December 22, 2007
Sean Buvala recently asserted Storyteller.net has been around on the Web longer than Google. (To confirm that, I checked via the Internet Archive. Yup, by more than a year!)
Since the very beginning, Storyteller.net has aimed to be a clearinghouse on the Web, a "one stop shopping site" for information about storytelling. But rather than a top-down, "we know best" approach, from the very beginning, the site invited members of the storytelling community to contribute content, share tips, share stories, and spread the word about what they offer. Storyteller.net understands the collaborative nature of the Web, and has since the beginning.
The model works.
You can find more on-the-ground, in-the-field, helpful tips on the storytelling art and business aggregated here than on any other web site, period.
From the beginning, copyright of content submitted by contributors (articles, stories, audio) has remained with the contributor.
From the beginning, Storyteller.net has offered storytellers a web page, so that even the non-tech savvy teller could hang their shingle on the Web. (With a brilliant model for building the site: a storyteller could upgrade their listing on storyteller.net for a modest sum ($25/year) OR by contributing content. I don't know if the economics are working out, but that's a surefire way to build your site content).
They've hosted audio files so that people could hear stories online, and they've done it since 1997! Now, in 2007, that doesn't seem so "different," BUT in the storytelling world, it's far from common. (Whereas it's a no-brainer that any band in the 21st century wanting to have a go in the music industry has their music online so that potential audiences can hear it, the number of storytellers that even attempt this is ridiculously small).
You can quibble with the quality of the advice posted there (same as you can with any user-generated content site), but hey, if you don't like the advice in an article, write your own, and submit it. Odds are Storyteller.net will publish it.
The content on Storyteller.net may not be cutting edge-- it's meant to be more practical than philosophical, more personal than political. But in the storytelling realm, the mere existence of Storyteller.net is cutting edge. Hats off to Sean Buvala for thought leadership in practice.