Rough notes for Tom Armitage — What social software can learn from Homer, Dickens, and Marvel Comics

Dick­ens, cliffhang­er on every page

Putting data on dis­play = pub­lish­ing

Blogs are frag­men­tary

Every sin­gle thing you do needs to be dat­ed for con­text

In hind­sight it’ll show you pat­terns

Exam­ple: Infovore and pre­vi­ous blog actu­al­ly join

Col­lect data across bound­aries (chrono­log­i­cal, dig­i­tal, phys­i­cal)

Nos­tal­gia, be fuzzy, look­ing back at old sto­ries etc.

Anal­o­gy of reviews of books with com­ments on blog — mak­ing it live­li­er.

If some­thing counts (com­ments, sta­tis­tics) make them acces­si­ble and pub­lic.

Fin. ser­i­al nar­ra­tive.

Next: epic

Homer

How can some­one remem­ber these huge sto­ries?

Because they use known struc­tures and for­mu­las, con­ven­tions.

You can leave out stuff. Two tellings are nev­er the same.

He doesn’t believe in sin­gle sign-up. Stuff will be dif­fer­ent between sites.

Pro­files of peo­ple should be dif­fer­ent between sites.

Retroac­tive con­ti­nu­ity (ret­con)

delib­er­ate­ly chang­ing pre­vi­ous­ly estab­lished facts in fic­tion”

Cri­sis on Infi­nite Earths (Mar­vel) start­ing anew

Social soft­ware: revis­ing ear­li­er ver­sions.

E.g.: Flickr replace but­ton.

Fic­tion — telling lies, no let’s tell untruths

Truth: some­thing with no delib­er­ate dis­hon­esty” — Andrew Losowsky, http://tinyurl.com/lug7c

The Door­bells of Flo­rence (on Fiickr)

Iden­ti­ty

Give peo­ple the chance to use some­thing else than their real name. Per­sonas are impor­tant. Han­dle based cul­ture has exist­ed for a long time online.

Expect peo­ple to tell untruths.

Kaycee Nicole Swen­son hoax Dying of leukemia, Pay­Pal, blog­ging, died, but not real­ly, she was an old woman.

No default for truth.

Fic­tion­al char­ac­ters on Friend­ster.

Vin­cent Gal­lo on site — delet­ed too but it was real­ly him…

Wikipedia should mix both fic­tion and truth

Telling the sto­ry (final sec­tion)

The lan­guage you use is impor­tant

(Jar­head is a great book.)

You should tell a tale and talk as lit­tle as pos­si­ble in your own voice.

Breed­ster, art project, insect, eat­ing, shit­ting and hav­ing sex. Sex­u­al dis­ease — every­one became infer­tile.

User expe­ri­ence is impor­tant.

Good sto­ry­telling can’t save a ter­ri­ble sto­ry.

Con­clu­sion

When you cre­ate social soft­ware, look to sto­ry­telling for inspi­ra­tion.

Ques­tions

Q We should have a debate about truth and fic­tion. A Inter­net doesn’t have a laugh­ter track and it nev­er will. We expect comm. media to be truth­ful but pub­lish­ing media to be used for fic­tion. Inter­net is both… Friend that was evict­ed from WoW because of role­play­ing a racist char­ac­ter. There is a risk that the net will get real­ly po-faced.

Q How can we go about deter­min­ing who’s real­ly who? A Exam­ple of phish­ing (Pay­pal), lots of peo­ple will believe you when you just get the style right. With text it’s real­ly easy to pre­tend to be some­one else. Real names shouldn’t be forced to pub­lish their real names.

http://reboot.dk/wiki/Whatsocialsoft­warecanlearnfromHomer%2CDickens%2CandMar­velComics