Preliminary storytelling brief

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Preliminary storytelling brief

  1. 1. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.         INTRODUCTION    I  relocated  to  Seattle  from  India  to  pursue  my  graduate  studies  in  Digital  Media  at  the  University  of  Washington.  It  had  been  only  a  few  weeks  and  I  was  looking  up  the  internet  for  siteseeing  and  places  to  visit  and  came  across  an  exclusive  Bass  Guitar  store  called  “BASS  NORTHWEST”,  located  on  Yesler  Way  Downtown  Seattle.    I  was  really  thrilled  and  excited  to  know  about  an  exclusive  bass  guitar  store  in  Seattle.  Evidently,  it  was  a  must  visit  and  I  put  it  down  on  my  to  do  list.  I  visited  “BASS  NORTHWEST”  along  with  a  friend  of  my  mine  from  the  same  cohort,  as  he  is  a  guitarist  too.  We  both  are  equally  passionate  about  the  bass  guitar  and  we  are  looking  forward  to  jam  and  hopefully  create  some  good  music  in  our  free  time.      However,  as  we  entered  “BASS  NORTHWEST”  we  realized  that  there  were  all  sorts  of  basses.  From,  upright  bass  to  fretless  bass  to  acoustic  bass  to  electric  bass  to  short  hand  beginners  bass  guitar  to  ukulele  bass  and  of  course  amplifiers  and  accessories.      The  number  of  electric  bass  guitar  was  more  than  other  types  of  bass  and  there  were  different  categories  such  as  used,  new  and  custom  made.  They  had  a  great  selection  for  all  types  of  customers  from  beginners,  intermediates  and  experts.  It  was  basically  a  one-­‐stop  shop  for  bass!      While,  my  friend  was  looking  around.  I  had  a  chat  with  the  store  manager  about  his  store.  I  was  really  intrigued  and  impressed  by  the  store  concept  and  was  wondering  how  it  sustains  by  only  selling  bass  instruments.      Upon  asking,  the  store  manager  said  that  they  have  a  wide  price  range  and  a  variety  of  choices  for  their  customers  including  a  number  of  customized  guitars.  They  also  trade  online  and  hence  this  is  how  they  easily  survive  the  competition.  However,  I  finally  decided  to  get  to  the  point  “I’m  a  left  handed  bassist  and  I  don’t  see  a  left  handed  bass  guitar  around”.  I  was  wondering  if  I  could  try  one  as  I  am  looking  to  buy!  The  manager  said,  “Unfortunately  we  do  not  have  left  handed  bass  guitars  as  of  now  and  it  is  rarely  available”.  “Nevertheless,  I  can  order  one  for  you  and  call  you  once  we  have  it  in  our  store.  That  should  take  approximately  two  weeks”.      I  replied  that  I  am  a  musician  and  would  never  buy  an  instrument  unless  I  try  it  or  feel  it  unlike  other  things  bought  online  or  ordered  with  theoretical  information.  Therefore,  I  was  left  with  no  choice  but  to  share  my  contact  details  and  wait  for  his  call  till  they  at  least  have  one  bass  guitar  at  their  store,  which  I  could  try  and  decide  if  it  suited  my  requirement.      Moving  forward,  I  visited  another  music  store  called  “TRADING  MUSICIANS”  at  Roosevelt  Way  NE,  Seattle.  It  was  a  typically  music  store  with  all  kinds  of  guitars  and  musical  instruments.  At  “TRADING  MUSICIANS”  one  can  not  only  buy  but  also  sell  or  trade  their  instruments  or  equipment.  Therefore,  due  to  the  very  nature  of  “TRADE”     1  
  2. 2. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.        at  Trading  Musicians  I  found  a  couple  of  left-­‐handed  bass  guitars.  The  first  one  was  a  black  Ibanez  with  active  pick-­‐ups  and  four  strings.  The  sound  was  great  and  it  looked  nice  too.  It  had  a  good  matte  finish  and  silver  knobs  and  a  great  single  cut-­‐away  shape  but  it  was  priced  twice  as  much  as  the  right-­‐handed  counterpart  and  I  thought  it  was  unfair.  Just  because  I’m  a  left-­‐handed  musician  I’m  ought  to  pay  twice  the  price!  So,  I  checked  the  other  guitar,  which  was  a  vintage  Paul  McCartney  Hofner  bass  and  it  did  not  suit  my  requirement.  Consequently,  I  had  to  leave  my  contact  details  here  also  and  wait  for  my  kind  of  Bass!      Eventually,  I  went  home  and  looked  up  online  for  left  handed  bass  guitars  on  www.ebay.com  and  www.craigslist.com.  