Current Storytelling Buzz in the Twitterverse

Here’s what folks on Twitter have been saying about storytelling in the past few days:

    • Storytelling has apparently been a prominent topic at at the media festival/conference South By Southwest (SXSW). One Twitterer called “narrative” the SXSW “term of the week,” going on to note that the term suggest[s] a refocus on ‘storytelling’ and engaging content/experience.”
    • Also at SXSW, Britain-based Penguin publishers won a Best In Show award from judges for its We Tell Stories website “that blends well-crafted tales with games intended to immerse readers in story worlds.” I blogged about We Tell Stories about a year ago and am pleased to see the project honored.
    • On Sunday night, many SXSW attendees were Twittering about Fray CafĂ©, part of the Fray entity that began as a Web site, evolved into a series of storytelling events like Fray Cafe, and is now a quarterly magazine that sponsors occasional storytelling events.
  • The one non-SXSW item that has attained significant buzz since my last report is the Our First Loves Project, a multimedia storytelling experiment produced by a group of student journalists in an interactive design class at the Medill School of Journalism. More about the project:… it is based on the idea that journalism on the Internet should be about connectivity. Not just hyperlinks or social networking, but connectivity in the sense that it has the unique ability to bring even perfect strangers together and show us what we have in common. New media journalism can be the ultimate equalizer, a proof of a human condition.

    So, to test our idea, we decided to focus on something simple, something to which everyone can relate. We went with love. We all have stories about our first loves. Whether it was a boy at camp, a wife, a favorite old teddy bear or a life-long love of fishing, the experience of falling head-over-heels for the first time is something everyone shares.

    Ultimately we found that these stories weren’t so simple after all. They are rich in humor, passion, regret, joy. It’s not about us, though — we need your help to keep the project going. Add your voice to our collection and share it with the world. Watch it resonate.

Our First Loves reminded me of a project I came across on a similar — though slightly less romantic — theme: My First Time, “the longest running play to open Off-Broadway in years” and featuring “four actors in hysterical and heartbreaking stories about first sexual experiences written by real people.” More:

In 1998, a decade before blogging began, a website was created that allowed people to anonymously share their own true stories about their First Times. The website became an instant phenomenon as over 40,000 stories poured in from around the globe that were silly, sweet, absurd, funny, heterosexual, homosexual, shy, sexy and everything in between.