Focus, Commitment, Consent: Glorious Creation

newquill came out of my frustrations of not being able to tell a media rich story about my life that, just so happened, to be media rich. Since the explosion of web 2.0, media has become a part of our social DNA. We identify ourselves through our pictures, our videos, our tags. It makes us who we are.

I remember sitting in my apartment in Northern China writing a chapter where one of the characters gets gastronomic surgery. I have never had a gastric bypass. I won’t get one. How am I supposed to know how to describe it? All I had to do was watch a YouTube video to see it – then I was able to write based on my interpretation of those images.

I listened to two albums most of the time I wrote my book – BT’s “This Binary Universe” and “Bound Together” – a remix soundtrack for a Super Nintendo game called “Earthbound.”

That set the destination for where I wanted to go: I wanted to be able to tell my story my way.

If I, the writer, was using media to write – why shouldn’t my audience use media to read? If I write a book that gains a huge following, why should I have to sell it to a movie studio to retell the story in a different way? Too many authors sell out and option their stories to big studios and let them take over the vision. In today’s day and age authors can be directors, producers, and distributors. The vision no longer has to be compromised.

But there has not been a platform that allows anyone, anywhere to become a modern renaissance storyteller. Until newquill.

It requires commitment – you make a pledge to get there with everybody else.

The four of us at newquill created our own rich multimedia version of a chapter of Huckleberry Finn and it was a real pain in the ass to do. We had to get an objective-c programmer to build the book as an app, we had to use InDesign to bind and format the story, and we had to use professional media recorded using ridiculously expensive equipment to bring to life a story everyone knows.

The 21st century should not be interested in duplicating old and inefficient ways of development – that is precisely where the ebook industry stands right now.

We are committed to making a tool that will allow anyone – anyone – to make it fun to collectively create and tell stories in the same way we experience them today. We know how it is to be on the other side. It sucks. We don’t want anyone – especially fellow creative geniuses – to have to go through all of that. We want newquill to do for the web what Gutenberg did for paper. Make it easy.

When you commit to reading you are committed to melding minds with the author – and joining an ephemeral collective of minds who have also read the book. When you commit to writing you commit to diffusing your thoughts – bearing your soul – to anyone and everyone while asking them to respond.

Reading and writing are inherently social. newquill will not let you forget that.

It requires consent – you recognize the power of yes and get out there with everyone else.

Consent is the most powerful force on earth. Every story we have ever heard we have consented to. We consent to the books we read. We are required to purchase or find the piece of literature and “open it up” for our eyes to take into our mind.

A more complex example of consent is cinema. Watching a movie at the theater is a complicated, multi-step process. We first decide what movie we want to see. Then we decide where we will see it. Then we travel to the location. Then we exchange money for a ticket. We give the ticket to the ticket man. We walk into a dark room and stare at a screen for a number of hours until we are told the story is over. Then we leave.

If that much consent is required for consuming a story – imagine how much consent is required to create one! We consent to imagination, to collaboration, to publishing our tale. Although newquill‘s shared creation experience will be simple, it will still require collective consent.

We at newquill has said yes to disrupting the publishing space by flipping the process upside-down.

There will be different users on newquill – some will want to have fun, others will want to produce high quality content to share with friends or sell in the marketplace. The difference between these users will vary based on their level of commitment – but, ultimately, they will all need to consent to the muse to belong to the community.

It is much easier to say yes when everyone else around you is saying yes. More importantly, the less people around you are saying no the more likely you are to say yes. newquill will create an atmosphere of yes – which doesn’t mean a license to make anything you want. On the contrary, newquill will provide the constraints needed for productive collaboration.

The Pareto Principle is often cited by crowd sourcing skeptics: 80 percent of people like to stand on the side of the dance floor while only 20 percent get out to dance. newquill wants to switch those numbers by creating many dance floors out of one to change the way people think about dancing with others.

We’re focused. We’re committed. We’ve given our consent to the newquill. We want you to do the same thing.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with.


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