Blog 7: Personal Reflection

Why is storytelling important to creating great digital content?

One thing that I enjoyed reading during this course, was about the history of storytelling.  We have been telling stories, both true and ferry tail, for thousands of years, even before we developed language.  We can see these stories through pictures on stone walls all around the world. 

In my personal blog, the focus that I have taken, is to find people I meet and tell their story as it relates to lifesaving and drowning prevention.  The most difficult story so far, was about a 15 year old teen who drowned in the Ottawa River.  The story was told to me by his sister, and then written by me.  In this story, I tried to capture the way teens are in the summer; carefree, hanging out with friends and having fun.  I also wanted to describe how easily it is for teens to make a bad decision and have the rest of their lives changed.  In this case, he died, leaving a grieving family, and the friends that were with him in the river, forever altered.  Capturing this story was hard because I wanted to ensure I brought the reader to a very uncomfortable place to help move their thinking to ensuring all Canadians learn how to swim and have basic CPR skills.

Creating Good Content

I think that I got the most out of Lesson 6.  In here, what I learned about are the practices that I am only half applying to my blog.  I have been getting out more, and talking to people about their stories.  I’ve been taking notes, wrapping my head around how I would write about them, but then stalling.  This lesson set out a better process for me.  This includes just writing, read it, sleep on it, and read it out loud.  I will never get any better without practice!  Another checkbox for me was to ensure I have a clear starting statement to capture the reader’s attention.  Story flow is important for the ready to make it easy to read with a middle and an end that can be broken up with sub headings.  This also let’s the reader skim through and then come back for a full read.  The ending is a good place to finish with a question that will spur the reader to write back their opinion or provide a question to continue the conversation.

Concepts for Writing Content

Once the blog has been told with a capturing opening, then flowing to a middle and finishing off with intrigue.  Once we have some comments, questions or opinions, this is where we develop our listening skills.  Audiences was to have that personal connection and simply not be told what is happening.  Now to ensure you have a diverse audience, you can use your variety of outposts to reach different followers.  The reach on Facebook will be different than those on LinkedIn or on Tumblr.

My final note is to pay respect to one of the best story tellers that we Canadian’s recently lost, Stuart McLean.  He told very simple stories with a familiar voice and with a little added comedy that kept his audience engaged until the end.

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