At first said characteristic causes the protagonist to be shunned by their peers, but in a different context it turns out to be an advantage, enabling them to overcome a seemingly impossible challenge and win the respect and adulation they deserve.
Recently I’ve been thinking about the coming age of digital storytelling, of e-books and mobile apps. And I’ve been wondering about the authoring tools that might be required for easy and ubiquitous content creation, whether purely digital or crossing over into print.
Based on my experiences putting together the cards and mobile web pages for 1794: A Small Story it seems the would-be e-book author needs some kind of easy templating system, adapted to page or screen…
… then an outliner to sketch out the flow of their book…
… a WYSIWYG way to insert images, links and multimedia stuff…
… and a way to sort and reorder pages in the book…
You’ve probably guessed where I’m going with this.
A couple of years ago I wrote here that it’s simply too easy to decry this software and its poisonous effect on corporate life: we need to understand what it’s really telling us. Now I think I understand.
It’s time to take a fresh look at Microsoft Powerpoint (or Apple Keynote, or OpenOffice Impress, or whatever).
The very things that make slideware so frustrating in business life…
- its rigidity in structure but not in logic
- its atomisation of content to the unit of the screenful
- its author’s tendency to create stuff as if to be read not presented
… they all could turn out to be positive features of the new electronic medium. The context is what counts.
Of course there will be better, more professional tools for those who have the time and dedication to master them. Some will quickly rise above Powerpoint’s Lego-brick jerkiness.
But I reckon this ugly duckling could turn out to be a swan after all, as the good-enough platform that helps people start sharing their stories.
Maybe in the future our children will find it strange that their folk art authoring tool of choice started life making mundane business presentations.