A very nice, very smart, very exciting idea:
Initially, Ury and his cofounder, Kaye Puhlmann (both formerly consumer experience designers for digital ad agencies; Ury has worked with clients like Apple, Nike and Starbucks), imagined that families would be the primary users of the site. “Parents reading on the iPad to their kids in bed,” Ury said. Parents and kids are indeed using Storybird — “and a lot of people create stories almost as extended greeting cards,” Ury said — but it turns out the largest demographic is teachers and students. Over 125,000 schools are now on Storybird, with teachers issuing assignments to students and using the site in the classroom to help kids with their writing skills. The most recent demographic — and “the most voracious,” according to Ury — is teen and tween girls. “They are using it for what I’d almost call conversation and communication,” he added, sharing images and messages with each other online “the same way you might use Tumblr.”
via With 2 million members, Storybird is ‘reverse-engineering’ the picture book — paidContent.
One of the reasons I like Twitter is that people can use it to create personas and characters. Sometimes these are fake accounts of real characters or faux profiles mocking celebrities and sometimes they are the imagined accounts of fictional characters like the example below:
What happens far less, but something I believe will begin to happen more (and has been part of several projects I’ve seen), is original or newly created fictional characters inhabiting social and web spaces. Penguin used Twitter and blogs to tell Slice, one of the stories in their We Tell Stories experiment.
Which brings me to the IMF Dublin Diary a twitter and blog creation of another Twitterer and blogger, The Mire. That word creation is the important word, because this is creation, it is art in the true (if un-stuffy) sense. The imagined thoughts of the IMF’s (not) pointman in Dublin, it is rich satire and high comedy (though dark given its content) and what is more it uses the medium very well.
You could argue that all it does is take an old idea and transfer it to a new medium and while that’s true, I think it does it very well. The execution is precise and measured, the tone feels right and the reflections on Irish society, ministers and civil servants have, at least for those of us living through what are strange and interesting times, a ring of truth, along with a splash of whimsy and a sprinkle of insanity.