Peer to Peer Storytelling


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Today the traditional way of doing business from my perspective, has at least one foot in the grave.
Today’s organizations often demonstrate an inability to connect.
However I believe that the ability to associate and connect is the basis for success in today’s
hyper-connected world. Thanks to the Internet, people can meet and share stories globally and
instantaneously like never before. The cloud is there for everyone, whereas in the old days selling
your story to the world was reserved for the rich and the famous.
In comes peer-to-peer storytelling.

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Peer to Peer Storytelling

  1. 1. F PW S E RY X B PW S THE NEW TRADEJ R Z F B LD L H R Z FQ G C B B KY T H E C BY M C T R OY N E WC TF C G Q R TR A D E G QJ K S W Y MD M J K S W Peer-to-peer storytelling as the key to connecting your message to a new world?N L O K F P T K N L O KH KK N Z VG R A F K NB G J S T EV E N S J SI V Y V E AD T I V Y VIssue 03 Issue 03 volgende
  2. 2. THE NEW TRADEI have a simple view of the world and how it works:It is all still about trading.Now you might say, “That’s rather broad, Raf. In your manifesto, you must tell us what it is that isto be traded.” And I’d simply reply—“stories”. I call these stories ‘peer-to-peer stories’.Today the traditional way of doing business from my perspective, has at least one foot in the grave.Today’s organizations often demonstrate an inability to connect.However I believe that the ability to associate and connect is the basis for success in today’shyper-connected world. Thanks to the Internet, people can meet and share stories globally andinstantaneously like never before. The cloud is there for everyone, whereas in the old days sellingyour story to the world was reserved for the rich and the famous.In comes peer-to-peer storytelling. 2/15
  3. 3. THE NEW TRADEPeer-to-peer storytelling is the new tradingTrade originated with the start of communication in prehistoric times. Trading was the mainfacility of prehistoric people who bartered goods and services among each other before the arrivalof modern day currency. Good trading was good commerce and led to good financial transactions(today we call this business success in the main). A network that allowed trade was called a market.And trade only existed when two or more traders came together around a tradable commodity. 3/15
  4. 4. THE NEW TRADE Nothing has changed really. And my belief that peer-to-peer storytelling was the new trading was validated when I read a fascinating article by Matt Ridley, a well-known British author of books about evolution, genetics and society. The article was titled “When ideas have sex” The article basically states that the key to innovation is trade. That it is all about the ability to trade ideas and efforts. Since ancient times, the exchange of ideas and goods has fuelled innovation. “Trade - not necessity - Ridley says, is the mother of invention”.What we see today is that most companiesare still in a disconnected “business as usual” state. Even the greatest crisis since the Great Depression couldn’t take away their enormous fears about change. Well… What’s next? 4/15
  5. 5. THE NEW TRADE I can tell you one thing Success in today’s business environment and being prepared for the new trading demands a new set of rules. And herein lies a great opportunity for storytelling. Audiences become immune to all the messages you send out. To really connect you need to reach people at an emotional level. You need to change your old, self-righteous factual stories to emotional engaging stories. “O.K.”, I hear you think, “So I have to think about the story I tell?” Yes “My story should evoke emotion and empathy?” Yes. “My story should be big enough so that people want to be part of it?” Yes. “That’s it?” Well, not really.That’s not the whole story. It’s essential that you listen to your audiences’ stories. To get in touch with them. What’s their story? Get involved with peer-to-peer storytelling. A peer story is the story of a person or a company that is of equal standing with your story. Peer-to-peer stories always have a common thread. Peer-to-peer stories enable your audience to see themselves in your story. Peer-to-peer stories make your audience the hero of your story. They make it far easier to connect and to engage. 5/15
  6. 6. THE NEW TRADE So if you have to remember one term in the years ahead it must be peer-to-peer storytelling. Is it that simple? Yes it is. Let’s just look at a few examples. Why could Diana not stay together with Prince Charles? Bad peer-to-peer stories! Why is everyone quitting Berlusconi’s government? The stories don’t match anymore. Why did Obama win the elections? Good peer-to-peer storytelling. He summarized his story in one simple sentence: “Yes we can”. Now that was a story that linked well with the stories of millions of other people!In my book I want to give you a detailed descriptionabout why you need to connect to the new way of trading.Why you need a whole new story. My book will provide you with everything you need to know about peer-to-peer storytelling. It will learn you everything about how to create your story. About how the new trade will help you to be more successful. 6/15
