The Story of Communities

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Maybe it’s the history or its ease of accessibility…  But as humans the output of writing has always been a communal activity, an opportunity for group learning.  We use stories to teach values to young children; often followed by discussions.  We go to book clubs to analyze a characters behavior, to understand their perspective and world-view.  It’s our shared experience around this writing that helps us to work through our ideas, and to redefine what we’ve already digested.

“The audience becomes the story”. – Kevin Slavin

It’s an interesting thought isn’t it.  And if you read the first paragraph and then overlay that quote it works, to some degree.  We take the lessons learned from writing and apply them to our own lives.  We stick ourselves in the shoes of the character and predict how we would have reacted.

As technology increasingly leads from solely topical conversation surrounding content to co-creation of content I can’t help but think about the implications that this could have on education.  Or marketing for that matter.

Kevin Slavin used an interesting metaphor this morning, speaking on a panel at the MOMA.  His belief is that we’ll see stories begin to mimic indoor rock gyms.  You’ll have a decided start point, a decided endpoint and a bunch of stuff in the middle.  The middle is the tactics that you use to get from A to B.  And in indoor rock climbing that path has already been thought through and planned.  As the climber you experiment, test and learn through multiple attempts until you figure out the steps.  But those steps are slightly different for everyone, although the beginning and end are always the same.

Trial and error.  With group discussion, and feedback.

So my question is what’s next?  As the story evolves to become a more immersive and participatory group activity, how will the community be engaged?  And not in the discussion but in the creation.

Just curious…


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