Three Networked Narratives


This is the tale of three networked narratives. I am jumping the gun a bit on Alan Levine and Mia Zamora’s online course, Elements of Networked Narrative (Spring 2017) by offering a trio of narratives to others should they wish to share.

  1. Imzy
  2. Job Descripto

I am broadcasting seed on the internet’s pastures and…..maybe these aren’t networked narratives? They are on networks, but are they narratives? My naive definition is that if it tells a story and you invite others to make it with you over a shared space–networked narrative, right? Except somebody’s got to join and a social tipping point needs reaching. Yes?

So, starting ad hoc narrative networks and expecting the goats to come down and eat–that isn’t sufficient for a networked narrative, is it? I feel like a lowly assistant in Edison’s lab looking for just the right filament for the light bulb. Let’s try this shoelace. 1000th try? Nope. Howsabout this gherkin? 1001st try? Nope.

Been listening to Timothy Wu, The Attention Merchants, and his observations late in the book about the ‘death’ of blogging are on point.

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Networked Narratololgy Using Lino

Here is THE narrative in the zeitgeist right now: fake news.  We now live in the perfect oxymoron.  News has become just another object to be manipulated for the sole and abiding purpose of gaining and gaming our attention.

In essence, hackers (?–what do we call them, liars/propagandists/trolls) invent fakeries and get the crowd to dispose of them on social media. Works beautifully.  I think we need a new narrative. A pushback narrative.

I have been thinking of this for awhile now. And by awhile I mean ever since I read Anthony Flew’s Thinking Straight when it came out in 1977. Neil Postman has contributed to my education on this as well as Stephen Downes’ Guide to the Logical Fallacies.  Much of what I do as a comp instructor is suss out crap.

I see the tide rolling way out as it prepares to deliver a tsunamic Wave of FakeNews. Everywhere I look online I see others pointing to the coming Wave. I have been using Post-It notes of late to begin to outline some of these chroniclers and been thinking about how I, too, might go about proselytizing students and colleagues about the force that has evolved the form of this growing Wave of fakitude.

Below is where I began. On a whiteboard with some Post-Its. Part of the networked narrative is about being playful. Dunno why, but I think that one counter-narrative to FakeNews is a large dollop of play; hence, the use of Steller to Warholize my prototype.

I followed up this gaming idea with an old school tool that I use but I doubt hardly anybody else does, Lino. I like Lino because it is so close to its Post-It analog, but also because it reminds me of a game board. I created a networked and shared Lino “canvas” for anyone who wants to explore the issue of FakeNews. It really does reflect my original whiteboard work above. I like to think of it as both a ‘reflection’ machine for myself as well as an ongoing networked narrative that invites others to relate the story of FakeNews through their eyes as they move their ‘counters’ around the game board.

Here are the navigation instructions:


Uploaded by TERRY ELLIOTT on 2016-12-23.

And here is the FakeNews Game Board:

And here is the link if you want to go there.

Here is the RSS feed for the lino.

Networked Narrative: Challenge, RFP and Manifesto

Alan Levine has written a post that is equal parts manifesto, challenge, and request for proposals from all “potential collaborators”.  I took the emphasis in between the quotes to be on “potential” collaborators, folks who are adept at find the potentials in various kinds of collaborative play.
That made me want to be a potential collaborator if only I knew what the job description was for that position.  I made my thoughts concrete on the stage here:
2016-12-15_08-13-29Then I created a narrative scaffold for crowdsourcing the creation of a job description for the position of “Potential Collaborator”. I borrowed a job description template from MIT and formified it in google. This is my opening proposal to document and map the elusive concept of ‘potential collaborator’.  You can fill it out here if you wish and as you wish.


It looks like some person has made a response already:


Levine has already made it clear that alt-personalities are allowed. Here are some other assumptions I pull from what I have read so far as an informal credo:

1. Invitation trumps permission.
2. There is something called digital magick and alchemistry.
3. The function of the elusive narrative is to open adjacencies, doors to other and sometimes secret spaces.
4. As above, so below–the hermetic creed rules.
5. Creation is combinatorial.
6. Feedforward is not only possible, it is desirable.
7. Improv and infinite game play are possible in a networked space.
8. There should be no limit to the channels an emergent community can create.
9. Formal and informal networked narratives can co-exist somehow.
10. Praxis is the equal of theory.
11. No one knows everything, everyone knows something.
12. We can change the world for the better.


Please add to this below, another narrative network in Hackpad: