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The RoBlog
Monday, December 01, 2008
Group Story Telling on Twitter (Concept)
Here's an idea I had yesterday about using Twitter as a mass-story-making system. I've been enthralled with story telling through Twitter since nearly its inception (when I tried to get some people to do an arc of Lost during its off season, which each person tweeting from a character account).

Usually my interest is in the blurry line between reality and fiction that you can play with. This idea, however, is more about how to create a story as a group.

Feel free to steal this as I'm unlikely to build it. Let me know if you do.

So here's the idea, as a series of 140 characters or less.

The parameters of a story are set up and made publicly available.
Interested participants follow the TwitStory account on Twitter.
The first line of the story is sent through the account.
Participants have a period of time to respond with an @ message to that account.
The reply message should extend the story.
One response is selected from all received during the timeframe.
The selected response is published through the TwitStory account, and the cycle begins again.

For story parameters:
"Christmas" in 84 cycles (a short story over a week (12 updates a day for 7 days))
"Liberation" in novel length (an interesting experiment in long-form cohesiveness)
"He said, she said" (story telling using only inter-character dialog)

For selecting the next line:
The first @ reply received becomes the next line. Fastest wins, but this can be gamed and may not lead to the best storyline.
Prospective respondents have some period of time (5-10 minutes) at which point people can vote on which of the received lines should be the next one.

For voting:
Everyone can vote (can potentially be gamed by having friends vote for you).
Lines are occasionally chosen at random. Everyone who has been chosen with a line gets to vote. Decreases fraud, may decrease interest.

For publishing:
Publish new lines once an hour from 8am Pacific to 8pm Pacific. Allows people to continue with their life. Hits most active time periods.

Every line that comes in becomes its own branch of the story. While not updated through the TwitStory account, they can be updated online.

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