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.
Interesting, expanded view of story telling.
140char and less, not to mention Instagram. Many are like pulp fiction. There is a boyle or a basu telling an entire story using tweets.
Traditional storytelling has a setting, characters, context, etc. In today’s world of information overload, everyone almost knows what life is like in every other corner. This takes care of context. Stories are reduced to the plot and a script.
Coming to the other extreme – big data. That is not a story. That is just a context-less bunch of data. To tell stories here, the only closest one can get is data visualization. A picture can tell a story without using 1000 words, right!
The former where tweets with 30min half life, temporal ones and the other on big data, less temporal, more spatial. There you have time and space as extremes. Traditionally, both were closely interlinked. The digital world has perhaps, IMO, helped break this rich context. Related question – are stories of tomorrow more mundane?
I look forward to your expansion on this topic. Something from your days of image recognition and VRML?
My thought outlines post reading-
#big data – Human beings have the limitation of life time (a limiting constant) and anything that takes space to exist will not remain infinite to them (information storage media in this case).. It will be limited to the radius of the sphere a person can travel in space in his/her lifetime (unless living/born in the space)
#video (out of topic) – visual representation of text – examples – video resumes with annotations (space (storage) – cognition (ease of understanding) optimization). The five sense organs gather data with different incoming dataspeeds. mechanisms to store /retrieve information need upgradation (eg like synapses). our body is the best example of parallel and simultaneous data computation and management. “small (tiny data) is quick but large(big data) is clear”.
#question to ponder – how much data space and processing power will be needed to model the real world and get predictive responses in realtime? (making a graph of everything.. jsut like open graph concept of facebook)
Thank for your thoughts on stories. Stories inspire me a lot in my scientific work as a vehicle of social contacts in social networks…
For me story is a representation of an event. Repeating events produce many similar stories to which can later be given nice literal form, resulting in meta-stories (or meta-stories recognized there).
I see “extreme stories” as moments where storytelling evolves rapidly due to new technologies and resulting socio-psychological upgrades. We have platforms to share every ordinary event (FB, Twitter, …), we have technologies to automatically record events (logs in every possible digitized social systems, from phone usage to beeps unlocking gateways). And we have new technologies to handle resulting big data and observe events on mass scale and tell stories about. We can than imagine real-time observation of events with automatic sensors of of predefined changes in pattern. We can automatically observe moment when people synchronize to tell the same story together, which is groundbreaking fact in my opinion.
# PS: Keep blogging, it is hard to gain insight from tweets/updates only :]
Coming to the other extreme â€“ big data. That is not a story. That is just a context-less bunch of data. To tell stories here, the only closest one can get is data visualization. A picture can tell a story without using 1000 words, right!
Traditional storytelling has a setting, characters, context, etc. In todayâ€™s world of information overload, everyone almost knows what life is like in every other corner. This takes care of context. Stories are reduced to the plot and a script.
Local method of story telling is not an art. But what is getting really art, That are from the artist. They made it Artful and meaningful to rest of us. I salute them and for this i am giving red salute to Mr. Ramesh..!