Sparky is for everyone, enjoy!
Sparky curates the internet, looking around for mindful images moving or still
that positively influence, stimulate, or depict our shared experiences as we proceed through a fractured but hopeful world.
Sparky is an individual, an entity, a character. Sparky is also a safe place for the collective consciousness to express itself. Sparky is a force of expression, learning and evolving, like the individual, to become an instigator of social development, psychological influence and change in human behaviour for the better.
If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature.
Sparky is for everyone – WELCOME – Sparky curates the internet to enable free thinkers, stimulate creativity and encourage individual responsibility. Sparky aims to bring individuals together and build a community that strives to project a more positive outlook.
The internet is barely 30 years old but has already become an enormous information stew, constantly seasoned by too many chefs with too many ingredients. The distinction between fact, information, knowledge and gossip has become utterly blurred. Much of the content is badly researched, poorly produced or presented, and processed too quickly and carelessly on social media and internet news channels. Facebook has become the place many people get their daily news.
Sparky wants to help people in finding the truth amidst the distorted evidence, coverage and influence being presented by some modern-day media networks and misinformed individuals who abuse the freedoms of the internet.
Sparky will keep you posted – it will be a challenge to edit and curate a growing collection of items relative to Sparky’s social optimism, so Sparky needs your participation to grow and deliver relevant content. It is to be an ongoing process with daily updates, with popular content being highlighted and reviewed as an updating front page.
Most of the shared posts from websites, blogs, video channels and social media are linked back to their last source and so lead users back to the origins of topics and themes – this promotes the content sources and offers opportunities for users to follow a train of thought or action.
Sparky combines skill sharing, positive debate and shared experience of the more important and best things in life – appreciating and stimulating design, cognitive behaviour and wellbeing, human endeavour and human geography. Pictorially Sparky will delve into the arts, the sciences, utopias, youth culture, the future, evolution, and present images and video at the best quality available.
There will be a particular emphasis on positive thinking. Sparky believes in a more mindful approach to rebuilding our social consciousness, our mental wellbeing, common sense, and awareness of our shared experiences.
Sparky wants to help spark our mindful revolt against those who work hard to extend and increase their control over our every individual wish, ambition or quest.
As time goes by, Sparky will produce original content including, learning, video, interviews, biographies, debate, and observation
– it’s gonna be a blast!
The Tower of Babel
According to the story, this was a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, came to the land of Shinar (Hebrew: שנער). There they agreed to build a city and a tower “tall enough to reach heaven“; on seeing this, God, viewing such behaviour as arrogant, intrusive, premature and disrespectful, confounded their speech so that they could no longer understand each other and scattered them around the world.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Tower of Babel (Vienna) – Google Art Project
‘Back in the day’, in news offices around the world, we were rather proud of ourselves as keepers of the flame, not only of news but of putting ourselves out there to tell it. Now that the tools are readily available on the internet everyone wants to have their say or ‘tell’. But a consequence of everyone having a say is that there are too many opinions, and those comments and opinions become fickle, diluted, shallow, meaningless or dishonest, click numbers are not necessarily the best indicator of correctness or reaching the right audience.
An experienced blogger will choose a platform on which to ‘blog’ that publishes material that they can appreciate and enjoy, and feel comfortable participating in. Sparky suggests Medium as an excellent interface for writers, clean and uncluttered when writing with simple tools for editing, sub-edits and adding illustration and other enhancements as appropriate, with a front end that categorises and promotes valuable and meaningful content.
It is wise to check comments and moderation on sites you consider contributing to because your chosen blogging platform can redefine your own views if they have ulterior motives, so it is worth finding a community that ‘speaks’ like you.
Beware of, avoid or expose extremist behaviour, hate-speech and negative influence as you discover it.
Acknowledge that you are one of so many contributing to your chosen site. There are multitudes wanting to have their say so make it obvious why your copy should be published – easy to read, main points up front, getting as much into your short and concise headings and intros as is possible, and be personal with and respectful of your readers.
Are you interested in writing or contributing to Sparky, or writing blog posts or articles for any online publication or platform? Here is a quick guide with hints and tips for producing good copy that caters for the short attention span of most online viewers.
Put yourself in the mind of your viewer/reader
Are your ideas original? – Is there a relevant point to what you are saying? – Can you construct sentences that are intelligent, but easy to read and easily understood?
Grammar, punctuation and spelling are all part of this; they are the floor, walls and roof of your theatre, the foundation being the publication or title you are contributing to, and your ideas being the design in relation to its audience.
God gave us the spellchecker, but you have to read through copy yourself to find better construction, context and flow. The spellchecker is also fallible in that it cannot tell the difference between words like mad, made, mead and maid, so be sure to recognise the value of editing and sub-editing to achieve the best result.
It’s all just words, right? – the subtleties of creative writing and good journalism are many and diverse but they set the tone of voice and help with flow and effortless communication. There are many ‘helper apps’ online that can directly advise you as you go along, one good and recent system extension is Grammarly, which can suggest alternative phraseology, dynamic punctuation and dynamic spell checking, as you type.
A lot of sites will want either a suggestion or actual images to accompany the article. But it’s best practice to send one, and find out what the platform does regarding pictures and illustrations.
Now … you have your wonderful, topical, clean article. Make sure you send it to the correct email or submissions box. Keep a copy.
Check back in a week later if you’ve heard nothing. Be friendly, polite, but “just checking.”
And with luck, if you’ve followed all the previous steps, the answer might be” “Yes! That’s a great piece. Just what we’re looking for.”
Guide to submitting to Sparky in particular
Here at Sparky we like to talk about collaboration, rather than contributing. It’s a much more collective attitude to content than the traditional bargaining and manoeuvring I’ve just described. But some of the same points apply. The material you want to share with us should in some way reflect the Sparky ethos.
This is about recognising the variety, spirit and potential of our world, and turning away from the harsh militarism and capitalism that has ruined so much of the recent past and brought us to a point where many people in the West feel desperate about the future.
It’s about looking at the positive end of the wedge: the refugee crisis has brought out the worst in some politicians, but also the best in many individuals who have been selfless and heroic to help their fellow humans.
Photos, essays, short articles, drawings, paintings – all sorts of creative work, is welcome, as long as it can be reproduced on the site. That means both technically and legally [copyrights and permissions being respected].
We’re a broad church, an open canvas, a wide blue sky.
Help populate it. Show us your best.