It seems I am in the mood of telling stories about storytelling.
Storytelling has gone through many different forms and is now going through a major transformation. This is not surprising because the medium of story telling has always been driven by the technology of the time. We are going through unprecedented transformation in media. This is resulting in interesting modes of storytelling. There are two extreme forms of story telling that are evolving rapidly. And these modes are strongly driven by the new media and big data.
For the first time in history a simple question like “What’s on your mind” (Facebook), “What’s happening” (Twitter), and “Share What’s New” (Google+) have become ‘center stage’ and are being answered formally and informally but in recorded form by hundreds of millions of people every day. These are the ‘micro stories’ — in the form of mice blogs — that millions of people are telling every day. This is becoming the defining mechanism for the modern society in many ways. These stories are also resulting in a serious cultural change in the society. But I believe that what we are seeing is really the early beginning of micro stories and their impact. The most important reason is that even in Facebook and Google+ these mice blogs are mostly in text form and Twitter restricts it to 140 characters — of alphabet — making it mostly text. As we know, Facebook’s success is in using a combination of appropriate media — text, photos, video — for sharing experiences. This is the reason that Facebook has become the largest collection of photos. But for micro stories they are mostly using text. I am sure that this will change in near future.
One thing is clear to me, however. As more and more people gain access to mobile internet using their mobile phones, they will keep creating mice stories. But these stories may not be based on using the keyboard, but using a few taps on their phone screen to tell more compelling audio-visual stories that may be data driven.
The other extreme form of the stories will be based on Big Data, maybe even collected over really long period of time covering large areas, maybe even all planet — or even the universe.
I am thinking about these two extremes of storytelling. Will scribble more on these. Your comments and opinions will help me think more carefully. Please feel free to send your comments.