Here's a podcast over at Corante Feedfest with Alex Williams (I'm in Seattle at Gnomedex 5.0 with Alex right now) where we discuss the concept of artisan journalism. I like how he grokked this concept:
Blogging is not just writing about ordinary life. It's more than that. It's about the connections. And those connnections are deep and ancient. We may think of ourselves as modern. But, really, we're not much different than the ordinary primitive men and women painting on the walls of their caves to express themselves and the world that seemed so savage and out of control.
At the end we touch on the crossroads of artisan journalism with business blogs.
Below are a few recent posts that I refer to directly or indirectly in the interview:
- We're All Journalists in the Age of Ordinary Art (and where Stowe coins 'artisan journalism'). Actually, the crux of the interview is this post.
- Align This: Reversing the Company-Centric Blog Trend (mentions the HealthyConcerns.com blog)
- While I Value Christmas Letter Business Blogs, Here's Another Angle (on Brian Moffet's truck driver interviews for a diesel lube manufacturer; in other words, your customer stories may be more compelling than your own.)
- Nothing Like Being Out in the Front Lines (compares BBC breaking stories in Africa only when they were out in the field with thoughts about customers already being out in the 'field')
- Vetting Our Own Truth (I love this quote by Norman Fischer: "Art provides a way to discover truth, but not the sort of truth that is handed to us as already vetted.")
- Saved From Freezing (about the success of the Penny Press in 1800s (and more). Here I reference the book, The New New Journalism, which is chock full of interviews with narrative 'literary' journalists / long-form journalists.)
I should add that the tsunami anniversary grassroots media project (linkblog) is part of a larger vision to enable quiet, profound, powerful storytelling that isn't quite explosive enough for CNN or the Sunday New York Times magazine. For instance: Multimedia investigative storytelling projects like Sandeep's on the effect of patent law in India makes the issue come alive through real people's voices and images.
Whew - Probably much quicker to listen to the 16-minute podcast for the high-level summary of all these posts!
BONUS: Here's another layer to the market research / ethnography advantage of customer storytelling (on the business blog front):
Uncovering social truths does not lead to mere product innovation. It leads to market innovation. In other words, brands based on social insights make a major leap that dismantles the status quo and changes the rules of the marketplace.
[Market] researchers must take the mindset of a journalist, investigating cultural details and crafting compelling narratives from those nuances. - Alex Wipperfurth, Brand Hijack