Create space for participants to tell their stories, provide insights, and connect with others
You can use StoryEngine to humanize events and amplify participant voices. Inspired by projects like Humans of New York and StoryCorps, StoryEngine has powered event-based experiences like “Humans of the Internet” at MozFest 2017 and “Humans of the Commons” at the 2018 Creative Commons Summit. Each event collected more than 80 stories over two days.
“Humans of…” features the following elements:
- A dedicated physical space where participants can reflect on their work/role and share significant moments and experiences during a 15–20 minute drop-in interview (key speakers are given a scheduled slots). Interviewers use standard question sets, which can explore pathways and sentiments towards a particular issue or organization. Example question set »
- A place to feature existing stories collected before the event to set the scene and serve as examples. At MozFest 2017, we had spaces where participants could either listen to prior interviews, or browse a collection of 50+ stories.
- A way to capture participant images, either via a photo booth or in-house illustrator. At MozFest 2017 we created avatars for each participant, which was a huge hit. At the 2018 Creative Commons Summit, we teamed up with a professional photographer.
- A space greeter/facilitator to welcome folks, guide them through the space, and spark connections. (Example: We created “Human Missions” for Humans of the Internet participants.)
For the sponsoring organization, listening lounges produce (1) rich communications content, and (2) a narrative dataset that can be analyzed to surface insights and guide decision making. From this, the Loup team can:
- Extract key insights and themes (using qualitative data analysis techniques — either by Loup or collaboratively via sensemaking workshops)
- Create powerful communications assets for member outreach, advocacy, and fundraising materials
Examples of post-event activities and assets that can be generated include:
- Edited Q&A-style transcripts, cleaned up for flow and clarity (like the ones you see here on StoryEngine.io)
- Blog-style posts based on one transcript (focusing on an individual/org) or several transcripts (digging into a key theme or illustrating an important issue)
- Posters / slides with an image and quote, optionally followed by a short excerpt
- Podcasts — for public or internal consumption
- Social media content and templates (Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
- Collaborative annotatathons and sensemaking workshops — where participants can physically “tag” stories, add their own experiences, and discuss implications (what’s working, where are the gaps, etc.) — Loup facilitates these using design thinking techniques with an eye toward improving/creating services or programs.
Examples from past “Humans of…” spaces
- Ryan Merkley, Creative Commons Executive Director, encouraging participants to tell their story in advance of the 2018 Summit
- All interview audio files gathered at the 2018 Creative Commons Summit
- Hugh McGuire — an interview converted into a story, and amplified with an Instagram teaser (the same copy was used for Twitter)
- Key contributor interviews transformed into blog posts: SooHyun Pae, Cynthia Khoo, Mohamed Rahmo
- Ugo Vallauri — An event-based interview converted into a story
- A fix to our throw-away technology culture — Ugo’s story, edited to serve as an example of the importance of web literacy for Mozilla’s Internet Health Report
- All audio files collected at Mozfest 2017
- The Mozilla Leadership Network: Stories and Key Learnings — A report summarizing the findings from an analysis of an initial set of 50 Mozilla interviews