non-linnear story telling app

Content changes on a daily basis. From the ongoing re-re-redefinition of what constitutes content, to the right type of content in the right place, to how text, audio, video, or a combination can be created at different quality levels with different apps or personal or commercial use.

Very rarely do you see an app that embraces the messiness and reality of life, as part of it’s content creation code, while helping you generate stories in a non linnear form. Why not bring the experience of consuming content closer to the living of an event or moment without heavy flash based immersion?

Enter the Korsakow system.

Still in it’s infancy,  (last time i spoke to the creator, he was considering making it open source) the system offers users a really easy way to tell stories, in a construct i think is closer to a real experience. life is messy. The Korsakow System makes this randomness a core part of its code, encouraging you to create stories in all their chaotic glory.

The UI has some way to go, and i think better SN tools will help it grow a devout following. Open Sourcing the project would also help. Not sure where this one will end up,  but i think there is something really interesting thinking and ambition here.

have fun.


Gamer response to the middle east

I’ve just finished playing a game of Call of Duty 4, online.

Voted best game of 2008 by many, it has a very loyal following, across 4 different game platforms. Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Mac. Online, gamers increase their rank by killing opponents and completing challenges. This ranking system is used to balance groups of gamers, who play as either American, Middle Eastern or Russian. Take on a gamer tag, create your set-up and head out to kick butt. A world away from the world, until that first bomb dropped on Gaza.

for anyone living under a rock for the past few days, or enjoying a sun drenched holiday without an internet connection, there has been a flair up in the Middle East. An area of contention since religion was invented, military confrontations tend to polarize, with impassioned supporters of either side sharing emotions and points of view across blogs, tweets and SN’s.

But over the past few days i have noticed another area. gaming. This particular experience happened on a mac, playing COD4. Since the most recent fighting in the Middle East began, i have experienced an angry intensity against characters that represent US troops, at a level i have never felt before. and i play daily.

the past few days have seemed intensely one sided against gamers playing on US teams. Playing as a middle eastern character, suddenly has taken on some kind of symbolism. like it was a statement of disapproval for what is currently happening.

the observation didn’t solidify for me until i noticed that gamers had changed their gamer tags, to include names like n00bush and outnow (tags on Mac COD4 don’t link with any other profile and gamers regularly restart their rank building with new tags after they reach the maximum 55). this was behaviours i hadn’t really seen before. and i have dedicated a quantifiable amount of time to COD4 in the last few months.

there are is no audio chat on the mac version of the game, only text, so i can’t be 100% accurate about who is playing. but there are a few clues. it is mac only, so probably college kids, designers, most creative industries contributes, across what i would guess is a fairly large age spectrum, upwards.

not sure if this is true across all platforms, but an interesting way to make a statement i thought.

Social Networking 2.0

i don’t know why, but i hate the whole 1.0, 2.0 suffixes that try to define where we are in development, when really, we are constanly upgrading and, trying to define a fluid, living thing with a single digit, seems a little limiting. but i digress.

Social Networks are coming into their own as viable distribution networks. For a few reasons. (i am based in am america so i chose facebook as a case study)

1. They have enough worthwhile, easily targeted eyeballs to appeal to a mass marketers’ broad demographic spectrum

2. The Facebook technology ‘Connect’, that allows users to sign into their profiles on a 3rd part site, are making influencers out of all of us. no longer just a select few. Our behaviours, a movie watched on say, becomes an endorsement from us, to our whole social group via Newsfeed. Not only a digital word of mouth tool, but also a reminder mechnism

3. Facebook users are spending increasing amounts of time on the site, and are using platform in more advanced ways than just having a bank of friends they know are there. It has become a primary communication tool for many and a business channel for others. If there was more rewarding content, entertainment would be on that list.

4. My 4th point is the most theoretical. I believe that FB represents a dynamic new way to tell story, weaving narratives in a more immersive way than say, TV or a flash build. Lonley girl 15 on crack. There is also room for an ARG for the right brand.

On my last point, the one thing i would add is that, to use the new medium effecively the content has to be created in a different way. from writing to creation. and the defition of content would need to evolve and become more targeted and focused.

to my mind, the right combination of paid(little) and earned media(a lot) is possible for a broad range of brands. and is part of the realisation of the sematic web. storytelling is going to string a lot more of our digital experiences together, our SN are just the next step