Too caught up in schmoozing to post anything yesterday, but I had the chance to enjoy several sessions. First off was ‘The Arab Social Web’, with the speakers Mohamed Najem, Co-founder of Social Media Exchange and Moeed Ahmad, Head of New Media at Al Jazeera, discussing how social media enable people in their region to circumvent censorship and other restricting factors.
The best session of the day was ‘Once Upon These Times: New Stories for New Audiences’ with Jeremy Ettinghausen, Digital Publisher at Penguin Books, and Matt Locke, Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 Education. They presented six stories about storytelling, using successful examples to drive home key points:
1. You Suck at Photoshop, key point: hide stories in unexpected places
2. Surrender Control, key point: give yourself ridiculous restraints
3. We Tell Stories, key point: experiment outside your comfort zones
4. I am Cherry Girl, key point: invent a character without a storyline
5. Yu-Gi-Oh!, key point: give fans stuff to play with
6. Smokescreen, key point: create stories you can binge on when you want
I had the chance to sit down with Jeremy after he spoke. What was supposed to be an interview turned into a lovely discussion about books and the industry, but I’ll hopefully have the chance to catch up with him, and other speakers in the coming days.