It’s difficult to describe Central Station in just a few words. In short it’s a creative social network; an expanding, interconnected community of people who share work, ideas and opportunities. Yet it’s much more than that too. It’s a space for inspiration, where people can browse new work by thousands of members from across the globe.
Central Station was launched in September 2009. It began life as an ambitious digital project that could be used as a tool to facilitate creative works, as well as a place to make connections. The birth of the project can be read in full here in the opening pages of the Central Station book (it’s an interesting read, you should have a look).
We commissioned projects with professional partners and organisations, such as: Sound Image Art with Roddy Buchanan & Savalas; White Bikes with NVA; Phil Kay does GI; Social Landscape with David Zarah & Patricia Fleming Projects; Shadow Screen with Paul Kerlaff; Art/Roc/Doc to name just a few. We had pop-up events in Glasgow & in Dundee and, on top of this, we gave away £1500 a month to projects within our community. You can read all of these in the Member Fund blog.
It was a self contained community where members were showcased and encouraged to promote and discuss their work and methods. Fast forward to September 2011, and the Central Station community on Facebook & Twitter are just as vocal and active as the membership on the site. Somewhere in the past 2 years artists and creatives have embraced social networks as a form of promotion and audience building. We liked what we saw and got to work on finding ways to shift our methods to better suit the changing environment.
Cut to the new – improved – Central Station.
Our ethos stays the same – we aim to support, showcase and make accessible creative work from Scotland, the UK and beyond. How we go about doing it has changed slightly. With progression in technology comes some brilliant advancements in how creatives can engage online. All of our content is an amalgamation of this engagement.
We’ve selected a handful of networks where we will have a presence. These were chosen carefully from investigating where our site members were uploading their work and from talking to the community. That isn’t to say that we won’t add to them later – we love a social network and are always open to suggestion – we just wanted to stay contained for the moment until we all have a chance to work together in this new wider network.
We’ve divided our networks into two ways of communicating: Creative platforms [such as Vimeo & Behance] to build a database of creatives who want to share their work and find others to work with; and Social platforms [like Twitter & StumbleUpon] to showcase these members of our creative community. It’s more a networks of networks, if you like.
So there you have it. Supported by Creative Scotland and engineered by ISO, Central Station Mark II is just what it says on the tin – The Creative Social Network.