Sunday, January 22, 2012

WEEKEND ROUND-UP: NARATIV E-COURSE, AND OBAMA'S DATA MINING


2 6 PRINCIPLES from Narativ Circle on Vimeo.


NARATIV E-COURSE: Narativ is an organization that trains corporations, nonprofits, and individuals on how to listen to and tell stories. In exchange for your name and email address, you get access to the workbook and six short videos they have in their free e-course. In the first video in the series, above, the organization's co-founder Murray Nossel states the organization's six storytelling principles, starting with the notion that "Our brains are hard-wired for story." (I also wrote briefly about Narativ here. Also read this article in Forbes Magazine about Murray and the Narativ method. 

OBAMA MINES DATA FROM AMERICANS' STORIES: Here's a fascinating Slate article by Sasha Issenberg about President Obama's "Dreamcatcher" project. That project uses scientific methods to analyze data from the stories that constituents submit online, so that the Administration can better understand -- and respond to -- the hopes and fears of the electorate. This effort calls to mind three other projects I've written about, namely a GlobalGiving project to assess a community's needs and interests by analyzing its "micro-narratives"; the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency's study of "Narrative Networks," to understand propaganda and prevent terrorism; and an MIT professor's attempts to teach a computer to understand stories. Together, these projects indicate a scientific approach to stories, their content, meaning, and appeal.

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