I’m bad ass and am kicking sand in your face.

We are just about half way through the first year of the ds106 Daily Create, a site we created to inspire people to do small acts of creative challenges every day. It is something I believed in from the start, from even before we launched the first open section of ds106.

People praise it a lot. Nice.

But the activity is, well, low on the average. When we launched in January, we were pegging over 100 responses a day. It peaks when we start a new section of ds106 (because it is a student required activity). Today’s challenge was one that required less on the software, creative side, and more on just the imagination- Take a picture of a cloud and tell us what it looks like to you.

Seven people responded:

I know the excuse train: “I’m busy.” “It’s summer”. “I’m teaching.” “I forgot.” “I had meetings” “I forgot my camera” “I never went outside”.

Those are crap. I kick sand in your face. Weak. Do you think you will ever get strong and imaginative if you do not flex a little creative muscle every day?

You do realize I am in character here, right?

This has been on my mind because I have been immersed in filling out the schedule for the rest of the year, doing another 180+ in advance (this was driven by the fact we needed to have a year’s worth to put on the calendars people asked for in the ds106 Kickstarter).

But really, for all the people that comment, tweet about it, I’d think we’d see more than 6 per day.

So in a fit of irrational outbursts, I tweeted this challenge:

So here it is. I dare you. I know what you are thinking. Did e fire 6 shots or 5. In all this excitement I lost track myself (oops, wrong movie).

Starting Wednesday, July 10, I dare you to do the Daily Create for the next 7 days in a row.

To compete, what you should do is write a blog post at te end of the week that embeds all the media for your 7 days, and then write something that draws a connection or makes a story out of all 7. Return here and leave a link in a comment.

What’s the prize? Nothing. The experience is its own reward. Okay, I will amp it up. I will perform a song out of the results of every one who shares their 7 days od Daily Creating right here.

What is the Daily Create?

Each Daily Create is a prompt for you to post a photography or drawing to flickr, a video to YouTube, or an audio recording to Sound cloud, each tagged or grouped in a way that aggregate them to the main site.

We announce the new challenge every day at 10:00am EST, you can check the site, sign up for email, or follow @ds106TDC on twitter. These are all things that should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. They are typically media that you just post, not things you toil away editing. The magic is in how you interpret the challenge, and how you go about your day looking or listening for the creative inspiration that will satisfy it.

This is perhaps the most low barrier way to participate in ds106, but more than that, if you do this on a regular basis (and seriously, non one but Norm does it every day), I can almost guarantee you will see the world differently and your creative skills over time will improve in any or all forms.

So are you up to 7? Do you feel creative…. punk?

And why only 7? Can you do more?

Spread the word, and step up to the challenge. I’m it it.

I will see you at http://tdc.ds106.us/, I am the one kicking sand in your face.


  • Melanie

    I’m totally up for your crappy challenge. And for your information, it was raining ALL DAY (thank god) in some parts of the country yesterday. So the whole flipping sky was one giant cloud (therefore impossible to photograph). See, now that’s an excuse.

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog

      Bring it!

      And thats the lamest excuse I’ve heard since the one about homework being eaten by a dog. Use your imagination, re-interpret the assignment, there si always a way, that is the #4life ethos.

  • Chanda

    I’m gonna give it the ol’ college try!…and NOT because it’s required! (I’ve done my 2 required for the week already…take that! LoL)
    Seriously though, Even when I don’t have time to participate I love seeing others’ interpretations and creativity! It’s awesome! I’m hoping it’s cool if I continue to participate in TDCs, even after the summer session of ds106 is over. I’d really like to make it my daily break from the grind…you know give me a creative outlet away from a demanding career, endless homework, and family drama.

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog

      Awesome Chanda, I was hoping some of the UMW students would step in! You’ve been a force of creative energy this summer.

  • Andrew Forgrave

    Seven days? Seven days?

    I see your seven days, and raise you 14. Let’s make it a 21-day-challenge.


  • Lisa M Lane

    Forgot my excuse: “I’m getting close to my limit on Flickr and I don’t want to pay”. :-)

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog

      Oh Lisa… I hate giving in to excuses… maybe you will have an angel.

      • Lisa M Lane

        So, maybe more than an excuse. I’ve been following d’Arcy’s procedures for reclaiming my content from sites like Flickr. I could put tdc images on my blog, but no one would see them since it’s set up in Flickr. Might be a larger issue at work.

        • Alan Levine aka CogDog

          I understand. The things is we really do not have the prowess to syndicate from all possible photo sharing sites (this is part of what caved in the Daily Shoot) so we had to settle on one media site for each type based on its ability to generate widgets we can use on the main site.

          But still, this does not stop you from doing the challenge from where-ever you want to post. Just do ’em and complete the 7. The only thing missing is having yours come into the shared mix (I can do this for you).

          The more important thing is doing the challenge!

  • @nniiccoollee

    “Starting Wednesday, July 10, I dare you to do the Daily Create for the next 7 days in a row.”

    Yes. Yes, I do feel creative! And challenged!

    Since the above was a little ambiguous (deliberately so?), I’ll start my 7 days with Wednesday, July 11….


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    Done – http://bit.ly/LqveGR
    Thanks for pushing us!

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    Okay, Alan. I saw your challenge. And am currently at 11 consecutive TDCs. The mash-up will come next.


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