Announcing a new format for storytelling

Here it is—the big announcement.

I have looked at and tried several different venues for publishing stories, and I have not been very satisfied with what’s out there. Frankly, the social networks like Facebook and others are okay for keeping in touch, but not very good for publishing. Of course, there is my web site, what you see and read here. But, I’ve been looking for something complementary to this, a place where I can publish within a larger family of storytellers.

Last week, I discovered Cowbird through one of my professional affiliations in audio work. I learned of an interview and after reading it in the extras, I was intrigued. Very intrigued.  I scanned through the Cowbird web site, listened to some of the stories, and decided this is what I have been looking for as a compliment to my publishing.

The information that sold me on Cowbird was the statement:

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, so the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate as individuals may live on as part of the the commons, available for this and future generations to look to for guidance.

A library of human experience. That’s incredible!

I applied—that means request an invitation to join—and after a few days of anticipation, I received that e-mail that said I was the kind of storyteller they were looking for. Okay, maybe it was a form letter, but still …. I see the grand picture here.

I completed a profile and started producing content. My profile and stories are here.

I’ll still be publishing stories here. Frankly, I see the potential for overlap—that complementary thing I mentioned earlier. Stay tuned.

See you on the highway.




4 Replies to “Announcing a new format for storytelling”

  1. I like the multi-media concept of Cowbird. The photos and audio are crisp. My only reservation in accessing the site is the format; it’s bandwidth intensive. 🙂
    I did wonder why they chose the name ‘Cowbird’. They are not exactly an exemplary species to name a media site (they push other birds’ eggs out of their nest and lay their own eggs for the occupants to hatch).
    I will check in once in awhile to see (and hear) your stories!

  2. Thanks, Macrobe (a.k.a. Elzi). I think the web site is beautifully done with short stories that make up the experience of life. I think they conceptualized a great tool. As for their name, here is their explanation in the FAQ:

    But aren’t real-life cowbirds lazy and not very nice?

    It’s true that real-life cowbirds are not the nicest. They are “brood parasitic”, meaning they lay their eggs in other birds’ nests. However, this lack of commitment to child-rearing also frees them up to travel widely, have lots of sex, and make many babies, so, evolutionarily, they are remarkably effective and not lazy at all! In North America, cowbird populations are exploding.

    With this Cowbird, you get to be the cowbird, and we’ll be the nest. You lay your eggs (stories) in our nest (website), and we’ll do the job of housing and raising your stories. We’ll nourish, connect, and preserve them, and we’ll help many people see them. Cowbird frees you from having to build a nest (website) for your stories. We’ll do that for you, so you can travel more widely, have more sex, and make more babies and stories! 🙂


  3. I see using Cowbird as a complementary publishing tool to this web site. I’ll be able to do things a little differently. –Brent

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