Stories need frameworks
I’d like to talk about our most expansive one. A super framework consisting of the Internet and the Cloud. It’s a beautiful thing. This super framework provides a stage for something magnanimous. Something colossal. Something universal. Something elemental to the human condition: storytelling. It’s a framework for our individual stories, our collaborative stories, our fabricated, truthful, and embellished stories. A framework for the story of the human race, for it allows us to tell our stories democratically and globally.
As an alum of an organization whose very mission is telling stories, what I loved most about working at NPR was the people. We created some great stories together. I’m no longer there everyday to create new stories based on physical experiences, but via our super framework, I am able to maintain a sense of connection with my NPR friends via their virtual stories. Through his Instagram phototstream, I know that NPR’s multimedia director Keith Jenkins loves to grill steak. I know that he was in rainy Syracuse last week for a workshop. I know that Aly Hurt, one of NPR’s talented editorial designers, loves music and goes to DC’s 9:30 Club a lot. I know what she made for breakfast yesterday morning. And I can follow another NPR alum, Paulo, as he scouts out beautiful vintage cars on the hills of San Francisco, watching his little boy grow from a baby into a boy.
Digital storytelling in this way allows us to read each other’s minds in a sense, and closes the distance between us. It allows us to continue to share our stories with each other, to partake in each other’s experiences, to remain a part of our friends lives despite vast distances. Virtual experiences are no substitute for physical ones, but they’re better than nothing. To the contrary, they’re the threads on this amazing framework that help prevent our friendships from completely unraveling. Gossamer threads. Shimmering, sparkling, expressive gossamer threads. Floating in the ether, gently carrying our individual stories, democratically weaving them together into a collective whole. I can’t think of designing for anything more meaningful.
Written by Callie Neylan