With  no  luck  there  I  browsed  http://www.Guitarcentre.com  where  I  found  only  37  compared  to  thousands  of  choices  for  right  handed  people,  and  that  too  these  37  were  not  all  at  one  store  but  were  subjected  to  purchase  online.  Which  means  I  don’t  get  to  try  them  I  just  buy  them  and  try.      At  the  end  of  the  day  I  was  left  with  few  intriguing  questions  and  those  were:  1.  Why  can’t  left-­‐handed  bassists  play  the  right-­‐handed  guitars?  2.    Why  do  manufacturers  produce  less  left-­‐handed  guitars?  3.      How  to  play  the  right  -­‐  handed  bass  left  -­‐  handed?  4.    Can  I  invent  a  Universal  guitar  for  lefties  and  righties  both?  These  are  a  few  questions  that  I  would  like  to  throw  light  upon  in  my  blog    (www.slappopnpick.com)  to  solve  the  pre-­‐said  problem.  Hence,  below  is  my  strategic  approach  to  resolve  the  issue.      (A)  What  outcome  do  you  seek  (ideally  measurable,  and  based  on  recent,  specific  insights  that  you  might  have  around  your  initiative  or  product)?  Such  as  behavior  change,  product  launch,  increase  in  sales,  brand  awareness,  donation.  As  per  leftybass.com  (ranked  1  in  Google  search)  there  are  only  736  left  handed  bassists  in  the  world.  Although,  there  are  a  number  of  websites  and  blogs  dedicated  to  left  handed  musicians  or  guitarists  unfortunately  they  do  not  focus  on  left-­‐handed  bass  players  primarily.  However,  some  blogs  do  stand  dedicated  to  left  handed  bassists  but  they  don’t  “answer  the  unanswered”  i.e.,  “issues  of  the  left-­‐handed  &  right-­‐handed,”  meaning,  why  left  handed  people  are  not  able  to  play  right  handed  guitars  and  basses.  All  the  more,  it  is  really  difficult  for  them  to  find  a  guitar  when  desired.  For  example;  I  visited  an  exclusive  Bass  Guitar  store  called  “BASS  NORTHWEST”  in  Downtown  Seattle  and  realized  that  there  are  no  left  handed  bass  guitars.  In  fact,  there  were  no  pieces  on  display!  Therefore,  to  create  a  successful  engagement,  I  need  to  create  valuable  content  by  “Answering  the  unanswered”  that  I  discussed  earlier  on.  Why  can’t  left-­‐handed  bassists  play  the  right-­‐handed  guitars?  Why  do  manufacturers  produce  less  left-­‐handed  guitars?  Can  I  invent  a  Universal  guitar  for  lefties  and  righties  both?  Do  lefties  play  differently?  These  are  a  few  questions  that  I  would  like  to  throw  light  upon  and  establish  a  strong  sense  of    “uniqueness”  and  get  online  users  to  talk  around  it  and  share  stories  and  posts.     2  
  3. 3. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.        Thus,  the  primary  outcome  I  seek  is  to  create  solid  awareness  of  a  blog  (platform/channel)  exclusively  for  left  handed  bass  players  focused  on  answering  the  issues  that  I  have  discussed  previously.  (B)  What  kind  of  successful  engagement  needs  to  occur?  Such  as  online  comments,  increase  in  word  of  mouth,  social  media  affirmation  from  those  whom  you’re  most  keen  to  reach.  Why  do  you  believe  this  form  of  engagement  will  lead  to  the  outcome  that  you  seek  in  (a)?  Basically,  the  whole  Idea  is  to  make  this  blog  a  source  of  information  or  resource  for  left  handed  bass  guitarists.  That  includes  addressing  the  biggest  problems,  latest  updates,  instruments,  manufacturer  news  and  new  releases  to  build  a  strong  network  of  people  who  love  music  or  are  left-­‐handers  and  bass  enthusiasts.  Evidently,  engagement  requires  strong  captivation  i.e.  compelling  stories  and  posts  which  will  motivate  readers  to  like  the  blog  and  engage  them  further  by  posting  comment,  re-­‐blogging  or  reposting,  sharing  on  Facebook,  increasing    “likes”  and  re-­‐tweeting.  Also,  I  feel  awesome  videos  and  interviews  will  increase  traffic  to  the  blog,  thereby  increasing  the  overall  awareness  of  the  blog.    Therefore,  initially  to  drive  traffic  to  the  blog  I’ve  started  conversations  on  Facebook  by  asking  questions  like  -­‐  What  initial  problems  and  apprehensions  a  left  handed  person  would  face  while  choosing  an  instrument?  Or,  How  about  learning  to  play  the  right-­‐handed  bass  left  handed?  Or,  How  many  left-­‐handed  musicians  in  this  group?    PRIMARY:  Left  handed  bassists  SECONDARY:  Left  handers    Below  is  a  screen  grab  from  a  Facebook  group  called  “Left  Handers  Club”  with  2,744  members.  I  posted  a  comment  asking  about  apprehensions  of  being  left-­‐handed  and  choosing  a  left  handed  instrument  and  the  response  can  be  seen  in  the  image  below.       3  
