CNN Thinks LOL Cats Are the Future of News

Now that CNN and BuzzFeed have joined forces to create a new online video destination, the meme-ification of the news is almost complete. The viral celebrities, the LOL cats, and the Listicles have won. The one company at the nexus of the meme aggregation movement - BuzzFeed - and the one media company that practically invented the 24-hour news cycle - CNN - have partnered to give you the 24-Hour Buzz Cycle. All buzz, all the time.

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Vivid Stories Change Donor Behavior

A vivid story can put us in a more altruistic mode, a study shows. UK researchers looked at the two ways people think about death – abstractly or specifically. They used a detailed story which placed the reader in a burning apartment to activate specific death thoughts. A second group of subjects answered more general questions about death, while a control group was exposed to non-death-related material.

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Never Ending Stories

I read this Frog Design piece a while back and it's stuck in my mind ever since. It's an interview with artist Jonathan Harris (he of We Feel Fine fame) about his (not yet live) new project that is about encouraging people to tell long-form stories (or integrated memories) using photos, videos, timelines, sound maps, and then connecting those stories up by automatically identifying commonalities (people, places, times, themes) and weaving them together into a kind of 'meta-story'.

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The Original Crowd

I'd like to skip past any hint of commentary on religion, per se, and talk about Judaism's Passover holiday as the most brilliant ever crowdsourcing campaign.

Passover is the annual retelling of the story of Exodus, which most of us are familiar with thanks to Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 classic movie The 10 Commandments: Lots of good-looking Jewish slaves were working on Pharaoh's construction projects when their savior, Moses, kicks Edward G. Robinson's butt, whacks the Egyptians with ugly plagues, and leads his people to freedom.

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How Can We Help Miguel?

[Written for DML Central. More comments there.]

One of the hardest parts of doing fieldwork is hearing difficult, nuanced stories that break my heart. The more complicated the story, the harder it is to tell, but I feel a responsibility to at least try.

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Stories Synchronize Brains

An ongoing story (so to speak) here at Neuromarketing is the power of stories to engage readers and listeners. Now, there’s new brain scan evidence that shows a startling phenomenon: when one person tells a story and the other actively listens, their brains actually begin to synchronize.

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Social Media and the Rebirth of the Storyteller

In online communities it is the content that matters most. People talk to and with each other not because they know each other or are already connected. Rather, because they share a similar interest, question, concern, ambition, query, challenge or other issue. People engage with each other on content and not on connections. You can meet and share ideas with strangers because you are both interested in the subject.

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