Hard Numbers To Hit

Gavin Heaton, has metered out the components of digital storytelling the way a conscientious chef would when writing a cook book.

Like anything, you need to start with an idea. This is the 1%. A good idea will get you started but an idea on its own is dormant. There is another 9% that is planning. You need to think through the what, why and how of your story. You need to consider the methods you will take to bring your idea to life.
The next 40% you need to focus on execution. This is the actual doing of the work. This brings together the idea and the strategy and makes it available to the world. The remaining 50% is participation …
It is this final 50% that is the MOST important element. Without the participation of an audience your project is a failure. In the digital story, all MEANING is co-created. That means that, after launch, your digital story continues. It needs feeding. You need to respond to the nuances of its reading. You need to ENGAGE.

I like what Heaton is saying here, even while recognizing that my own digital stories fall well short of the kind of deep and lasting engagement he’s calling for. I also question whether this POV isn’t a bit dogmatic. And what is this “digital storytelling,” he speaks of? I’m pretty sure it’s not a story published online. Not in any traditional sense.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.