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Interactive Storytelling Notes

An example of how good storytelling can explain complex problems

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The news is all about he financial crisis we are in. Maybe you don’t have a financial crisis, I seriously hope you don’t. The financial world is already for a year searching for ways to get some grip on the credit crisis. So far without much success.

Difficult subjects
For a lot of people the financial crisis subject is kind of difficult. How could something simple like the loan for a house result in the collapse of some of the biggest financial institutions.

Masters of Storytelling
The voice is an incredible tool in storytelling, we (or I) often forget how good radio (or audio) can work in making a complex story simple. Ira Glass is a master in telling stories and it is great how an episode of the American Life series is devoted to the problem of the Giant Pool of Money.

No matter how difficult the problem is, if you can make a good story about it and know how to use your favorite tools, you can explain it.

Listen to the podcast
[audio:http://audio.thisamericanlife.org/jomamashouse/ismymamashouse/355.mp3]
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The Giant Pool of Money

Host Ira Glass talks with an NPR business and economics correspondent about two gatherings he attended—one at the Ritz Carlton and one at a community college in Brooklyn. The first was an awards dinner for finance professionals who created the mortgage-based financial instruments that nearly brought down the global economic system. The other was a non-profit conference for people facing foreclosure. Ira explains that today’s show lays out how the finance guys and the people facing foreclosure are connected by a chain of middlemen, and that together, they all brought about the current housing and credit crisis. [more]

Lessons from Ira Glass
Ira Glass talks in a series of videos giving tips on storytelling

Categories
Accessibility Featured Notes Service Usability

How Last.fm distributes your favorite MP3s, to you, for free

Last.fm Recommendation Podcasts
Recently the Last.fm website had a redesign. With video and images more prominent presented they made the website look more visual appealing to first time visitors. More focus on music and a little less focus on people.

Personalized Podcast
I’m not sure if the personalized podcast page was already available on the website before the redesign. I have never seen it before. What is great about this option is that you can subscribe to a stream of free MP3s that will be automatically delivered to your computer through the podcast-distribution-model (xml with enclosures).

A Long Tail with free things and high quality service
Last.fm delivers you the music you might like based on your personal profile, and it delivers the files for free. The music delivered might be from your favorite artists or from artists you have never heard of. This is how you are able to get to know new music that is very likely to be interesting to you.

For artists the group their music is send to is a smaller group, but this group is more likely to like or love the music, and thus distributing free content this way is more cost effective.

For me this podcast is an example how you can add more value to the content through smart distribution. You discover something new, and there is less noise in discovering it.

Mujuice, electronic music from Russia
In my recommended downloads there are a few tracks by Mujuice. I don’t know Mujuice, but if I like the tracks (I probably do, since it is a recommendation) I might search for more, buy MP3s or visit their next, or first performance in the Netherlands.

For the band there probably isn’t any direct business or value, there is only the start of something new by giving something away for free, a new connection or customer relation. And as you might know, all you need are a thousand true fans.