Are There Too Many Storytelling Platforms?


A funny thing happened on the way to crafting a story. I got confused about where to tell it.

The storytelling landscape has grown so darn crowded and fragmented. Seems every time I turn around, there’s another new online storytelling platform being touted.

Some are focused on words. Others on images. Or video. Or a transmedia experience (a.k.a. a hodgepodge).

All of them seek to capitalize on the recent hype surrounding the power of story.

I applaud the widespread storytelling zeal, of course, but my head is spinning with the possibilities. Where in the world should someone start? Which platforms have a critical mass of users to warrant attention? And which ones will even be around a year from now?

Beats me.

I’ve created a Pinterest board just to keep track of the various platforms (39 and counting).

The majority of them are free – or free to try – so there’s really no harm in experimenting.

But most of us don’t have the time or patience to devote to setting up, posting to, managing and evaluating numerous communities concurrently. Especially when it’s highly questionable whether those efforts will ever bear fruit.

The writer in me wants to preach that the “work” is the only thing that matters, that the platform is merely the vessel for the all-powerful story. But the marketer in me understands that the platform is a vital factor in determining who ultimately accesses and engages with that story. It matters. And the avalanche of options probably does more to dilute – than strengthen – the impact of our narratives.

True, the world is a much different place than it was when someone’s primary option for telling tales was a cave wall, a village amphitheater, or a daily newspaper. The elements of a good story, however, have stayed remarkably constant.

View Storytelling Platforms on Pinterest.