LeWeb London: Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston, Comedian


BT has been looking at the future before, looking @futureof Now looking at telling stories in a real time world. We are in an area of increasing speed, volume and sources of information. It creates and opportunity for stories to be told. YOu see satirical stories built with digital tools, very quickly. The internet allows you to react quickly, you have to have the ability to do that. Work out how you can cover it is live; storytelling when the story is happening. The Onion had lots of tools to cover things live. Get stories out in reaction to what is happening, eg with the Oscars, started posting archive material once. Then started preparing for events, starting writing provisional stories.

Has also done public services..eg live-hate tweeting, about Twilight! He uses power for good, goes to opening weekends and live-tweets the film as he watches. Asks questions that other media wouldn’t. It has led to many people not seeing it

Another way for real-time story telling, is go on all channels at the time, The Onion created story, filling it out as it went. (gunfire in Washington) They created the story, rolled out in ‘real time’ . As a reaction from media, they were reporting that were under investigation. Their first tweet got sent out….and some journalists got caught out…and then may have turned against it. There was a call that it should have been labelled as satire.

You need to adjust for each platform. Speak the correct language for the platform. So Foursquare is a good platform; a friend and himself ran a campaign to be a mayor of a restaurant. Did rallies outside of the place. Went into the place and there was a man being confused about what it was; he ended up losing the race, as he was out campaigning for another friend!

With swine-flu, he created an account called @swineflu and then followed people who were worried about flu. Created face-licking parties on Facebook. Created new stories for different platforms

A story about ‘abortionplex’ being built, ended up with a location on Yelp, which got over 300 reviews on there. People joined in the story! They added more to it This was building a conversation into the platform.

You also need to experiment in transparency. He wrote book partly in public (How to be blacK) He looked at chatroom later, it seemed to get people more engaged.

Think about the new ways to share, how to propagate the stories. knodes and plexus and attentive.ly and skillshare were all new ways of reaching out and sharing

The world creates stories, you can fill them in, communities and inhabit and interact and engage in ways that are beyond pandering and short of abdication of responsibility.

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