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Iron Man Saved My Travel Blog: Rethinking Online Storytelling - Mike Sowden - TBEX Dublin (2013)

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Iron Man Saved My Travel Blog: Rethinking Online Storytelling - Mike Sowden - TBEX Dublin (2013)

  1. 1. Using Social Media To Tell Great Stories Mike Sowden
  2. 2. I was giving my talk at lunchtime. I figured everyone would be hungry. I thought I’d have a little fun with that.
  3. 3. Click to Add Title
  4. 4. Pointless sadism? Definitely not. That’s not my style. No – this was purposeful sadism. (That’s my style.) What I was doing…was making everyone wish my talk was over.
  5. 5. Thanks to Laurence “Finding The Universe” Norah for the photos. I told him what I was going to do with them. He laughed. Feel free to judge him accordingly. Totally his fault.
  6. 6. When we desperately want something to end, the importance of endings is easy to see – the “Thank God That’s Over” school of storytelling. But what if the story / journey is fun? Why wouldn’t we want to keep it going, for ourselves and for our readers, for as long as physically possible? Because if we did that, we’d forget what endings are for.
  7. 7. WHY WE NEED ENDINGS •Scarcity: today matters because tomorrow everything will be different, forever. •Life-affirming: when things will end soon, you’re more aware of Now. Endings focus emotions (and a lack of endings dissipates them). •Endings let you begin again (& everyone loves beginnings). Endings Make Everyone Care More.
  8. 8. • • • Click to Add Title
  9. 9. The Future Of Online Storytelling …“excellent „lean-back‟ devices, optimised for deeper reading experiences.” via
  10. 10. Latitude: “Future of Storytelling, Phase 2” 1. Audiences want to befriend characters (real & imaginary) – personal connection. (Where should bloggers draw the line between personal & private?) 2. Audiences want persistent parallel worlds (sense that a story is playing out in real-time). 3. Audiences want the kind of immersive, compellingly constructed narratives seen in the best popular entertainment (book, film, tv / fiction, documentary).
  11. 11. 4. Audiences want different perspectives on the same story.
  12. 12. 5. Audiences want ‘second screens’ to allow discussion & depth (eg. the way Twitter is a platform for public real-time discussion / reckless spoilers as a tv show is aired, or for commentary on a political debate). 6. The ‘Real World’ is A Media Platform. Think QR codes on landmarks or in shop windows (see right). 7. Real World Products Should Enhance Stories (eg. naturally placed affiliate links that serve the audience – but do stories specifically built around real world products cross a line?)
  13. 13. The Power Of Brand Collaboration If you know who the guy on the right is… It’s probably because of the guy on the left. Marvel totally owns all rights to these images. Totally. The kitchen sink, everything. Love you, Marvel! I‟m bigging you up in this section of the talk. Please Be Nice To Me.
  14. 14. Laurence (Finding The Universe), Daniel (Canvas of Light), Dustin (Skinny Backpacker)
  15. 15. Gathering together the world’s stories on one beautiful map.
  16. 16. Marvel Civil War (2006-2007) Multiple titles. One story. (Massive engagement.) Could bloggers collaborate like this around a single story?
  17. 17. Serials are hot. And always have been. Left: The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Social Media is perfect for Serialized storytelling but not all social media platforms were created equal.
  18. 18. Facebook & Google+ are highly visual Hence the amount of inspiring quotes or my version – uninspiring quotes.
  19. 19. OK, I’m done now, yes.
  20. 20. How Is Twitter Used To Tell Stories? Popular method: turning brands into characters.
  21. 21. Yet bloggers often ignore this diversity The same content is duplicated (or identically promoted) across all platforms. And if it’s the same content on Facebook and Twitter… …why would a blogger’s fan on Twitter look at that blogger’s Facebook page? And vice versa. Zero Incentive To Explore.
  22. 22. How about breaking up a story scattering it around the web (in a form that plays on a platform’s natural strengths) and presenting readers with a journey?
  23. 23. And what would happen if lots of bloggers combined their journeys to serve One Huge Story (like Marvel’s Civil War) that hooked an insane amount of people?
  24. 24. find me at… Coming soon…