Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Economy busting up, storytelling not

It is a new world order we're experiencing right now. It might not be 100% obvious to everyone, but in 10-20 years time the books (or iPads) will be filled with comments and analyzing articles about the years 2008-2012; the "Destruction of the Global Economy"-era, as it will be called.

The EU bailout of Greece the other day is just another nudge in the completely wrong direction. If someone has taken all their money and spent it on fancy clothes and toys for their chihuahua, then come complaining to you that they can't afford food, do you lend them the biggest bank loan in history? Or do you say "tough luck, go hungry 'til your next pay day and try to save up some money next time"?

I feel it is simply silly and naive to hope to contain the economical mess in this or similar "Quantitative Easing"-ways. I believe the PIIGS will go tits-up, the euro will lose at least half its value compared to the dollar, one or more countries will vote to leave the euro and we will all be in a big big heap of trouble before long.

On the other hand, with the iPad notching up 1 million sales so far, I see storytelling entering a new era. Back in the old days, a storyteller sat by the fire and told stories to a whole village; essentially he was gifting them the gift of imagination, of entertainment, of morals, of culture. He also got instant feedback; the roars of approval, the laughters, the sighs of his audience.

With the iPad as a first vehicle, we're nearing that same storyteller-setting as described above, only on a global scale. Where ever we are we can bring our own branch of the campfire, we can listen to the stories being told, choose which one to partake of, interact with our fellow listeners and give instant feedback to the storyteller. Moreover, I see the listener being given more and more power to create their own content within or outside the story that engages them.

It's a whole new storytelling world, and I'm simply thrilled to be telling stories in it.