Community Of Storytellers Use Online Tool To Build Public Library Of Human Experience

Community Of Storytellers Use Online Tool To Build Public Library Of Human Experience

Cowbird allows you to keep an audio-visual diary and collaborate with others.

Emma Hutchings
  • 9 december 2011

The online project Cowbird is a place where storytellers can keep audio-visual diaries, write stories and collaborate with others in documenting “sagas” taking place in the world, like the Occupy movement. Artist and programmer Jonathan Harris’ labor of love, Cowbird aims to grow as a community and focus on long-lasting and personal storytelling.

Individuals can document their lives with either public or private diaries that can feature a combination of words, pictures and audio, as well as tags, locations, dates, characters and dedications. Connections between personal experiences lead to larger “sagas” and member’s stories can be combined into a collective tale about a specific event. The storyteller’s writing is organized and can be explored in a timeline or on an interactive map. You can also explore an index of themes in the library or discover connections between your life and the lives of others. You can save the stories you love to your diary so you can find them again and join an author’s audience to view their new stories in your “News” area.

Our short-term goal is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events. Our long-term goal is to build a public library of human experience — kind of like a Wikipedia for real life (but much more beautiful).

Cowbird is looking for photographers, writers, filmmakers, journalists, etc and if you want to join the storytelling community you can request an invitation.


Photo by Björn Valdimarsson


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