March 24, 2009

Condensed Thoughts

Came across this question on Twitter on Sunday morning.So I just had to respond to @ContentedCopy, who had asked it. (She later confessed that she posted this question strategically, as a way to start a conversation. Heh. It worked.)
My reply:
Is breathing still relevant? Storytelling is always relevant, recognition of that fact waxes and wanes over time.
Twitter limits such responses to 140 characters. But soon I had a flurry of "tweets" --exchanging ideas with someone 2500 miles away. That wasn't surprising, as I've been using the Web for 15 years, and know that it shrinks geographic distances.

What was surprising was that the limitation of Twitter, that is, that my posts can't exceed 140 characters, actually managed to clarify my thoughts.

I'm reposting our conversation here (with Carol's gracious permission), so you can see this abbreviated exchange of ideas. The # you see is a hashtag-- we're essentially bookmarking these posts (so that later, we, or anyone else interested in storytelling could search on "#storytelling" to find key entries).

Carol (@ContentedCopy) responded to me:
agree 100%. Given your bkground, and mine, are we moving into a new model of storytelling? Esp. via soc media etc?

Me: media gives us tools to connect and collaborate and engage. Re-inventing storytelling: no. Marketing: yes and how.

Carol had another response to my post about relevancy:
So why then are storytelling festivals so hard to get audience #'s out to? How do you make it inviting to joeblo?

Me: For 30 years, storytelling festivals have been telling the wrong story about #storytelling. Great talent, lousy marketing.

Carol: #storytelling what is the right way to market a festival? Very curious now!
Carol: We're having a Frog Storytelling Festival this yr, with green issues too. Boomers make up our largest audience
First step: forget the epic journey myth and hold events close to where people live. #storytellingfestivals
Audiences prefer genres (in dance, theatre, music, art, movies). Why do #storytellingfestivals offer smorgasboard every time?
I don't know the marketing secret, but #storytelling as -antidote to hectic pace of modern life- no longer the right message

#storytelling as relief from modern life = message for boomers. Younger generation likes constant connection afforded by tech

How many music concerts/ series/ festivals market the idea of "music"? Zero. They market the talent. #storytellingfestivals

#storytelling festival marketing: Q: Who would enjoy this event? Answer: everyone. That's not a message that grows audiences.
I elected to re-post our conversation here not only as an example of how Twitter made me focus my thoughts on a storytelling issue into concise points, but to leave these here as seeds for future conversations.

Leave a comment if you'd like to sprout one of these seeds.


Unknown said...

Not particularly germane, but it reminded me of a ocnversation with a friend, who was flabbergasted that Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture award.

I've always thought that film a combo of gritty reality softened by the obvious fable-fantasy which is the final act before that wonderful curtain-call dance.

Yes, it's done by a western director, but he paid attention to to the culture, with a bow to Bollywood. I felt it was powerful for many people because it was pure story-telling. Adults had to suspend disbelief. There was Wonder if you didn't hang onto demanding that Reason prevail.

In storytelling, everything seems possible. With movies, people go with the intent to doubt, or disdain, anything that doesn't fit.

That the Hollywood industry voted for it (SAG) for 'best cast' in a year when it's ultra important to keep work IN California, at 'home,' showed the power of that movie over some pretty tough folks.

Anyway, one difference between that movie/script/book is that in your case,
"It is not written."


Unknown said...

Oh, that last sentence meant that your brand of story telling is "not written.: I realized that could be unclear.