  7. 7. THE NEW TRADEIs peer-to-peer storytelling the next new hype?What is the big picture here?If you ask me, tackling the challenges that organizations are facing today can only be achievedby linking the vision and dream stories of the young with the wisdom stories of the old and goodpractice case stories of great leaders.Sounds good? Let’’s get started than shall we? But how?As an advisor to companies, politicians and institutions of higher learning, I’ve been thinking aboutthis for about twenty years, and I have been trying to figure out the solution for the last two.I think I really hit it off when I myself started in the new trading game.The last couple of years I have been reading about all aspects of storytelling. Interesting stuff.But then it happened: peer-to-peer storytelling. I connected my story to those of peers. And mypeers and their matching stories helped me come to a simple set of rules for creating your ownnew trade. 7/15
  8. 8. THE NEW TRADE The rules of the new trade can be summed up in one simple sentence: It’s about people connecting with other people by sharing their stories for everyone to repeat hoping to inspire the world and ultimately make it a better place.big rule 1: It’s about people I have been trading my stories with Bill Wren lately. His blog was (and still is, thank you Bill) a continuous source of inspiration for my first rule. Bill says, “Two words pop up in most dictionary definitions of the word story: people and events. Most of those definitions also include a word or phrase such as “the telling of,” or “the relating of.” So what we have is people, events and telling. The one word that’s missing – because it’s implied – is audience. You can’t be clearer than saying it’s all about people: stories are about people, told by people to people. And when we examine what events actually are we find that they are things that happen to people. What is a story then? A story is about people involved in events recounted by people to people.” What more can I say? 8/15
  9. 9. THE NEW TRADEbig rule 2: It’’s about people connecting with other people Why do many people use social media? Because so many other people do. People want to be with other people. It’s that simple. Because they want to be connected. To a group of like-minded people. Why do people around the world clamour at the doors of bookstores each time a new Harry Potter comes out? Why did 200,000 people want to see the Champions League competition in Copen- hagen against Barcelona with Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, when there were only 35,000 seats in the stadium? Why do hoards of people gawp at Jessica Alba or George Clooney when they dare to show themselves in public? Because we feel at our best when we are connected with other people. If we can show that we belong to the same group. Loads of manufacturers and advertisers play on that. What are Millet jackets. What are Paul & Shark sweaters, Jimmy Choo shoes or the sandals of the members of ‘Groen’, other than the outward symbols that allow the wearers to say: look at me, connect with me, I belong to your group. Compared with these outward symbols, stories have the advantage that you don’t have to keep quiet about them, they can be told. 9/15
  10. 10. THE NEW TRADEbig rule 3: It’’s about people connecting with other people by sharing their stories If we want to tell other people a story, we spontaneously know how we can get most attention: by starting our sentence with “Have you heard?”, or “Guess what?”, or “I want to tell you something, but you mustn’t tell anyone else”. The power of story-telling is inexhaustible. The condition of course is that these are not regurgi- tated stories that are easy to see through. They can’t be about stale old jokes otherwise you’ll bore people.Stories that are authentic can be oldand still arouse interest if they are told differently. A lot of the film and theatre world revolves around this principle. And new variations of the same age-old themes that were written by the Greek classics never stop being reinvented. They are often, without us being aware of it ourselves, also the ingredients of programmes like “The beauty and the nerd” and “Farmer seeks wife”. In other words, good stories are always repeated. 10/15
  11. 11. THE NEW TRADEbig rule 4: It’’s about people connecting with other people by sharing their stories for everyone to repeat The power of repeating stories is boundless. Advertising and communications play on this phe- nomenon every minute of the day. Hundreds of surveys, including yet another one by the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, reveals that people who buy products on the recommendation of other consumers are more satisfied, and in turn recommend the product more frequently than others and often make repeat purchases. No wonder that we see agencies like Buzzer popping up, that specialises solely in “word of mouth”. Frederick Reichheld demonstrated the power of word-of- mouth advertising in his bestseller “The Ultimate Question”. But you know, you don’t need books or surveys for that. When are you most inclined to go and see a film, or to pick up a certain book? When you hear a recommendation from friends who say it is a must!The success of urban legends are based on word of mouth. Henry Jenkins, professor at the prestigious MIT, came up with the scientific concept of trans-media storytelling. Based on this concept, the makers of the well-known TV series “Lost” launched web- sites and magazines that contain clues about the story lines. They even put up big advertising billboards of fictive companies that appeared in the series. “Lost” viewers could choose: to follow the just the storyline of the series, or to go deeper in all other channels that the makers of “Lost” offered. 11/15
