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Monday Musings: the Importance of Storytelling (and what museums and e-commerce have in common)

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

I launched Monday Musings last week as a way of sharing intriguing things I spot on the Web that deserve more than a tweet, but about which I’m not ready to pull together my thoughts for a full length post. I set myself a 15 minute time limit for writing, so that I don’t lapse because “I don’t have time to write this up.” (This is turning out to be harder than I thought.)
This MM post recommends a very well done video exploring one of my favorite projects—Significant Objects. “Objects of Our Desire: Richelle Parham,” is a video made for the Future of StoryTelling 2012 summit. (I recommend the summit’s Story Arcade, which features a collection of “next generation stories” told in new ways with the help of digital media tools.) I found myself substituting “museum” for “marketers” or “e-commerce” in this script, and it was totally on point.
I’m going to stay inside my 15-minute deadline by adapting the “discussion questions” for this video posed on the Significant Objects site:
  • What emerging technologies are most significantly influencing the way museums and cultural consumers interact online, and the way museums observe and interpret those interactions?
  • Successful museum marketing is as much about listening to users’ stories—told through their viewing and browsing habits, for example—as it is about conveying a museum’s story to the user. What are the most effective strategies for finding and listening to users’ stories?
  • To what extent is character-driven narrative storytelling, literary or otherwise, becoming an integral part of developing museum’s online communities and driving visitation?

Whew. That’s two. 
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1 Comment

  1. Narrative is essential, as is habit. Good storytelling establishes the habit of returning to whatever the story is to be rewarded by what it has to offer. Pen to paper narrative, keystroke,filmed and videoed narrative, texted, phonecalled, live interaction needs an element of surprise, which can be the reward – so narratives need to be as varied and complex and silly as human beings. The trick is to lure as many humans as possible into not only hearing the narrative but contributing to it. THIS IS WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA HATH WROUGHT!

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