by: Connor Cilley
Stories are written by one person for others to read and it has been this way for a long time. However, I see the art of storytelling as a collaborative one. Especially in this day and age where we live in a globalized world interconnected through the internet. Many of our daily experiences are rooted in a social context whether that is offline or online.
The goal with @A_B_irdStory is to use the internet to crowdsource a story. With so many people spending their time scrolling through social media, it seems to be an ideal platform to not only for sharing such a story but developing it. A secondary aim of the project is to create a community feeling on a website dominated by egotistical and self-centered content. To show how social media, and in this case Twitter, can be a tool for collaborative development.
The backbone of this project is its reliance on crowdsourcing. Similar to work done by Aaron Koblin; known for work like The Johnny Cash Project, and Ten Thousand Cents. These projects come together as a cohesive whole through contributions of many people through the internet. When looked at contribution by contribution, they don’t have any particular purpose, but once put all together create a piece of art with a greater meaning. These works inspired this project to bring people together to create something through community engagement and participation.
Through collective contributions this project aims to also reach a higher meaning to both those contributing and those not. Those who help shape the story will hopefully feel a sense of attachment to the development and will continue to contribute. The inclusion of #crowdsourcing and #storytelling in the tweets will hopefully help those who are new to the project, or chose not to contribute, to understand that this a story shaped by the publics choice. The direction is unclear and the outcome is uncertain. Also, as stated earlier, rather than feed the egotistical nature of Twitter profiles, this project aims to give everyone an invitation for collaboration and creativity.
Twitter, as a platform, seems like the correct place for a story like this to grow. Not only is it easy to share such a project, to increase participation, but the poll feature makes it easy for people to contribute to the story’s development. On top of that, the ability to comment gives people the ability to suggest future plot points and comment on past or current ones. Aside from this post everything relating to the project will be done through twitter so the project stays self-contained and accessible in one place.
Looking back, the most difficult part of this project was overthinking how to pull it off. As the project got closer and closer to completion I realized that everything I needed for development tools was already integrated into Twitter. I didn’t need to extract and reorganize any information. Choosing the correct starting tweet also took a few tries but the final one actually seems to not only provide a good starting point but mirror the introduction of this project to the internet. Like the bird on the rock, it will either be interacted with or chased away. Only time will tell how this will be received among the public.