Being a digital storyteller isn’t all that different from being any other kind of storyteller; it’s just a different platform. While telling a story can be therapeutic, if authors don’t keep their readers in mind while they’re writing, they should keep their writing in a personal journal. Those who want to share their stories need to ensure readers will find the information interesting, if not useful.
In journalism school, I learned the importance of keeping the reader in mind and the inverted triangle. Even in the late 1980s, instructors stressed how readers have limited time, so we had to get to the point quickly. In today’s digital world where everybody can quickly and easily share their stories, short and punchy is more important than ever.
While blogging provides an opportunity for writers to get into more details to back up their main point, space constraints of Facebook and Twitter only allow writers to share the story lead. Is that enough? Is the only real usefulness of Facebook and Twitter to point readers/followers to where they can find more substantial information on the business’ website and blog?
Even with communication styles, it’s important to keep the reader in mind. No matter what the topic is, simplicity, consistency and correct spelling and grammar are always appreciated.
What was new to me were the different levels of readers, so much so that I had to look up the word syntopical online because it is not in my Canadian Oxford or Merriam-Webster dictionaries, or even Word’s dictionary. As Danielle Fremes wrote in her blog Storytelling in a Digital Age, “is that state of enlightenment a realistic goal of the content creator, and consistent with how the majority of us use the Internet?”