July 3, 2008
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Internet Stories

Post-Adversiting Guru Jeremy Greenfield lights into Advertising Age over Ruben Steiger’s attack piece, "Has The Internet Failed as a Storytelling Medium?

Steiger, an ad-agency CEO, has an adman’s approach to the story.

Creating great stories regardless of medium is expensive. This means content creators need seed capital, which can be repaid either by transactional revenues from selling content -- not too effective on the Internet -- or from advertising, which works well. But until the net proves itself able to attract a large audience to great content built expressly for the web, advertisers will continue to be difficult to bring aboard to underwrite that content.

This sounds good, but of course it’s complete nonsense. Storytelling seldom requires much seed capital. Novelists and screenwriters work in garrets, they write on kitchen tables. Painters work in attics and basements and garages. The garage is the proving ground of rock and roll; when the band’s prosperity permits, perhaps it will rehearse in a disused light industrial space. Steiger is simply wrong on the facts.

Internet Stories

And, as Greenfield points out nicely, he sees no stories on the internet because his eyes are shut. Greenfield reminds us of Joyce’s wonderful story afternoon, which turns 25 this year, and points to wikis and MMRPG and home-made net videos for inspiration.