Self-publishing. Webcomics. Game design tools. Art programs.
Give yourself an hour and you can find the tools to let most anyone with some skill be a media creator. You can make books, games, etc. that you could never dream of years ago, and get them to a waiting audience.
Now of course you know I've been a bit cynical that this explosion of tools will also mean a creative renaissance, a kind of "Production Revolution" of media. My own research, my own experience, has been very informative, so let me put it straight:
All these tools may mean that there's a chance for more people to get out their dream comic/video/game/book/movie and so on. But there are still many barriers to their chances to do this. These are not barriers of distribution or technology (which are changing). These are personal barriers.
(I won't even get to the barrier of Talent, and assume that's obvious)
A lot of barriers are down, but these are factors that still keep people from realizing getting their works to market, to the world. I'll be exploring them in a series of columns over time.
The first barrier? Time.
Yes, Time. Imagine how much time it takes to make a game, a book, a web video series, and so on – and make it good enough people may be interested.
Now, how many people have the time they need to realize all these fantastic ideas in their head? How much time is sucked up in their current job, in the commute, in family obligations, in taking the kids to school? How much time is left to bring their dream to life?
If they have enough time, do they have enough time for the ramp-up? For learning technology and distribution, marketing and plug-ins, and so on?
If they have time for all of this can they effectively manage that time as well? Do they have the planning skills to make things work, set schedules, act on deadlines
For that matter, do these future media producers want to even use the time needed to get their works out?
Some of us have more time, are better at managing it, and are willing to use it to make dreams come true. Others simply lack the time or skills or traits to do it. Time is the first barrier to taking advantage of the Production Revolution.
There are others . . .