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Posts Tagged ‘story

Lessons on critical thinking can come from unexpected places.

One such place is a YouTube video that theorises how the Tide pod challenge was perpetuated by traditional broadcast media and not social media as many presume.


Video source

For the uninitiated, the Tide pod challenge was a plainly stupid one — people bit into detergent pods and some needed medical help as a result.

If nature took its course, the people who did this would have been removed from the gene pool and mankind would be better for it. But instead of predictably blaming social media or calling out the pod eaters, the creator of the video analysed how the broadcast media played up a dying story.

This video provides a key lesson in communication.

One oft quoted lesson is that it is not just WHAT you say, but also HOW you say it. That is a smart thing to learn. A wise thing to learn is that WHO you say it to and WHEN you say it also matter.

But perhaps the most important question to consider is: WHICH story do you choose to tell?

The broadcast media had the opportunity to report accidental overdosing of vitamins by children — something that happened more often than Tide pod eating — but it chose to focus on stupid human behaviour. The bright and shiny stories distracted from what was important.

Deciding which story to propagate is important. It precedes the what, how, who, and when. This decision deals with the WHY of storytelling.

This is why I choose to focus on education instead of schooling or training; flipped learning over the flipped classroom; video games for thinking and value systems instead of just content; empowerment over engagement.

All the latter examples are more current and acceptable. However, they are the lower hanging fruit that distract from the more challenging but also more worthwhile fruit higher up.
 

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I am not sure why this memory from 20-plus years ago resurfaced.
 

 
I remembered a phone call with a friend who said that her grandfather was “more hip” than she was because he knew all the “nooks and crannies at Orchard Road”. Thanks to a lapse in attention, I misheard the message as he “looks for grannies at Orchard Road”. Hip indeed!
 

 
Some leaders mistake communication for dissemination of information. Simply transmitting is not enough. It is just as important to clarify the signal from the noise.

When consulted on systemic change, I focus on the need to articulate messages and stories. When you articulate, you connect, move, and get feedback. You do not stop at buy-in; you try to create ownership.

I hate people who only play the numbers game or hide behind numbers.

But I admire people who can use numbers to tell a compelling human story.
 

Video source

This video is about the latter and not to be missed. Watch all of it. It will be time well invested whether you learn something about the human waste that war is or telling a great story with numbers.

I bracketed my trip to BETT 2015 in London with some exploring of the city. But instead of planning an itinerary in great detail, I painted broad strokes and adjusted to the circumstances.

Today I share a story fueled by photos on Picasa. I had previously tweeted some photos and tagged only a few with #edsg so as not to spam the channel.

But there are some things that photos cannot capture. When Twitter eventually rolls its video feature out to me, I will share a few timelapse videos there.

There was one thing I did not get around to tweeting because the phone signal cut out on me. I had intended to tweet: Very little English in England, particularly on public transport. London reminded me of New York City in this respect, as did the punishing stairs and honest griminess of train stations.

This trip was like a lark flying reconnaissance. I hope to return, this time with family in tow, to explore some more.


Video source

This is a digital story that has taken 12 years so far to make. The years fly by in less than three minutes.

The story is told by Dutch filmmaker and photographer Frans Hofmeester. He also has another time-lapse video of his 9-year-old son. The story is likely to continue for as long as the father and the kids have the patience and persistence to keep at it.

Digital stories: They tend to take more time, effort, and thought to make. But they can be very engaging and leave lots of room for critique, interpretation, and reflection.


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