Last Friday, Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson published a 75-page slideshow about his recent business class flight from New York to Beijing. The slideshow, which consists entirely of blurry phot...
Well, who knew this kind of storytelling was going on??!! This fascinating article blasts a hole right through journalist Henry Blodget's 'native digital storytelling', calling a spade a spade.
What's 'native digital storytelling"? From what I can tell, it's when people craft home-made digital stories to share. Blodget takes it to the extreme however. He takes photos of his very mundane airplane ride overseas, makes a slide show of them, and posts them on the web, calling it his digital story. Riveting stuff. The story escapes me. As it escapes the author of this article, Hamish McKenzie.
And this is not the first time Blodget has done it. Another 'story' was a tour of his AirBnB rental in NYC ala "Here's the bathroom; small." For whatever reason, that 'story' got 270,000 views.
But here is what McKenzie exposes: Blodget's 'native digital story' was slapped on a web site and each slide was a different web page. That's 75 slides/75 web pages to click through. Sounds annoying.
Yet as McKenzie says, this is not about 'telling stories differently' by publishing in this way. It is all about page views and commercialization. He lists other examples of rich digital storytelling that does not 'treat readers as mere click meat'. As the author says, "These slideshows are not wondrous experiments carried out in the name of pleasing readers and advancing the cause of native digital storytelling. They are economic decisions through which Business Insider is attempting to inflate its pageviews and create ever more excuses for the generation of ad impressions."
Well, if the story was actually a good story, the commercialization of it might not be a point. But this feels like a rip off.
So beware! If you are one of those folks who likes to consume digital stories displayed like this, ask yourself if serving yourself up as click meat is OK when the 'story' is so poor.
And if you are considering this for your business, you might want to rethink it. Offering up crappy stories just for page views will eventually drive customers away.
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it