Posts Tagged With: storytelling

New York Times’ Snow Fall may not be the future of journalism. But it’s for sure the future of storytelling .

snow fall new york times storytellingEver since the New York Times launched its interactive web project, Snow Fall (a 5 part story of skiers and snowboarders trapped by an avalanche in Washington State’s Cascade mountain range), hypotheses of its effects on journalism and publishing have been ping-ponging between online news outlets. The debates over whether or not Snow Fall’s storytelling model (that recently hit 3.5 million page views) is the future of journalism, in fact deliver something more: lessons in content integration and the opportunity for brand-publisher collaboration.

If you haven’t read the feature yet, do. It’s something like magic — a visceral adventure story about a deadly avalanche that feels more like an interactive documentary that happens to have paragraphs than a newspaper story that happens to have interactives. Particularly ingenious is a section where a map traces doomed skiers’ paths down the mountain face as you scroll down the corresponding paragraphs. Further along, an animated video follows the contours of the avalanche sweeping down the same glade, with a clicking sound whose frequency indicates the changing speed of the barreling snow pack. Not just clever. Utterly ingenious.

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Stairs and unfinished stories.

“There is no such thing as a dull product. Only dull approaches to interesting products.” ~ David Ogilvy
The wit and wisdom of Mr. Ogilvy can be extremely valuable to marketers and advertisers because pretty much sums up everything. Nevertheless, the same is true if you replace “product” with “photo”.

Let’s take the example of photos depicting stairs. What could one say about stairs? They come in various sizes and widths, they’re made of cement, wood, or maybe skateboards and salt, if you leave it to your imagination. That’s pretty much all there is to it, right? Stairs. Elevators are better, anyway. Stairs. Pretty boring, eh? Well, not quite. Stairs are pretty awesome, actually. You don’t have to believe me. You just have to scroll down a bit.

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3 ursi polari care mananca inghetata de vanilie intr-o furtuna de zapada.

Exista oameni care vad povesti peste tot, pana si in cele mai mici detalii, situatii sau fraze. Oameni cu ochi delicios de mari. Oamenii aia misto, care te fac sa te indragostesti in cel mai dement si irational fel de ochii lor. Oamenii aia care ar putea scoate o poveste pana si dintr-o piatra. Oamenii aia care vad monstruos de mult, de fascinant. Oamenii aia carora, daca le-ai pune in fatza o fotografie complet alba, ti-ar spune: “Uhh, ce tare, ai fotografiat niste ursi polari mancand inghetata de vanilie intr-o furtuna de zapada”. Chiar asa. Cine-a spus ca nu poti vedea povesti peste tot? Candva Eugen Istodor imi spunea intr-un foarte sincer interviu (click aici pt. a citi) ca jumatate din chestiile de pe YouTube sint povesti. “Scurte, scurte, impleticite, surprinzand esentialul”, zice el. Fara sa vreau, azi am gasit in marea de bitzi cinci dintre ele. Pe care vi le dau voua, impliniti-le voi, vorba cuiva. Pe care mi le dau mie, cu dorinta de-a nu ajunge niciodata sa spun – atunci cand cineva imi va pune o fotografie blank in fatza si ma va intreba ce vad in ea – ca vad mai putin decat 3 ursi polari care mananca inghetata de vanilie intr-o furtuna de zapada. In speranta ca n-o sa ajung niciodata sa vad niciodata ceea ce vad restul: o fotografie blank. In momentul in care o sa ajung sa vad doar blank si nimic mai mult probabil se va intampla ceea ce anticipeaza Chuck Palahniuk. In momentul ala campionatul de fotbal se va fi terminat.

Asadar: cateva povestioare impleticite de care m-am impiedicat prin comentariile youtube:

Artist/Song: Air – All I need

Artist/Song: Chad Kroeger feat Santana – Why don’t you and I

Artist/Song: Leonard Cohen – In my secret life

Artist/Song: Joshua Kadison – Jessie

Artist/Song: Real McCoy – Another Night

Artist/Song: Adam Lambert – Whataya want from me?


Toate spun povesti diferite. Dar, intr-un fel halucinant de random, ele sint – de fapt – parti ale aceleiasi povesti. Sau poate doar franturi ale unei povesti care unora le e randomly familiara.

P.S.: Din lista asta lipseste o singura poveste. Pe undeva exista si o povestioara de-a mea. E prinsa in singurul meu comentariu de pe youtube. Sper sa il regasesc intr-o zi. Sau sa fie gasit. :)

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football season is over.

“… two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls.” (Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)

…and that’s exactly what Hunter S. Thompson and his writing were: one never sober (but always damn brilliant) montagne russe. He hated to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for him. In fact, he once even said that if you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up. And he certainly did get paid for his brilliant insanity.

(Next to Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote) Hunter S. Thompson is one of my favourite journalists/writers. As you well know, he is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism, a style of writing similar to  a trip through a journalistic fun house, where you didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t. You knew you had better learn enough about the subject at hand to know when the riff began and reality ended. Hunter was a stickler for numbers, for details like gross weight and model numbers, for lyrics and caliber, and there was no faking it. Of course, he is known also for his love of firearms; his long-standing hatred of Richard Nixon; and his iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism.

“So why did you remember him just now?”, you’ll ask. Truth be told, I don’t know. Maybe because I saw around his “Hell’s Angels”, an angry, fascinating and excitedly written book, that crackles like motorcycle exhaust. Or maybe I remembered him just because he died more or less about  6 years ago, in February. His legend ended with a Smith&Wesson, along with these words:

“Football season is over. No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt.”

His ex-wife used to say that he was born with an incredible talent and with a hyper-brilliant mind, but also with a “tormented soul”. What did she mean? Well, I don’t really know.  All I know is that he was one incredible talented writer who – in the end - just couldn’t take the fact that “the football season” was over. And “if you wonder if he’s gone to Heaven or Hell, rest assured he will check out them both, find out which one Richard Milhous Nixon went to — and go there. He could never stand being bored. But there must be Football too — and Peacocks…”  (Ralph Steadman)

And now please allow me to go back to my vacation. (;

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