Storytelling On The Web

Reading up on communication strategies there is no escaping the word storytelling. Storytelling seems to be a miracle cure for all purposes.

I disagree. Storytelling is a powerful tool when applied judiciously, and it just so happens that it is all the more compelling when it is being genuine1. But it does not work equally well in all contexts.

More importantly, the word storytelling is often being thrown around even when there is an abject failure of telling a story. Dropping pop culture references to famous stories does not magically transform a list of things to do into a story.2

While I am currently working in an environment where storytelling is the native art form, I do appreciate attempts to tell a good story in all kinds of settings. Which is why I would encourage you to dig deeper into the question what makes a story.

I’ve written in more detail about the theory of storytelling as applied to a business context, especially for presentations, over at the blog of BrightCarbon. There’s more about the Underwear Gnome Theory of Marketing, too. So please check it out.3

Storytelling & the Underwear Gnome Theory of Marketing


  1. Which unfortunately turns into an arms race of bogus authenticity attempts in marketing if people confuse telling a genuine story with putting on a show. Audiences don’t take kindly to finding out when they are being played, though. ↩︎

  2. In fact, there is a lack of storytelling even in storytelling media, if we take a closer look at some inane set-piece driven Hollywood specs or remember the mind numbing level grinding in generic fetch quest RPG-excuses. ↩︎

  3. And on a side note: I’ve made embedding HTML5 animations via iframe semi-responsive on Tumblr. That’s going to come in handy, pulling animations into responsive iframes in the future. Serious storytelling potential with interconnected narratives. I just cheated a little bit with the padding on the expanding container div set to 70%, if you look closely on resizing your browser window. ↩︎

  1. jochmann posted this
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