Cowbird.com seeks to bring back the art of storytelling, on-line
March 28, 2012 | 10:15 am
On ReadWriteWeb, Alicia Eler reports on Cowbird.com, a site meant for telling stories that are too long for social networking. Sounds an awful lot like a blog to me, but Eler explains the site has broader ambitions pertaining to storytelling in general:
What Cowbird is really trying to do, however, is something much bigger than just building another social network where stories live and die. It wants to bring back the art of storytelling, that same art that’s been lost in the 24-hour Web news cycle, the constant onslaught of tweets and Facebook status updates, image-heavy Tumblr blogs, Storify and the viral video that’s got everyone talking. It also creates a safe space to tell stories that don’t feel right for the entire public Web, but aren’t personal in a "Dear Diary" kind of way.
"I was starting to notice that things on the Web were getting more compressed and, in my opinion, more superficial, and I was interested in a space for longer-form, deeper self expression," Harris tells ReadWriteWeb. "There was also this novelty of the social Web. I was interested in a sanctuary for storytellers to engage in a form of self expression."
I still say that sounds a lot like a blog to me. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with a blog, of course, and this one at least seems to have a few innovative features pertaining to where the story takes place and who is featured in the story. There’s an option to feature real-life people as characters so that they receive an e-mail every time you write a story about them, for example.
Thinking about it, it’s really kind of interesting just how many sites have come about in the last few years that try to revolutionize the process of writing and storytelling in one way or another. It’s as if the folks who create web sites have been starting to realize that whether or not they ever get around to writing something for commercial publication, a surprising number of people on the Internet still have a lot of words in them they would like to share with other people.