Thursday, March 1, 2012

"SoulPancake: A Place to Chew on Life's Big Questions"

Blogs, chatrooms, and online forums have spread like wildfire. It is so easy in 2012 to post absolutely anything you fancy onto the World Wide Web for everybody to read. I usually stay away from the majority of these sites, for fear of attracting unwanted lonely individuals or simply getting lost in the mindless opinions of other people. But this one just feels different.

SoulPancake was invented in 2008 by Rainn Wilson, better known as Dwight Schrute from The Office on NBC. The purpose of the site is to explore life’s big questions. Maybe it’s my double major in Psychology and Sociology that intrigues me so much about this purpose—but the way I see it, what better way to discuss the stuff of life than in an open forum where anybody can add their thoughts? There are sections on the sight to post Big Questions, answer those questions, post something you’d like to express through an art form, or read posts from people who make up the SoulPancake team of contributors. While the cite does not censor what is written, they do have a “Terms of Use” link in which they have users commit to not posting obscenities or copyrighted material. And from what I’ve gathered after exploring the site, it has pretty much worked.

I guess more than being creative in itself, I would consider this site a creativity enabler. That’s creative too, right? It provides a creative outlet for the world, a place to get it all out there and say what you feel. Sure, there are sites such as Facebook and Twitter that already do this. But the purpose of SoulPancake is to reflect and comment on the big questions, the thought-provoking questions, the unknown territory of a human emotion. It’s not reduced to a status update or a tweet about what one of you +1000 friends or followers had for breakfast.

Although open forums are not novel ideas, I think SoulPancake is novel in its attempt to keep all conversations focused on profound thoughts and realizations. It really does make an effort to make people think before they respond to a previous comment or post. Channeling creativity in this way provides a unique outlet for individuals to spit out any wisdom they can muster.

I like this site because unlike the Creative Minds we have studied class, none of the focus is on the individual, or the team in this case, that created the site. Instead, the focus is on the contributors, the common folk, anyone and everyone who would like to add their wisdom to the plate. The creators of SoulPancake do not seem to want any credit or acknowledgement—but are satisfied simply by being catalysts of creativity.  


  1. I used to really enjoy message boards and online forums. Key word: used. I had a lot of fun posting what was on my mind. But they have become somewhat of a hazard. You can't post something on the internet without someone absolutely trashing it. People have been making the internet a place full of hate and negativity (just look at the comments on some CNN articles.)

    But I checked out this site. I have to say, some hope was restored. Sure, there were the few people on there who seemed to post things just to stir the pot, but there were some deep, insightful things. It's almost like a place where the people who actually care about the "bigger things" can gather. I also am digging the section where people can post there photos as well. It's a nice touch.

    I like how you looked not at the creative mind, but minds. There is a lot of untapped creativity out there. People say everything's been done already, yet look at this blog. Clearly it hasn't been. Perhaps the next (and that is a strong perhaps) the next Picasso or Frued is a SoulPancake user. The world needed a place in the web where they could talk about things that mattered with others who care, and it looks like SoulPancake is providing that for them.

  2. I also checked out the website, and as a frequenter of the internet, I was concerned that there may be a lot of negativity or "trolling" on the site. This site either has great moderators, or people are just genuinely that good to each other. The conversations are of a higher level than the majority of boards or forums I have visited. I can see you're point that the creative part is that it is a website that is specifically devoted to meaningful questions and answers. I am not sure how unique this is, there are online communities that also share this aspect of civility and meaning in their responses. Though it is often difficult to find these other websites.
    The most striking thing about this site is the sincerity of the responses and questions. Each person shares their life story and experiences creating an intimate conversation. This intimacy and honesty in these posts creates an environment where people can have meaningful conversations. This website creates a safe forum for people to talk about issues important to them.
    Thanks for sharing!


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