  4. 4. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.          In  the  above  screen  grab  one  of  the  member  of  the  group  has  clearly  stated  that  he  always  wanted  to  learn  the  bass.  However,  initially  he  was  told  to  learn  to  play  right  handed.  Consequently,  I  introduced  him  to  my  blog  and  he  instantly  liked  it  and  has  been  actively  following  it  since  then.    In  conclusion,  I  feel  this  form  of  engagement  will  lead  to  the  outcome  that  I  desire  in  (a)  because  I’m  focusing  on  the  left  handed  bassists  and  their  problems  and  am  creating  content  that  will  help  them  succeed.        (C)  What  story  do  you  want  to  tell?  Considering  your  organization’s  overall  narrative,  develop  a  short  Action-­‐Idea.  It  should  have  a  recognizable  beginning,  middle  and  end  (see  Hosein,  Storyteller  Uprising)  and  be  sufficiently  universal  in  its  appeal  to  easily  inspire  a  larger  communications  strategy  around  it.    According  to  Jerry  Welch  owner  of  Jerry’s  Lefty  Guitars  (http://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/about_us.html)  “8%  to  10%  of  the  population  is  left  –  handed  and  not  even  1%  of  the  guitars  built  are  left  -­‐  handed”.  It  is  obvious  because  the  market  is  righty  biased.  Everywhere  we  go  left-­‐handed  people  come  across  objects/tools  that  are  designed  for  the  right-­‐handed.  From  a  computer  mouse  to  scissors,  from  camcorders  to  screw  drivers  and  hockey  sticks  to  guitars.  Thus,  the  market  for  these  guitars  is  limited  and  scarce.      Moreover,  there  are  constraints  like  lack  of  choices  for  left  handed  bass  guitarists,  guitars  priced  twice  the  right  handed  counterparts  and  certain  apprehensions  of  being  left  handed.  Also,  as  a  left-­‐handed  bassists  having  experienced  problems,  I’ve     4  
  5. 5. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.        realized  that  there  is  a  strong  need  for  a  blog  (Channel/Platform)  exclusively  for  us  which  will  help  us  get  better  because  of  the  common  trait.  Also  it  would  be  a  place  to  know  more  about  being  left-­‐handed  and  to  share  experiences  and  knowledge  in  a  community  with  liked  ones.  Hence,  this  blog  (http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/)  will  discuss  all  about  the  southpaw  bassists.    Below  is  a  screen  grab  from  www.Guitarcenter.com.  There  are  only  37  Left  handed  Bass  Guitars  available  for  left  handed  bass  players  compared  to  100s  and  1000s  for  right  handed  people.    Thus,  I  dedicate  (http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/)  to  my  left-­‐handed  friends.  I’m  looking  forward  to  become  an  ace  left  handed  bass  player  and  so  can  you  by  learning  how  to  overcome  constraints  like  lack  of  choices,  and  also  how  to  play  the  right  handed  bass  left  handed,  stories  of  famous  bass  guitarists,  best  bass  lines,  videos,  lessons,  interviews  and  more.  Thus,  as  a  left  –  handed  person  you’ll  not  only  be  “UNIQUE  but  also  “FAMOUS”.       5  
  6. 6. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.        (D)  What  are  your  story’s  primary  elements?  In  other  words,  what  might  create  a  relevant,  relatable  connection,  set  the  scene,  provide  some  narrative  tension,  as  well  as  a  resolution?  Possible  elements  to  also  consider:  primary  character,  newsworthy  trend,  use  of  emotion  or  suspenseful  outcome.  Why  do  you  believe  this  will  work?  The  primary  element  of  the  story  is,  the  idea  of  “Learning  to  play  the  right  -­‐  handed  bass  left  -­‐  handed.”  The  supporting  elements  are,  stories  of  renowned  left  –handed  bass  players,  motivational  stories,  interviews  and  videos.  I  empathize  with  the  audience  feelings,  thus,  I  plan  to  equip  them  with  the  knowledge  and  information  for  FREE  so  that  it  alters  their  constraints  and  enhances  their  wisdom  by  increasing  their  level  of  creativity  and  serves  as  source  of  motivation  and  inspiration.  