Founded by Jonathan Harris, Cowbird is a new form of storytelling and participatory journalism, on a multi-media platform.
We live with simply too much information these days…and we are overloaded with data.
At the same time, communication is getting shorter and shorter. Is it because we have so much to communicate? And with so many modern tools…are we connecting in a more meaningful way?
We have gone from crafting long, hand-written letters, to phone calls…to emails….to text and now, to tweets. Is another level of compressing our communication waiting to emerge, even shorter than tweets? And if so, what will it look like? Are we going to just use mono-syllabic words and just grunt at each other?
The comedian Jim Gaffigan has a comic bit about this, related to how we order fast food meals. He jokes that since we have it down to uttering a number to get a meal…”#1″ or “#2″…will this next evolve (or in this case, is it devolve) to just grunts when ordering at the drive-up window?
I heard Jonathan Harris talk about Cowbird on the radio program To the best of our knowledge recently. He is betting that we have compressed our communication so much that we need to go another direction to create something with more meaning, and a way of connecting our stories (and he believes that technology has not yet touched on connecting these stories).
And his project, Cowbird is a place on the Internet for just that…a place to connect and express ourselves in a deeper, more lasting, meaningful way.
It really is communication PLUS, because your personal story may be part of a larger “saga” and organized in a way that will touch millions, as a part of shaping and recording the human experience.
It is also a means to connect the stories behind and perhaps beyond the news events.
For example — here is the link to stories related to the Occupy Movement. At the time of this post, there were almost 500 in this category.
Neat site — and a great idea by Jonathan Harris What do you think? Have you participated in Cowbird, or plan to?
“Of all our truest hopes and desires for our work is that, what we find, we ourselves never knew. It came as a shock. It came as a surprise. It was new. We could never have known what we were going to do before we did it, and in that sense, we discover too. Here is what I’ve got to say to you: there are things in your life you will see; there are stories you will hear; if you don’t write them down, if you don’t make the picture, they won’t get seen, they won’t get told.” – Emmet Gowin