Extreme Stories:2

One form of story telling that is evolving rapidly due to the popularity of micro-blogs are micro-stories. First came micro-blogs that made sharing your experience or opinion or activities almost spontaneous using short ‘blogs’. These were still dominated by ‘text’. The primary form of these stories was still text. Since technology was evolving very rapidly, mobile phones started becoming a popular client on the internet. And on mobile phones, some sensors became very common. And these sensors started changing the nature of the story telling.

First sensor to revolutionize sharing of experiences in the form of micro-story telling was the camera. SUddently visual stories started becoming popular. Photo sharing became a major craze. One can see rise in number of photos being uploaded to share events. Rise of Instagram, Path, Tiny Review, erly, and numerous others — too many to mention — demonstrated that people like to share visual moments. Video is not that popular – but is likely to become more popular as storage and bandwidth become further inexpensive.

The second sensor to bring a new dimension to story telling is GPS. Many small companies have started and some major companies tried their hands in micro-story telling using GPS based location of a user. FourSquare will let you capture your location and share it with your experiences as well as recommendations. Despite expressed privacy and security concerns, the use of location-based check-in as well as services keeps increasing.

Here I will not discuss any other sensors — like the healthcare related one — but just point out an intriguing trend. The first stage was micr-blogs, then came in photos, and then was the turn of location. Experience sharing in these three steps has gone through a remarkable change. In the first stage, we needed to deliberately type (or should we say tap) about 100 times on the mobile phone screen. WHen cameras became a mechanism, much information was captured by the camera and only a few — say 10 — taps were required to share a story. With location based stories, one went further because one can include photos also and still needs just a few taps — say 10 — to share the story. So, now we can tell richer stories using an order of magnitude fewer taps. This is what I call data revolution. Data revolution results in capturing experiential data using sensors making shared experiences richer while effort involved to share these experiences significantly lesser. And this trend is an interesting one.

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