Do you remember the game of consequences? We used to play it in my family at Christmas. In a nutshell, everyone writes down a line of a story, folds down the piece of paper it’s on and passes it to the next person. They then write the next line of the story, fold the paper and pass it on and so it continues until you have a complete story written by different people. Often results in some hilarious tale with odd twists and turns and regularly used to reduce my family to laughter as we tried to piece the story together and work out who wrote what.

This week I appealed for comms professionals to contribute their experiences of Social Media Week for others to read via my blog and I’m delighted to introduce Tom Glover, Director of Communications for Pearson Technology, who has written his thoughts including a brilliant use of consequences.

It’s often hard to grasp the complete context if you weren’t in the room, but from reading through I think it sounds like a brilliant session with lots of strong views and food for thought. You can follow Pearson @pearsonlabs or @pearsonplc. I found photos from the session on Flickr and have pinched, ahem, featured one which shows: L-R: Luke Bozier, Richard Taylor, Anna Rafferty and chair Diana Stepner.

Don’t forget if you would like to contribute a guest article to Diary of an internal communicator, read my guidelines and do get in touch.

Over to you Tom…

What we learnt at Pearson’s #SMWStoryTelling event
This week’s well-attended Social Media Week panel on ‘Telling Stories in a Digital Age’ at the Tate Modern in London examined how the ancient art of storytelling has been and will continue to be affected by technology and social media.

Chaired by Pearson’s Head of Future Technologies Diana Stepner (@Dianas), the speaker line-up included Penguin Digital Marketing Director Anna Rafferty (@raffers), the co-founder of new social network Menshn, Luke Bozier and edtech startup Night Zookeeper investor Richard Taylor (@dick_taylor).

Noteworthy thoughts and questions from the panel debate and audience included:

1) Twitterisation of communications and society is dangerous. Too reactionary, creating bandwagons. Forcing politicians to react and not spend time thinking about the best policy

2) We are in a time of vocal obscurity with so many voices it’s impossible to hear those that are interesting. The golden age has gone!

3) Whatever channel and technology you use, having a compelling story to tell is as important as ever

4) Penguin doesn’t want its choices to be completely steered by community, not what people want from a publisher

5) You must understand social media and how to engage with your customer to have any chance of Venture Capital (VC) funding as a start-up

6) We are getting more used to reading long form text on mobiles. Let’s become less obsessed with changing the form/ 140 characters

7) Kids don’t care if it’s a book or app. They just want the story

8) What’s the next thing? Google glasses. Everyone will wear glasses. Interacting with data all around you. 3D printing, the maker movement and ‘phygical’ things where toys are combined with devices to make something even better

9) It’s dangerous to have a disconnect between ‘geeks who code and people who use products’. Connect them. You also need a brand reality – you can’t just be digital

10) Be genuine

11) It’s dangerous to get sucked too far into the tech world, talking about the same thing in your bubble. Go out into real world and a lot of people don’t give a monkeys! (this did say something ruder beginning with s but I edited it – Rachel)

12) Editors become marginalised and that does impact the quality of some content

13) Kids interact because they have the time – what will they do in 30 years when they’re busy with kids and work?

14) It’s not just about Twitter

Digital consequences
If you want to participate in #SMWStoryTelling, go to our website to contribute to our game of digital consequences. Where will you take the story next? You can watch the story so far here.

Thank you for providing that overview of your session Tom. A Storify from the session has also been published which you can read here. (Storify allows you to capture reports from an event in one place by searching sites such as Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc – do check it out if you haven’t before as I find it really useful).

What do you think about what Tom wrote? Feel free to share your views below by commenting or via Twitter. Rachel

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