Distributed Creativity on the Internet: A Theoretical Foundation for Online Creative Participation

Ioana Literat, Vlad Petre Glaveanu


Starting from the premise that a deeper understanding of creativity as a sociopsychological process is a valuable foundation for analyzing contemporary practices of online creative participation, this article aims to forge a much-needed link between creativity research and online participation. Applying the lens of distributed creativity and integrating literature from across disciplines, we examine the distributed nature of online creativity along three key dimensions: social, material, and temporal. By analyzing online creative participation along these interrelated dimensions, a more nuanced and complex portrait of online creativity emerges—one that is sensitive to both sociocultural and technological influences, as well as to the way these factors intersect in online spaces. We theorize that, while all creativity is distributed, online creativity is paradigmatic in this regard; therefore, studying it in this light allows us to achieve a richer understanding of not only online creative dynamics, but also of creative action as a whole.


creativity, online participation, new media, user-generated content

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