Category Archives: criterion

working in the open

From 1984 to 1996 i had the good fortune to be a part of Voyager, an innovative publisher known for The Criterion Collection, which started in 1984 as a series of laser videodiscs, innovative cd-roms, the first credible electronic books in the Expanded Books series, and even a few landmarks on the web including the first audio webcast which fielded questions from remote listeners. We were a wide-eyed group inventing things as we went along. Nothing happened without intense in-house discussion and debate over the complex new relationships between form and content afforded by new technologies. But realistically the discussion was limited at the most to the hundred or so people at any one time who were involved in development of Voyager’s titles.
Through another stroke of luck i’ve managed to be part of a second wonderfully creative group which is having as much fun navigating uncharted waters as we did at Voyager. However this time, thanks to the network, my colleagues and i are working out in the open. And because others are able to listen in as we “think out loud” and then “chime-in” if they have something to contribute, the discussion is ever so much broader, deeper and fundamentally useful.
This thought came to me this morning when i looked at the discussion on if:book about MediaCommons and realized how remarkable a group of people had contributed so far and how much quicker the discussion is developing than it ever could have if it had just been my colleagues and i discussing this around a table.