William Shaw Posted about 3 years ago Is social media democratising design, or just making it easier to steal ideas? I'd say that to argue about whether social media are good or bad is not that productive; they are here. Do they emable copying? It's more that digitisation enables both copying and social media. In this kind of "here comes everybody" world, lines are blurred between amateurism and professionalism. On one level, that's a great thing. It makes design more participatory; but it also means that professionals who have spent years honing their talent are suddenly competing with dilettantes. The real positive of social media is that participatory part. Designers' ideas are no longer kept separate by studio walls. The public, who they design for, is available as a resource to comment on and to test their work, and to suggest their fixes. If what makes design so different from other disciplines is the process of prototyping, boding and tinkering an idea until it's really useful, this kind of relationship that can only be good.