April 17, 2012

Simple Stories & Complex Narratives

Read my new post, reflecting on the question, "If your organization is seeking to solve a complex problem, must it always share complex stories?" Inspired, of course, by Invisible Children's Kony 2012, the most viral video ever.
I don't happen to think simple stories are needed to share complex narratives. (I use "narrative" to refer to the larger story and frame, and "story" as the small episodes and moments that encapsulate the larger narrative.) People are emotionally complex, live complex lives, and can relate to authentic, emotionally complex stories. The longevity of The New Yorker, the popularity of This American Life, the respect and attention paid the deeply reported journalism of ProPublica attest to our willingness to thoroughly engage with complex long-form narratives.
Read the complete essay here.

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