As  per  the  observation  by  a  child  psychologist  Daniel  Siegel  mentioned  in  the  book    “Storyteller  Uprising,  Trust  and  Persuasion  in  the  Digital  Age  by  Hanson  R  Hosein,”          “Our  shared  stories  create  a  connection  to  others  that  builds  a  sense  of  belonging  to  a  particular  community.”  With  that  sense  of  belonging  comes  a  growing  feeling  of  trust  among  a  group  of  people,  which  can  catalyze  a  sale,  a  vote  or  outright  upheaval  in  a  nation’s  political  system.    (E)  What  is  your  story  format  and  vehicle?  Such  as  a  video,  podcast,  text,  game,  press  release,  blog,  slideshow,  whitepaper  or  an  online  series.  For  the  purposes  of  this  assignment,  the  blog  will  serve  as  your  format  and  vehicle,  but  consider  what  other  assets  you  could  integrate  into  your  blog  other  than  just  text.  PRIMARY:  Blog  posts,  audios,  videos  and  stories.  SECONDARY:  Repost  interviews,  articles,  reviews,  photos,  guest  blogging  and  research  findings.    (F)  How  will  you  syndicate  your  story  into  the  media  ecosystem?  Consider  your  organization’s  channels,  social  channels  and  legacy  media  channels.  Which  platforms  make  most  sense?  Why?  ONLINE    PRIMARY:    SOCIAL  NETWORKING  SITE:    The  best  way  to  promote  and  market  the  blog  successfully  is  by  engaging  and  participating  in  a  conversation,  promoting  others’  contents  and  followers’  information,  asking  questions  and  sharing  my  information  and  the  blogs  page  subsequently.  1)  Create  a  Facebook  page  to  build  blog  awareness  and  disseminate  information,  participate  in  left-­‐handers  groups  and  engage  actively  because  Facebook  has  the  maximum  number  of  left  handers  groups  and  members  who  are  active  and  prompt  in  responses/discussions  compared  to  any  other  social  networking  sites  like  Google  +,  Pinterest,  Friendster     6  
  7. 7. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.        also,  50%  of  consumers  value  a  Brand’s  Facebook  page  than  its  website  (As  per  Market  research  company  Lab42).  As  a  result  I’ll  be  engaging  on  Facebook  initially  to  drive  maximum  traffic  and  work  towards  the  second  best  social  networking  site  after  Facebook  and  so  on.    2)  Twitter  will  allow  me  to  follow  conversations  on  bass  guitars,  and  also  follow  hash  tags,  and  link  posts  to  hash  tags  in  order  to  encourage  engagement,  participation  and  comments.    Twitter  is  a  great  source  to  find  questions  that  prospects  are  asking,  current  trends  they  are  following.  Eventually,  this  will  allow  me  to  find  out  what  the  prospects  want  to  know  and  more  importantly  what  they  are  discussing  about  lately.    3)  LinkedIn  has  groups  of  professionals  and  discussion  threads,  therefore  sharing  a  post  or  asking  a  question  in  the  group  of  relevant  target  audience  will  boost  the  blogs  presence  and  increase  engagement  by  comments.  Because  –  LinkedIn  (Groups)  has  a  unique  command  called  “Discussions”  where  you  can  start  a  new  conversation/discussions  and  engage  prospects  further  if  they  are  not  on  Facebook.  LinkedIn  helps  me  connect  with  people  especially  in  professional  occupation  who  are  passionate  about  bass.  It  could  be  a  small  number  of  people  compared  to  Facebook,  but  would  give  a  higher  level  of  engagement,  as  they  are  working  professionals  and  will  spend  time  only  in  their  passion/interest  as  a  way  to  beat  stress.  Also,  I’ll  be  able  to  track  opinion  leaders  to  increase  outreach  and  connections  in  the  field  of  music.           7  
  8. 8. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.          Above  is  a  screen  grab  from  LinkedIn  where  I  started  a  discussion  about  the  Bass  in  music.    SECONDARY:    1)  Add  some  well  known  blogger  guitarists  and  bassists  to  the  blog  roll  and  comment  on  their  posts.  This  will  enable  me  to  get  their  attention  and  redirect  them  to  my  blog.       8  
