This was inspired by a recent conversation I had as part of the IAB’s MIXX Spotlight Series during Advertising Week 8. UPDATE: This post is dedicated to Steve Jobs, my biggest storytelling inspiration.
OK -- I've posted this article because it is a perfect example of some of the gobbly-gook about there about 'the new storytelling' or the 'reinvention of storytelling' that's happening in the realm of social media and multiple digital platforms.
This article contains very confused thinking about story structure and the dynamic process of sharing stories. Here's what I posted on Facebook as a response to the author:
"Well, you've made some good points about how branders need to move their thinking from traditional branding activities to new ways of thinking about branding via social media and the multiple digital platforms we have today.
However, there is a distinct difference between the structure of a story, and the dynamic process of storytelling. And our way of thinking about linear storytelling (both in structure & process) reflects our culture's mental construct of linear time that is not necessarily shared by other cultures.
It seems most people in this field [branding, social media] are totally unaware about the non-linear nature of how stories move between people, across groups and cultures which folklorists and anthropologists have understood for 40 years.
The more branding professionals have training in the dynamic processes of storytelling, and get wise about cultural mental constructs, the more they will understand how to move ahead more clearly."
For additional clear thinking on this topic, read the related article, "Transmedia Storytelling is Bullshit..." by Mike Jones on this same page.
In the end: many marketing and branding professionals are bumping around in the dark, declaring all kinds of hype about storytelling, think they are making earth-shattering discoveries about storytelling, and believe they are inventing new storytelling. Hmmmmmm -- maybe yes, most likely not.
I think folklorists, anthropologists, storytellers and marketing/branding professionals all need to get in the same room sometime to work these issues out and get inspired together about the future of storytelling.