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What Does Your Digital Graffiti Look Like?

October 12, 2010

Last night we decided to watch Bomb it on Netflix. It’s about the origins of graffiti as a movement and interviews some of the more infamous sprayers.

A few things that stuck out to me. One is people’s insatiable need to comment and create. The second is there are a lot of parallels to social media. If you’re posting in the social space are you not a digital graffiti writer? This is especially true if you’re on Twitter where you can see nearly everyone’s message.

(on why they tag) “We’re letting people know we’re here.” – Graffiti artist, Bomb it.

“A series of numbers after the name tells where the tagger is from in an otherwise huge and anonymous city.” – News reporter, Bomb it

Aren’t we using social media to let people know we’re here? “Hello, Internets, it’s me, Brian. I’m not just a profile, I’m a person.” Right? Right?

Think about your digital tag for a moment. While you do that, I’ll leave you with another quote from Bomb it:

(Graffiti tag vs. Graffiti art) “No one starts off making art murals. They start with their basic expression, the tag.” – Graffiti Artist, Bomb it

So what’s your digital tag? Are you just letting people know you’re here, or are you making a statement?

I contend that people keep moving past graffiti tags, be it digital or paint, but they will stop for a beautiful graffiti art piece.


So what kind of digital graffiti are you spraying on social media? Are you interacting or is it all about your tag? Are you adding content or is it all about your tag? Are you giving back with your creativity & intelligence or is it all about your tag? Are you just writing your name or are you saying something more?

Tell us in the comments, what kind of digital graffiti are you creating? Do you even agree with the concept of digital graffiti?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2010 10:52 am

    I think this is a really cool comparison between two mediums/expressions/ arts (?). I know exactly what you mean by the tagging (promotions, look at me look at me, I’m a big ego, here’s where I’m speaking) versus the art (value, resources, authenticity, giving). I know that I promote my blog posts in my tweets but I hope that’s not seen as spraying tags. I make a priority of sharing the good blog posts of others and dipping into conversations. I think most of us who love this medium aspire to be artists rather than taggers, although I would never think of myself as an artist, it’s a good unattainable goal to perpetually reach for. I love posts like this!

    • Brian Crawford permalink*
      October 13, 2010 8:40 am

      Thanks for your comment!

      I don’t think promoting your graffiti art is a bad thing. The Internet is a big place, we have to say “hey, look over here” to get some eyeballs and strike up a conversation.

      The way I see it the social media megaphones are the taggers. They’re more concerned with their personal brand than creating & sharing their digital graffiti art.

      I love your thought about aspiring to be an artist. I totally agree. Our pallet is intelligence, insight, and humor. Our brushes are conversation and interaction. Love it.

      Thanks again.

  2. October 14, 2010 10:56 pm

    As a concept this immediately sounded “right.” And then I started thinking “am I doing the virtual equivalent of scribbling in the bathroom stall?” Seriously, it doesn’t seem like I’m doing anything beautiful (some graffiti is achingly beautiful, like finding a perfect flower growing between the cracks of a sidewalk), nor am I making useful socio-political commentary (if you haven’t seen creative overpass commentary then you haven’t lived). Actually, I guess I’m more like the friend who stopped by your house when you weren’t in and left you a sticky note to say hi. Nothing that in and of itself is lasting, but the feeling of love and attention it engenders having it’s own worth.

    Good job on seeing the connection. Like all genius things it’s perfectly obvious now that you say it.

    You might be interested in my blog post What is Your Modern Communication Style?

    • Brian Crawford permalink*
      October 25, 2010 9:06 am

      Thanks for your comment. We’re all taggers from time to time, the difference is that we strive for something better.

      Thanks for the link and I’ll check out your post.


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