“ROBERT Rosen wasn’t among the 4 million people who watched MasterChef on Sunday night, but he can tell you exactly why the show has been so wholeheartedly embraced. It’s all about the narrative.
Two years ago, before he retired as head of the UCLA school of theatre, film and television, Rosen and Peter Guber, the former head of Columbia (now Sony) Pictures, organised a course in which 40 people at the top of their fields talked to students about the power, structure and function of storytelling. Their brief wasn’t to tell stories about what they do, but to reveal the story in what they do.”
“Next time you have a chance to watch someone reading a map, look for the first thing they do. They’ll likely do the exact same thing everyone else does: find themselves on the map.
It doesn’t matter what kind of map it is, whether it’s of their neighborhood or an amusement park. They’ll open the map and find something that is personally meaningful, such as their house or their favorite roller coaster.
Psychologists call this ‘grounding’—the natural behavior of initially finding a known reference point in a foreign information space. Once the person has grounded themselves, they can then use the starting point to understand the rest of the space.”
“Soundslides allows storytellers to concentrate on the story, rather than the application. Created for journalists and other storytellers on deadline, Soundslides is designed to make quick work of slide show production.”
“I want to share with you a story about books, publishing, fundraising and seed capital. It’s a story that I hope will change how you think about all of these topics. And it’s a story that I hope will serve as a template.”
“At the University of Zurich we are currently conducting a narrative study with elderly people. On the basis of biographical narratives, the study aims to assess how elderly people, in reminiscing about their lives, structure in narrative the experiences that were significant for them, including both experiences of happiness, fulfillment, or joy, and experiences of unhappiness, failure, loss, harm, or disaster. Analysis of individual narratives seems to support the hypothesis that has been formulated in biography research that life review is worthwhile for elderly persons, as it can contribute towards improved quality of life.”
“n ancient times most information was passed on by word of mouth, for the very good reason that writing and writing materials were restricted to the wealthy and highly educated. For information to last over great times and distances, it had to be in a highly memorable form. And one of the most memorable ways to store and transport information was, and still is, in the form of a story.
Stories are memorable because they are contain vivid images, have connected elements, and evoke emotions in the listener.”
Unfortunately, I can relate a bit to the ending.
“One session definitely worth attending at next month’s SES in San Francisco is Real-Time Storytelling where panelists will discuss how mainstream media must embrace social media and take on the critical role of curator of the conversation in order to survive. I was able to catch up with Dermot Waters, Senior Director of Product Development, CNN.com, who will be participating on the panel. Read our chat below:…”
“At first she had the story buried at the end of the About page on her website, but I couldn’t let her do that. I felt just reading the story made me feel compelled to want to sit at that same table with her, and I knew that other people would feel that same desire from reading the story. I called her up, and gave her my “Emotions Create Movement” speech and advised her to move the story to the top of the page. She put it on the Home page. Much better choice.”
“So we went back to Redmond and we canceled all the games. We just killed them that day cause we thought, ‘We have no chance, no one’s gonna buy these things.’ But as we’re slashing these games, we kinda realize ‘But that other thing, the glue, that’s still kinda cool. That actually has emotional resonance, and actually fits in really well with the movie, because it’s all about people’s real lives. And their passions and their hatreds and their conflict, and, it’s just gritty and real and awesome.”
“Looking for a story to start a speech, conduct a meeting, or connect with a prospect of sale? You can find stories in a variety of locations. What type of story you choose depends on your personal style and what you aim for, what you’re trying to achieve.”
“I just found this great video of one of my favorite artists, Pascal Campion. In the video Pascal talks about drawing as a way to tell stories. To him drawing is really just a means to an end. The real power of drawing comes not in the perfection of the drawing but in the ability to communicate a story with that drawing.”
A book to be on the lookout for.
“Storytelling is part of social action and interaction that actually shapes the future of organizations. Organization and management studies have overwhelmingly focused to date on rational narrative structures with beginnings, middles, and ends, where narrative has proved to be a handy concept in qualitative studies. Far less attention is given however to the more spontaneous and ‘non-staged’ storytelling that occurs in organizations. Storytelling and the Future of Organizations explores the science and practice of ‘antenarrative’ because that is how the future of organization is shaped.”
Being able to see him perform is worth the price of admission…and then some.
