Your Turn To Talk

From the head of Zues Jones comes some thought provoking material regarding the web as a less than perfect storytelling medium.

There’s no doubt that online advertising is generally pretty dire, but then the Web isn’t really a great medium for delivering traditional advertising. But even more importantly it’s absolutely the wrong medium if all you want to do is tell stories.
The web isn’t just a communications medium, it is a medium for interacting with people. Storytelling is inherently one-way, in fact, the main use for stories in the history of humans has been to teach. Using the Web for teaching and one-way dissemination of information are a waste its talents.

As a writer who is attracted to the web like a moth to flame, I find this insightful and useful. In this format, I think of myself as a writer first and a conversationalist second. And that may be limiting what AdPulp can become, so I need to pause and consider what it all means.
Last week, Rob Walker puzzled what is so special about a service that gets people “talking” in micro-bursts.

I just can’t get worked up about Twitter either way. Why do people have such extreme reactions to it?

According to the theory above, people come to the web to talk, not read, view or listen passively. People want to engage by creating stories with others, as they would in real life. When one tells a story in real life, other people add to it in real time (which can be annoying to the storyteller). Twitter mirrors this, whereas a blog is more traditional in its storytelling structure. On a blog a writer offers something, then comments come in, but it’s not a conversation just like email is not a conversation. IM and Twitter are conversations; thus, the excitement around them.



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.