What's Your Story?
I’m a mixed bag. On the one side, I have been producing television in various forms more than 18 years. On the other side, I’ve been producing web sites for almost 11 years. I’ve also worked in communications off and on over that time, everything from writing government proposals to developing strategies for V.P’s at large high tech companies. I’m fortunate that I’m able to combine media production of all kinds into one, fulfilling career.
But strip away the technology – be it the video editing suite, the inner workings of a web portal, or the text on the screen for the next revision of a management plan – and what is left? Stories.
It’s really that simple. When people ask what I do, I could go into a big long list of all the areas in which I work, and everything I do in my non-work life. But break it down, and it’s all just storytelling. In my free time, I like to write songs and blog posts. Stories. In my work time, I make TV shows and commercials – more stories. I also design web sites – still more stories. So perhaps, my business card should say nothing more than, Susan Murphy – Storyteller.
And when you really think about it – what we are all doing in this social media space is storytelling too.
The obvious stories are in people’s blog posts. But what about the comments? Aren’t those stories too? Actually, you could liken it to one of those “choose your own adventure” books that I loved when I was a kid. You post something on your blog, and see what ensues. You can’t predict what others are going to contribute, so it’s always a new adventure.
Twitter is a marathon of a story, written by thousands of people each contributing in snippets of 140 characters or less. It has a bit of a “choose your own adventure” feel too, since everyone’s Twitter timeline is unique, based on the people they follow.
Video is my first love, and it is the epitome of storytelling, in my opinion. It could be as simple as a video blog post, or as complex as a feature length documentary. Video is the only medium in which storytellers can combine moving pictures, sound, graphics, animation and text to tell their tales. It’s all encompassing. And now, this powerful medium is readily accessible to anyone with a web cam and a story to tell. To me, that’s thrilling.
So here we are. Out on the Interwebs, telling stories. But here’s the critical difference with the Web. Not only are we sharing our own stories with others, we are creating new stories with each other. Now that we can reach across the world in a heartbeat, in any medium, just imagine the kind of stories we can create.
What’s your story?