February 19, 2011
I went to the Story conference yesterday. Here are some of my key take-aways:
1. We make our status updates alone
Whatever you think about social media and its potential for interaction and participation, it is also an inherently lonely endeavour. We make our status updates alone. Really understanding that and people’s motivations for engaging with others online would make internet experiences a hell of a lot better. Don’t be afraid of interrogating this.
2. Make old stories go further
We are conditioned by the media we know and it makes us lethargic. We don’t question what happens before or after the video clips we see on the news or the backstory of people convicted of crimes, etc. Use stories to dig out peripheral detail and challenge the story you’ve been told. Make it a bigger (and probably better) story.
Just do it. Listening makes others articulate. It cultivates trust, respect and understanding. Look at the change you’re left with after listening.
4. It’s not just about the end result
Stories come from processes and objects, not just finite moments. We need to be open to these stories where, perhaps, the end result changes as the history of the object or the process itself alters. Also, you can blow up sheds.
5. No structure is OK, sort of
So what if you don’t have a beginning, middle or end? If the middle is insightful enough, you might be able to get away with it. Obscure topics help.
6. Story generating tools are cool
Use Nerf guns, if you like. Let stories tell themselves and bubble up through the story machine (aided by story generating tools) without your assistance. Sometimes you’re just not as good as a Nerf gun.
7. You cannot make a better future until you can imagine it
Think. And then think some more. And KEEP GOING. And if you never get there (wherever there is), that’s OK because you tried. Well done.