Creating Spaces

I’ve been thinking about spaces a lot.

There are many different ways we create spaces. There’s making emotional space, for your friends, your family, or that special someone. There’s physical space, as in the space you create for your home or your working environment. There’s the relationship between space and time, where you need to carve out the pieces and chunks of how you’re going to spend your time, and how much space you’re going to allot for all of the various things in your life.

We can’t survive (at least not comfortably) without striking a balance between all of our different spaces. Spaces are critical to our success as human beings.

Think about how you arrange the spaces around you. It might be the way your bedroom is set up to be most conducive to restful sleep. It may be how your desk is arranged so you are most productive. Everyone has different preferences.

For example, my desk is neat and organized, so I don’t often spend a lot of time searching for things. It’s a space that allows me to get things done. On the other hand, my car is messy beyond belief – but it is merely a tool that I use to get around, usually in a hurry, so for me, it doesn’t have to be organized. It’s a space that moves me from space to space.

How does this relate to online experiences? Well this is where spaces get really interesting. In the online world, it’s all about spaces. I have a space on Facebook, a space on Twitter, a space on this blog. I’m filling my spaces all the time with my thoughts, opinions, conversations, and questions. I’m being helped, and helping others inside of my space and inside of their spaces. In fact, the entire Web is just a series of spaces, all linked together. That’s fundamentally what makes it all work – spaces.

So you’ve got all these spaces, now what? Well, consider it like you’d consider your home. Some spaces are functional, like the kitchen. Some are beautiful, like your garden. Others are social, like your family room. But, it’s totally up to you how you use your spaces. Take Newfoundland, for instance – there, kitchens are functional, but they are also extremely social.

There are lots of social media “experts” out here who will try to tell you that Facebook MUST be used for socializing. LinkedIN MUST be used for functional, practical business stuff. Twitter is just fluff. Lots of people want to try and tell us how to use our spaces. Whatever you do, don’t listen to them. They are missing the point.

We are all responsible for creating our own spaces out here. We fill our spaces with the things we are interested in, are passionate about, things that are concrete…or sometimes we just fill them in with fun, silly stuff. Most of the time it’s a combination of those things. But the really cool part happens when we begin to let others into our spaces.

There’s abundant possibility in shared spaces. And this world out here, on the Web, is all about shared spaces.

So…what kind of space are you going to create?

Category:social media
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  • September 13, 2009 at 8:00 am

    well stated. hit the nail right square on the head.
    really…well stated. concise. to the point. refreshing.
    I have always been fascinated by the infinite space between whole numbers. really. how is that? Anyways…
    I strive to create space that I occupy that is inviting but maybe not always comfortable.
    like a clown. people are drawn to a clown but sometimes with a sense of trepidation.

  • September 13, 2009 at 8:25 am

    “A Place for Everything, and Everything in it’s Place” works so well if you can pull it off. Tidying and finding is quick because the decisions are easy. However, as “Everything” expands it gets to be a challenge (AKA Impossible). In the areas where I’ve pulled it off, it’s great. But the energy required to overcome the entropy to make it universal is lacking.

    On physical spaces, I came up with the “A”, “B”, “C” space designations (kind of an 80/20 rule I now realize). Try to make sure that the important stuff is in the “A” space and get the other shipped off to “B” or archived in “C”. You’re right, the kitchen is probably the #1 “A” space.

    On-line, it’s an ongoing challenge. I still struggle on how and if to partition things. At least I’m not alone.

    My current thought is to aim for quality and then it likely matters less where (and when) it’s located. The pan-dimensional aspect of the web means that we’ll continually create appropriate “A” spaces to address each context.

    And now I need to go start my daily assault on entropy (randomness).

    cheers, Andrew

  • September 13, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Interesting I was just thinking about this very thing and then I opened up this blog. Maybe our spaces were intersecting .. possibly concentric for a nanosecond.
    For me its the ‘share’ factor that brings the dimension and exponential potential to the space thing. the shared space thing.
    I recently gave a lecture on light theory and the digital image. Thinking old school prior to the event I was going to be guarded and not let out all ‘my secrets’. How idiotic.
    I delivered ‘all’ and had an amazing post lecture interaction with not only those present but also the intelligence of the industry at large also. I delivered and in return ‘it’ delivered.
    So thank you for this great blog on spaces. Actually you should take it further … maybe a best seller.
    It doesn’t only work in your spaces or our spaces it works multidimensionally in and on all our spaces.
    Thanks you

  • September 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I have published 9 books so if you need a hand at all just ask … see
    Mine are photo (aerial) books so I suppose that’s a different angle on a familiar space.
    Don’t hold back with the book. You’ve got it!

  • September 14, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I’m finding that physical spaces are multi-functional now that technology and information have become ubiquitous. We create temporary spaces wherever we go and as needs arise.

    My friends, armed with iphones or blackberries, can quickly turn a restaurant (or quick lunch space) into an effective meeting space, bridging multiple physical localities. When called by work to produce an emergency presentation, note, or report, a corner of my living room becomes my office space.

    Recently, my seat on an airplane was temporarily my development workstation as my 14″ laptop had sufficient clearance to open fully (tip: the economy seats in the row ahead of the emergency exits can’t recline). It became a creative space.

    While I believe that permanent spaces are necessary and making those spaces functional is important, we live in a world that is moving pretty fast. We have to be flexible enough to make the most of spaces, be it physical or otherwise.

    Anyhow, great post Sue. I’m still amazed that you can kick these out within 20 minutes, everything being fully conceptualized in your mind beforehand. You must have a highly disciplined creative space!

  • September 16, 2009 at 5:35 am

    I think that I create my spaces in much the same way that you do.

    “I’m filling my spaces all the time with my thoughts, opinions, conversations, and questions. I’m being helped, and helping others inside of my space and inside of their spaces.”

    Like you said, the magic happens when you let others in and well, when you learn to have a little fun with it all (in my opinion).
    [rq=638416,0,blog][/rq][College Humor Video] Real Life Twitter

  • […] good food, good company, and support local businesses. As Susan Murphy once blogged, we live in a number of spaces, most we choose, many we make. Food and culture associate well with one another. Ottawa, as a city, […]



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