The Technology of Storytelling

The Technology of Storytelling
While our stories have mostly remained the same throughout history, the tools we use to tell them have changed dramatically.

Wall to Wall

“In 6,000 years of storytelling, people have gone from depicting hunting on cave walls to depicting Shakespeare on Facebook walls,” remarks digital artist Joe Sabia in a 2011 TED talk.

Sabia notes the invention of the pop-up book by Lothar Meggndorfer (yes, that’s his real name) in the 1800s as the first time the book as a format really evolved as a storytelling device. Sabia proceeds to explain that vaudeville evolved from opera, radio theater from radio news, and modern movies from silent films and still pictures. In recent history, our storytelling tools have become increasingly varied and increasingly high-tech.

The internet has evolved to include live chat, Twitter, professional video messaging like TED talks, amateur viral videos, quirky musical mash-ups, and more. Tablets have transformed books and magazines from static formats to interactive ones. There’s no telling what might be just around the corner to help us tell our stories faster, better, and to more people.

Tools Help Us Tell Better Stories

Format after format, storytellers (actors, marketers, politicians, teachers, parents, musicians, professionals, writers, artists, etc.) have risen to the occasion. Not only do we use a platform to tell our story; the platform itself influences how we tell it. Compare a Charlie Chaplin film to, say, Titanic.

Like never before, we’re able to infuse our stories with vivid imagery and animation, humor, artistry, and electricity that help us more fully convey the essence of who we are.

Because we have this incredible ability to show our true colors, people can connect with us more deeply.

To this end, we can pick and choose formats to suit our tales. We can also adjust how we tell those tales to make the most of a given format. A video can demonstrate to your membership the kind of experiences they might expect at your annual conference. Tweets provide live snapshots of attendee experiences. Traditional technology like letters and postcards generate buzz and boost your off-line credibility.

Maybe it’s true that all the stories have already been told. But certainly they haven’t all been told using today’s available technology. And who knows what might be available in just a few short years. How might a new outlet influence your brand story?

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