Creative Platforms: Exploring the Creative Graph

We can easily get lost in the complexity and contradiction of a network that isn’t really built around the creative’s needs, but around selling branded products.  As Henry David Thoreau put it, we must not “become the tool of our tools.”

Since the first caveman struck two stones together to make fire, we’ve been looking for new ways to solve problems and improve our lives. Creatives have been at the center of this innovation, developing their concepts through unique processes.

Today we find ourselves at the brink of another cultural shift powered by technology that will bring new challenges to creatives; the “Internet of Everything” – that includes the Internet of Things (IoT). This is the collection of smart, sensor-enabled physical objects, and the networks, servers and services that interact with them.

Expanding the Social Graph to Creatives

creative platforms

Image credit: dropr

In 2002, Harvard student Philippe Bouzaglou published a paper on the Harvard Department of Economics Website that utilized graph theory, mathematical structures used to model pairwise relations between nodes, to create a Harvard student social graph. The idea was to understand the student network.

Facebook popularized the term “social graph,” describing it as “global data mapping of everybody and how they are related.” Their application of this social graph in their network intends to provide a richer online experience.

The social graph concept can be expanded to a Creative Graph. Unlike the social graph, the Creative Graph includes creative “things,” like your projects, in addition to people and the relationships between them. This extension of the social graph is more creative-work-centric in its approach, gathering data as it follows the work through the creative process to the finished product. The graph facilitates easy sharing and even sales. Your work is now more alive than ever.

Keeping it Simple

In today’s agile work environment, we have the opportunity to focus on technology that simplifies and streamlines our lives and work. The complexity can live under the hood. The creative platforms we choose can help us establish real connections and support a goal-oriented process. From development, collaboration and testing to sharing and (even selling work) in a simple, easy-to-use, fun way.

It’s All About Your Work: Creative Platforms that Work for You

creative platforms

A Creative Platform exists to benefit artists and their work. The platform may be invisible because the artist (and the work) is the brand, not the network. Technology can be developed and applied for this purpose.

Technology is only as good as what we do with it. Platforms provide the capacity to build a creative graph that includes positive connection analysis, such as the quality of a user’s contribution to other user’s work, and the journey of user’s work through the network. In this sense, technology affords a system where talent and collaboration is measured through the examination of the work itself and the artist’s demonstrated achievement on the network.

creative platforms

This translates to better opportunities for talented creatives and a higher value placed on their services. A well-developed creative graph system can also transform a simple “explore” search box into the most efficient, effective and relevant way for creatives and their work to be found by the people who are looking for them.


By Cristian Petschen, co-founder of dropr.com, The First Platform for All Creatives. Cristian Petschen is an architect, industrial designer, graphic designer, fine artist and creative entrepreneur.


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