Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Collaborative Storytelling and Open Source Interviews

Here's what I love about the internet.

I was planning to write a post today about the use of story in museums. A lot of museums--and web, radio, etc--are pursuing projects in which visitors share their personal stories around a topic, whether that be broad and profound ( or light and specific (map mashup of Overheard in NY). But I'm interested in how we can go from individual stories--which are interesting--to The Story that drives an exhibit.

But back to my love of the internet. I found a paper online by Elisa Giaccardi entitled "Toward an Evolution of Virtual Museums: Collective Storytelling and Social Creativity." It was interesting. I thought my web journey ended there. I had good content, and a link to the outside world. I was ready to write the post.

Or, so I thought. Turns out I could go one better. The internet gave me content, but then, it also gave me connection. I emailed Elisa and asked if I could interview her for the blog. She wrote back a few hours later and said yes. Holy schmoly. What if I could do this in a museum--receive content and then connect with the people who created that content? Yes, some of you are doing this--please, share.

And in the meantime, check out Elisa's new project about collecting natural soundscapes to create a Story about stakeholders in the controversy over public quiet and noise. Looks like she is pursuing one form of the kind of question I set out to explore with regard to storytelling.

But this is about collaboration! And 2.0! So. The interview won't happen for about 2 weeks. In the meantime, please, post your questions that you'd like me to include in our conversation. My greatest interest is in discussing how public content can be more than just raw data--it can frame the focus and the direction of the story/exhibit/experience itself. Granted, I'm also a big content snob and wonder if it's possible that such a thing could be done well. Writing stories by consensus hasn't produced many masterpieces, and writing stories by mass public generation seems dubious. Of course, there are other stories that involve the public and literally get under their skin.

Don't let me rule the interview. Comment and question away!

1 comments, add yours!:

Anonymous said...

When we had our "Nobel Prize Centennial" traveling exhibition here last year, I wish we'd done some kind of extra component of recent prizewinners (particularly ones from NYC or minority backgrounds) telling their stories, either live or in full-length video screens like AMNH's "Darwin." Might have made it more interesting for the kids.

Question for the expert: how important is the interviewer? Can anyone collect a story, or is it the good interviewer who separates the raw content from the gold?