storytelling

The Next Chapter in Interactive Storytelling: interview with Jeremy Ettinghausen

“There are always at least two ways to tell a story”
Mohsin Hamid

Launched last month under their Puffin label, We Make Stories is the latest in a long line of digital publishing innovations masterminded by Jeremy Ettinghausen (@jeremyet), Penguin’s Digital Publisher.  This is the second piece we’ve done in recent months looking at the publishing industry as a whole.  Back in May we wrote about the transformational change going on at TMG in the UK (also check out the ever brilliant Nieman Lab for a far deeper examination of journalism in this respect).  Why are we so interested in what’s going on here? In short, we’re witnessing a radical re-shaping of an industry we believe we can learn a lot from. An industry which – aside from its sheer cultural importance in the first place – has been experimenting with new creative & organisational solutions for some time now.

The launch of the new service from Penguin was a good excuse to catch up with Jeremy and find out what he’s learned from this and other past projects, as well as ask him to share his thoughts on the future of digital publishing, the struggle to monetise content & services online, the impact of the web on storytelling and finally, what role he sees for brands in this space.  So just a couple of meaty topics then…

We Make Stories homepage

(more…)

The Storyteller’s Story

If the past couple of weeks have seen some of the industry’s finest minds crystallise why there isn’t more great work in the interactive space, then from here on in – inevitably, I guess – this debate is going to need to shift on its axis slightly and focus on the trickier task of finding tangible solutions.

The good news is that there already appear to be some answers emerging, all with the potential to lead somewhere interesting and worth recording. I’m going to approach this pretty organically and see where it goes. Please feel free to jump in, disagree, debate, add your own suggestions etc.

First up, a theme that may seem controversial to some: the wholesale reinvention of a (sometimes much maligned) skill, the art of storytelling.

Ben’s second post caught my attention with the observation that “there’s currently much less of a culture of developing narrative or storytelling on the web” and this got me thinking.

Part of the issue behind this, I would hazard a guess, is the fact story telling as a skill has come to be associated with the old school mores of broadcast advertising. By way of illustration, in his NMA column last week Mark Cridge talked about the need for a creative director to be comfortable with the idea of curation, rather than control. A thought that made complete sense – no question. His piece then went on to conclude “If these are the skills that are going to be important from now on, which type of creative director would you rather work with: a big budget brand storyteller obsessed with control, or one more comfortable with the ebb and flow of the interactive world?”

Reading this, you’d be forgiven for thinking storytelling no longer has a place or is badly in need of rehab. In truth, and I am going to nail my colours to the mast here, it’s never had the potential to be more relevant or exciting.

(For full post click below)

(more…)