Thinking about Improvisation

Feb 29, 2008

Sometimes it’s better to not think too much, and just go for it.

clipped from
Scientists funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that, when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly creative and spontaneous activity known as improvisation, a large region of the brain involved in monitoring one’s performance is shut down, while a small region involved in organizing self-initiated thoughts and behaviors is highly activated.

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Jazz, Self Expression and Social Media

Dec 4, 2007

There was a really interesting conversation on Twitter yesterday, that start with this comment by Jeremiah Owyang. It was basically about jazz and music, and how that relates to Social Media. Nate Westheimer tied the conversation together with his post Improvisation: Collaboration, Structure and Social Media. I think he makes really good points, but I want to expand a bit more on the idea of jazz and social media.

One thing about jazz and improvisation is the self expression. While there is structure, jazz is largely about self expression and creativity. And I think that also plays a part in why I love social media so much. Social media, things like blogs, podcasting, etc, make it possible for me to express my thoughts. As the name implies, it lets society, average people, create media. And I think that’s a common thread among all of us. I believe that while we all enjoy the community being built and all, we enjoy the opportunity for personal expression just as much.

But even then, we don’t do it purely out of selfish reasons. Jazz is an art form. Musicians play as much for their enjoyment as for the enjoyment and pleasure of the people listening. Same for us bloggers and podcasters, and all the social media folks. We produce media and create content in the hope that it adds value to the people listening to us.

So to sum up, I think that’s another reason that jazz and music is such a common thread between us social media folks. Because social media is about self-expression, and self-expression for the value of our audience.