputed leader of the free world (Langley, 2012).  Until one event led to the tipping of the scales, the birth of YouTube.

The domain name “YouTube.com” was activated on February 14, 2005 with video upload options being integrated on April 23, 2005.  Six years later, it became the 3rd most visited site in the world, next to Google and Facebook (Cayari, 2011).  It is also the first major website dedicated for uploading and viewing of videos, putting creative power in the hands of the individual, and not the industry.  The traditional medium of Hollywood dominating visual media isn’t quite yet on the verge of extinction, but it’s starting to struggle maintaining its dominance as the United States’ representative to the world.  One no longer needs writers, editors, producers and a sales team to build content (Solis, 2014).  Power is going to the people, with YouTube as their main weapon, with heroes such as Felix Ulf Kjellberg of PewDiePIe fame to wield it.

Although I give deference to PewDiePie as the de facto ambassador of YouTube (even after the fallout from his anti-Semitic joke), I am not a fan, nor do I care to watch other personalities like him such as Smosh or the [Jake and Logan] Paul brothers.  At the risk of sounding like and elitist hipster, I’d like to say that I’m more partial to:

Kiva.org and similar non-profit organization can easily spread their message through Youtube and the internet in general.  They no longer need to pay television networks to air their commercials, or promotion firms to sell their business.  All it takes is the knowledge of web design and digital media analytics, to turn up in Google’s search lists when typing “non-profit.”  Although movie companies and TV networks still have the market on mass media, the world wide web allows the transfer of information to be independent from them, and it balances the power of the haves and have-nots closer and closer together.

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