  9. 9. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.        2)  Social  bookmarking  site  like  StumbleUpon  and  Reddit  are  a  great  way  to  increase  traffic  as  users  bookmark  them  in  their  collection  or  share  them  with  more  users.    3)  “Liking”  left  handed  groups  and  pages  on  Facebook  and  LinkedIn  and  actively  participating  in  an  on-­‐going  conversation.    LEGACY  CHANNELS:  WORD  OF  MOUTH:    Since  there  are  a  lot  of  music  events  and  rock  shows  happening  in  Seattle,  participating  in  them  and  sharing  the  Facebook  page  details  via  QR  code  batches  will  increase  awareness.    (G)  What  conversations  and  interactions  can  you  anticipate  from  this  syndication?  Consider  how  you  can  engage  any  influencers  involved  in  those  conversations  and  interactions.  What  type  of  content  do  you  believe  will  stimulate  the  most  interaction?  Why?  In  what  form  do  you  believe  that  interaction  will  occur?  How  will  you  handle  any  negative  or  controversial  feedback?  Conversations  and  Interactions  based  on  price  range,  models  and  equipment  in  the  technical  zone  and  inconveniences  experienced  by  playing  the  bass  guitar  upside  down  or  by  flipping  strings.  One  person  shared  his  experience  that  when  he  tried  playing  the  right-­‐handed  bass  left  –  handed  way,  the  knobs  obstructed  his  movements.  Also,  I  anticipate  to  get  likes  for  post  or  reposts,  comments  and  recommendation  to  follow  other  bloggers  in  the  same  genre  and  pointers  to  improve  or  add.  Awesome  Videos  of  left  handed  bassists  playing  a  trick  or  two  in  it,  funny  photos  and  video  lessons  will  also  help  increase  interactions.  Since,  audiovisual  elements  have  a  stronger  appeal  to  capture  attention  and  it  will  allow  target  audiences  to  share  their  opinions  and  comments  instantly.  Followed  by  blog  posts  and  reposted  interviews,  which  will  spur  more  feedbacks  and  compel  visitors  to  stick  around,  recommend  and  revisit.  However,  I  believe  content  based  on:  1.    Why  can’t  left-­‐handed  bassists  play  the  right-­‐handed  guitars?  2.    Why  do  manufacturers  produce  less  left-­‐handed  guitars?  3.      How  to  play  the  right  -­‐  handed  bass  left  -­‐  handed?  4.    Can  I  invent  a  Universal  guitar  for  lefties  and  righties  both?  Will  stimulate  the  most  interactions  because  these  are  the  unanswered  questions  and  the  potential  solution  to  the  overall  problem  is  in  the  answer  to  these  questions.  In  addition,  I’ve  created  a  Google  Docs  survey  to  know  what  the  audience  is  struggling  with  and  what  problems  they  are  facing.  As  a  result,  I  will  create  content  focusing  on  them  and  their  problems.     9  
  10. 10. Preliminary  Storytelling  Brief     Priyaranjan  ‘RANJAN’  Mestri       http://slappopnpick.wordpress.com/       Narratives  &  Networks  in  Digital  Media       MCDM,  UW.          Depending  on  the  negative  or  controversial  comment  I’ll  thoroughly  analyze  the  issue  and  respond,  for  example:   1) If  the  comment  or  feedback  is  true:   a) Acknowledge  the  feedback   b) Use  phrases  like  “I  understand  and  offer  a  solution“  instead  of  “SORRY”  as   it  will  create  a  wrong  impression  on  my  behalf  of  being  incorrect  and   hamper  the  blogs  image   c) Take  the  conversation  offline         2) If  the  comment  or  feedback  is  partially  correct  and  slightly  misguided:   a) Acknowledge  the  error  on  my  part     b) Politely  correct  misguided  information                  (H)  What  further  story  assets  can  you  develop  from  those  conversations  and  interactions  (sometimes  in  collaboration  with  your  influencers)  that  will  help  propagate  and  sustain  your  story  ecosystem?  Alternatively,  how  can  you  sustain  this  content  channel  over  the  long  term?  [This  is  a  big  unanswered  question,  we’ll  discuss  it  in  our  last  class,  after  your  final  brief  is  due,  so  we  expect  some  speculation  from  you.]    To  sustain  over  the  long  term:   (A) I’ll  propose  the  idea  of  inventing  a  universal  bass  guitar  that  can  be  played   by  both  right  handed  and  left  handed  people.  This  will  save  cost,  increase   choices,  accessibility  and  availability  for  left-­‐handers.   (B) Start  conversations  about  the  bass  guitars  origin,  its  significance  in  different   genres  especially  Rock  and  Roll  music.     (C) I  will  also  start  a  new  section  for  left  handed  guitarists  and  look  forward  to   approach  Guitar  manufacturers  to  increase  the  production  of  left  handed   instruments  in  collaboration  with  influencers  to  sustain  this  content  channel   and  propagate  further  and  stay  alive.       10  

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