Monday, December 12, 2011
STORY-SHARING PLATFORMS: A couple story-sharing platforms I've heard of or been exploring recently, one small and beautiful, another is sprawling and stripped-down. Cowbird.com is a new site that describes itself as a "small community of storytellers, interested in telling deeper, longer-lasting, more nourishing stories than you're likely to find anywhere else on the web." The site enables you to "keep a gorgeous diary of your life, incorporating photography, sound, subtitles, maps, timelines, characters, dedications, and more." The site has started with the saga of the Occupy movement, and does indeed feature gorgeous photos and other features. On the other end of the spectrum is the Experience Project, which now hosts a total of over 12 million experience stories on pretty much any topic under the sun, organized in such categories as "Education," "Family and Friends," and "Pets and Animals." Members write their experiences in text, and can create a profile, follow other users, and respond to others' experiences and questions. Theoretically, a single site could join the aesthetics of Cowbird with the flexibility of the Experience Project. However, the investment of time that Cowbird's pictures, audio, and other features require makes it less likely that the site will attract a huge user base; and the rapid exchange of stories on the Experience Project means that users probably won't want to spend lots of time on craft, any more than a Twitter user would.