Personally, I like a good thunderstorm. I love the sound of rain, I like the flash of lightning and the rumble of thunder. The bright, deep colors come out after a good rain. And in the last three years, I have much more reason to love clouds than just rainy days. I have cloud computing to thank.
Farther apart or closer together? It’s the mantra of the internet, yeah? The internet brings us all the information in the entire world. No no, the internet separates us from people.
Sure it’s doing both, but check this out.
Last year my best friend in Michigan decided that enough talk, we were going to do what we’d been talking about and sort of pecking at the edges of for years: make a comic. Not just a one issue, not just a five page scene, we were going to go all-in.
And I’ve been in Korea for ten years now. Long enough for smart phones to come out, get smarter, and clouds to link all my devices together, and then for clouds to link different users together.
Long enough for me to have about a dozen book cover design clients, for me to have never worked on paper with any of those clients. The internet giveth, I taketh away. I maketh money through Paypal, and all is well.
So the process began last year, with GoogleDocs playing an integral role in co-writing what would become the beginnings of a script for our web comic. The docs allowed us to leave comments and ideas for one another, then resolve disputes over which character might do what, or which plot device seemed too shoehorned in there.
My phone played a role, since at that time I had a four hour commute, one way, once a week. I wrote on my tablet or phone, direct to Drive, and utilized what would otherwise be useless and wasted time.
This evolved, adding dropbox into the mix for taking hand-drawn original sketches scanned in New York City and Detroit Michigan, and spitting them out of a printer in Seoul, Korea, where they would be inked, then scanned back in and given color.
Throughout this, my buddy and I used Facebook Messenger to call one another and powwow regarding avery aspect of the comic, from the script and the overarching plot to the details: speech bubble placement or page layout, shading, font size. We met in coffee shops, in my university office, at home. We met real time, thirteen time zones away: 10am Seoul, 9pm Detroit a day behind. Surreal? Yes. Awesome? Even more yes.
This year I took it a step further and organized a shared curriculum at my university. Everyone there has a very different schedule, making it impossible to conduct meetings at any set time. Instead, we coordinated a Drive folder, and each contributed from our strengths: making Kahoot quizzes, working on animated PPTs or finding expertly crafted materials from the internet. Over a dozen professors got involved here, and really broadened my horizons in terms of what might be useful or worthwhile in the classroom. Teachers are natural thieves, or ‘borrowers’ if you like (you have to be when you’re so busy with lesson planning and grading , and it’s better if everyone gives a little and takes a lot.
These might not be revolutionary uses for Cloud, but both allowed me to work faster, and work globally. I’ve done all sorts of side jobs from my home, and the Cloud has been gleaming silver for me for several years now.
Let it rain.