  12. 12. THE NEW TRADEbig rule 5: It’’s about people connecting with other people by sharing their stories for everyone to repeat hoping to inspire the world Stories that are passed by word of mouth have the greatest power of persuasion. There’s a total consensus on this. They are stronger than facts and figures, they affect the right hand brain and release emotions. Stories create fantasies, make you think, encourage thinking out of the box that we need more than ever before, given the increasing competition all over the world, in order to stimulate our economy and to keep it afloat. Each time we buy something, emotions are involved. Advertisers respond to this trend totally. A car is much more than a vehicle for getting from A to B, it says something about our status, where we stand in the world.Stories respond to images, associations and fantasy.And they lead to new insights. In short, nothing is as inspirational as a good story. Marie Daulne, the singer of the famous group Zap Mama, that has enjoyed worldwide success, always says that the first piece of music she made was inspired by the sounds that she heard in the jungle. 12/15
  13. 13. THE NEW TRADEIts about people connecting with other people by sharing their stories for everyone to repeathoping to inspire the worldand ultimately make it a better placeWhat do Apple, Martin Luther King and the Wright Brothers have in common and made themdifferent?Stories that are passed on by people that are connected to each other have the power to releaseemotions and to inspire and so ultimately to create a better world. Certainly if they don’t just talkabout why and how to do something, but if they also say why.This explains commercial successes like Apple and Toyota as well as small- or large-scale revolutions.Nelson Mandela succeeded in driving back apartheid in his country, Mother Theresa and JeanneDevos have told their inspirational stories thousands of times in order to do something about theimmense poverty in the Indian slums and without the story of Martin Luther King, it would havebeen impossible for Barack Obama to be the president of the United States today. 13/15
  14. 14. THE NEW TRADE Why do I call the new trade peer-to-peer storytelling? You love facts? O.K. Let’s get a bit technical here. A peer is a person who is of equal standing to someone else in the group. Social media like LinkedIn and Facebook connect millions of people - peers if you like - each of them with their own stories but also with an unbelievable treasure trove of knowledge and power.Linking the stories of peers will change the way we liveand work as well as our leisure habits in the years ahead. On the Internet, peer-to-peer (referred to as P2P) is a type of transient Internet network that allows a group of computer users with the same networking programme to connect with each other and gain direct access to content on each other’s hard drives. Napster and Gnutella are examples of this kind of peer-to-peer software. Major producers of content, including record companies, have shown their concern about what they consider illegal sharing of copyrighted content by suing some P2P users. So corporations are looking at the advantages of using P2P as a way for employees to share files and as a way for businesses to exchange information with each other directly. Can these same principles not be applied to storytelling? I believe they can. And that’s why I say the new trade is all about peer-to-peer storytelling. Convinced? Let’’s connect stories and start peer-to-peering . 14/15
  15. 15. THE NEW TRADEABOUT THE AUTHORRaf has been intrigued with stories and storytelling ever since he was a very young boy.He has been blogging on the topic of storytelling for over three years and he has amassed a considerableaudience in that time at He has also put his insights to action for the severalinternational companies. He has been guiding them in using storytelling as a business tool. Raf has given adozen workshops and lecturers about this subject to multiple blue chip companies.In 2010 he also co-started Surfboard Communications is a newconsulting concept, working exclusively with the new generation of decision makers who value the role ofcommunication in driving organizational change. Before he started he had a respect-able fifteen year business career in several marketing and communication positions.Raf is an experienced storythinker and storyteller. Today he his writing his first book and needs your help.Visit and start crowdfunding The New Trade today!ABOUT THIS BOOK WRITING PROJECTI believe in the wisdom of the crowds. “The many are smarter than the few”, James Surowiecki said. And thatis where you come in. If you support the project, you get a voice in how the book is created, distributed, andsold. Visit BelieversFund to find out more on how you can start your new trade today.Isn’t this cool? This is how stories connect in the year 2010.BORN ON DATEThis Manifesto was created on November 22, 2010 and is based on the best information available at that time.COPYRIGHT INFO WHAT YOU CAN DOThe copyright of this You are given the unlimited right to print this manifesto and to distribute it electronically (via email,work belongs to the your website, or any other means). You can print out pages and put them in your favorite coffee shop’sauthor, who is solely windows or your doctor’s waiting room. You can transcribe the author’s words onto the sidewalk, orresponsible for the you can hand out copies to everyone you meet. You may not alter this manifesto in any way, though,content. and you may not charge for it. vorige