“The ‘frozen sharing’ creates great potential value. Enormous databases of images, text, videos and so on include many items that have never been looked at or read, but it costs little to keep those things available, and they may be useful to one person, years in the future. That tiny bit of value may seem too small to care about, but with two billion potential providers, and two billion potential users, tiny value times that scale is huge in aggregate. Much creative energy that was previously personal has acquired a shared component, eve if only in frozen sharing.”
—Shirkey, Cognitive Surplus (173)
For a graphic designer, “frozen sharing” is pretty much a necessity. To do some of my duties at my internship, particularly generating the rotating panels on the website homepage, I look to several different sources for images and graphics. Every person who proclaims themselves even an amateur graphic designer knows the importance of frozen sharing because they’re constantly searching the web for license-free material.
Websites like Brusheezy.com and morguefile.com provide users with a seemingly endless supply of photoshop brushes and high resolution photographs respectively. The majority of this content is placed on the web and readily available for download, free of charge. Without this pool of creativity, designers everywhere would have to limit their creativity based on their personal ability.
Prior to some of my more advanced classes, I never saw a real reason to use Flickr as a file sharer instead of Facebook. To me, they were one in the same. Now, though, especially during my hiatus from FB, I find myself seeing the value in Flickr. It is less about sharing your life and more about sharing photography in general. Flickr provides users with a gallery of virtually any image they might be looking for, and the beauty of it is that it doesn’t go away unless the user removes their images altogether.
Overall, I see a lot of value in “frozen sharing.” As students, we draw from frozen files every semester when we access journal databases such as EbscoHost. All of those articles simply sit online waiting for students to access them for part of their research. Even books could arguably be called a part of “frozen sharing.” They sit on shelves of libraries for years, even decades at a time, waiting for a stranger to sweep through its pages. In a way, I suppose anything that’s archived could now be categorized as a contributor of “frozen sharing…”