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I enjoy telling stories. As Michael Margolis, CEO and founder of Get Storied says, storytelling is about getting people to see things the way you do. It’s very satisfying to give people a closer look into what I’m thinking and feeling, as well as the opportunity to respond with their insights into the situation. Based on the feedback I’ve received, I’ve never had a hard time telling engaging stories, at least not in person. Starting this blog has made me realize that it’s much more difficult for me to tell stories using the written word.

Here’s an article that talks about how to find the right medium for online storytelling, and provides some really great advice about creating an impactful story using the written word. It includes a basic story structure that you can follow when crafting a plot, which consists of five elements. I’m definitely going to keep these in mind while I’m writing blog posts. When I scrolled to the bottom of the article, I found this “Tip from Joe”: “Social media isn’t a silver bullet.” I agree, social media is not the be all and end all of communication, even though it is growing in importance. At the end of his tip was this statement: “You cannot Facebook your way into social change.” This is where I disagreed – hasn’t it been demonstrated that social media outlets such as Facebook are powerful tools for change, even if they are not the main instigator of change (i.e. Arab Spring)? It was clear to me that this article was really focused on storytelling via blogging, rather than other types of social media.

I decided to look for an article that discussed how to effectively tell a compelling story using Twitter. After all, you’re only allowed 140 characters to get your point across. How can you make the most of the limited space you have? This article highlights the uniqueness of being able to tell multi-level stories using Twitter, a social media tool that I am largely unfamiliar with. The article talks about how an author’s individual tweets can be bound together using a common hashtag, which creates a kind of a “Twitter comic”. Then, if you search for tweets from that author using the common hashtag, you can view the timeline of the entire story that the author has presented thus far. Thus, the author is able to tell a complete, continuous story that the audience can not only comment on, but participate in as well.

I think that ultimately, good storytelling arises out of making a genuine connection with your audience. It doesn’t necessarily matter which platform you are using (unless you’re using something antiquated like Myspace), as long as you tell an engaging story that allows people to view the world from your perspective. I’m currently learning how to tell a solid story through blogging, which is a skill that I am very happy to cultivate. I think that an interesting challenge would be to tell a story through multiple tweets while strategically using images, links, and hashtags to captivate and interact with my audience. What do y’all think about telling a story through Twitter? Do you have any experience doing so, and if so, do you have any advice?

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4 thoughts on “Telling Your Story

  1. Hi Gab,
    I recently read an article by Spin Sucks that discusses the innovation of storytelling using twitter. Traditionally we are accustomed to one compilation of a story versus connecting stories by using a specific hash tag (#Gabchat) which will also “compile” the stories through multiple tweets. I think it’s quite innovative and a sensible medium (twitter) to tell a story especially since twitter is one of the major social media sites used by today’s generation.140 characters once seen as “limiting” the tweeter or author, has evolved the traditional way of telling a story, plus it sounds fun and intriguing!

    Miriam

  2. Gab – I loved the article on using twitter to tell stories. It’s similar to what is happening with vine as well. What a great idea to try! In terms of saying you can’t Facebook your way to social change – I have had this conversation a couple of times. The Arab spring was started and spread by facebook and twitter – but the real social change still isn’t happening. Social Media is great for shouting. It’s no so good for whispering or negotiation. True social change happens when people talk to each other, understand each other and compromise with each other. Sometime we overestimate the role it has in creating our society. Good post.

  3. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution
    and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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