“Ratner, a five-time The Moth Story Slam winner, plans to regale an audience at the National Storytelling Network Conference 2010 opening night at The Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, CA, Wednesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m., with a tale. Ratner will also be featured on Friday, July 30 in the Pacific Story Showcase. This year’s conference storytelling theme is “Many Stories – One World.”
“So, in no time at all, Wikileaks’ 91,000+ documents, which apparently (so far) contain no story-making news other than the leaks themselves, has become a story about Wikileaks. Thus we have Air Leaks from Wikileaks Balloon, in the Washington Post.”
“I doubt there has ever been a cartoonist who combined sick, twisted and funny as well as John Callahan. Callahan – quadriplegic and alcoholic – was totally without fear when it came to finding humor in a situation.”
“When a leader inspires, he or she breathes life and energy into their followers. When we reflect on the extraordinarily motivating speeches Winston Churchill made, it’s clear that no amount of PowerPoint (had it existed) and no amount of consultancy or accountancy models would ever have had the effect of his well-chosen words. And Martin Luther King had a dream, he didn’t have a change goal and wasn’t at a critical point of inflection. Or was he?”
It’s a terrific book. I’m betting it will be a great seminar.
“You have a great design idea that will positively tackle many of your project’s goals. Now you need to convince your boss it’s the right approach, help your team understand why it’s the right decision, and show your customer how this design will pay dividends. No small task. Fortunately, you can accomplish all of that and more with storytelling.”
Both terms, “blovel” and “mythnology” were new to me.
“The title Mythnology is a combination of Technology and Mythology. One is based on a system of faith where the other has a core of truth in it. No, not that way – the other way ‘round. Longtime readers of Barataria know that while there popular culture believes that technology can connect people, I happen to believe that myths, or stories that illuminate a grain of truth at the core of them, are the strongest connections between people. If a strong society is all about connections between people and people or people and ideas, our faith in technology is certainly going to test us in ways we probably do not understand very well yet. The ancient art of storytelling, or the crafting of myths, is how we usually fill the gaps.”
Interesting story told in comic form.
“An authentic story reveals who you are and what you stand for. It goes beyond organization history to tell a compelling, rich story about what you believe, why you do what you do, what problem(s) you’re trying to solve, and what inspires you to do it.
To be sure, an authentic story isn’t greenwashing. It’s transparent. It’s purposeful. It’s community-focused. It reveals the motivations and missions of entrepreneurs, pioneers, and idea-generators. Of products, innovations, and initiatives that have the power to affect change or do “Good Work.”
“…the campaign has beamed us back into an age of Mad Men superpower, perfectly coinciding with the imminent launch of the new season of our favorite TV series this weekend. Ironically, though, rather than by relying on traditional persuasive ad-power Mad Men’s clout has been restored by an ad agency using social media of all things. Or, to be more precise: Transmedia. After already toying with them for their 2008 “Somebody Else’s Phone” campaign for Nokia, W+K borrowed the principles of Transmedia again for Old Spice – but this time augmenting them to much more visible effect.
Consider Transmedia a variation of social media.”
There have been a number of these types of services appearing over the last few months. This one looks good too.
“Specificially, transmedia is a term that was coined by M.I.T. professor Henry Jenkins in the 1990s. Jenkins described transmedia as the notion of spreading narrative across multiple media platforms, with the aim of having each platform contribute something integral to an overall storyline. The rise of transmedia comes at a crucial time and amounts to a perfect convergence. It is not just that Hollywood’s release schedule is being saturated with big budget franchises, but also the emergence of new media platforms and the time and energy people devote to them. Even the Producers Guild of America sees the importance of transmedia, as they recently ratified a new credit with the title of “transmedia producer.”
“You’re on the road to becoming your company’s Chief Storyteller. Let’s begin with some good news: You’re already better than you might think. You tell stories every day.
Here we’ll explore three capabilities that will take you well on your way to becoming a professional storyteller.
Remember the “Three R’s” of your early education: Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic? Now consider the “three I’s” of storytelling: Invitation, Imagination and Impact. Here’s how you can master them:…”
“One of the most successful emerging theater companies in Chicago doesn’t stage plays and doesn’t rent theater space. 2nd Story presents true-life narratives in bars, museums, sex-toy stores, and, occasionally, conventional theater venues like the Goodman. The performances are one-off, well rehearsed, and portable; they have freed themselves from the conventions of the six-week, four-show-a-week run.
These venues are the social and artistic hubs of live performance in 2010, as essential to the culture of a city as any theater.”