Not yet familiar with digital storytelling platform Cowbird, despite recent glowing coverage from the likes of Wired and The Washington Post?
Well, if you like reading, seeing or listening to a good story as much as I do, you will be mighty glad I’m introducing you to the site today.
On a sidenote: I’m very happy that my last TechCrunch post is about something like Cowbird, because it’s one of those things that make me ever so grateful for the existence of the Internet.
Simply put, Cowbird is a place where you can go to tell a story that you think is worth sharing with a wider community of lovers of good stories. The idea is for people to tell short location-tagged stories based on their own experience using text, photos and sound or a mix thereof. The more personal and authentic your story, the more it will resonate with the still relatively small Cowbird community.
I added some screenshots below to give you an idea of what it looks like.
I signed up a few weeks ago after seeing the founder of the project, nauseatingly interesting American digital artist and entrepreneur Jonathan Harris, talk about Cowbird at the recent DLD Conference in Munich. I’ve since received some truly amazing stories in my inbox every day.
And it’s not just that the stories are great, it’s also the fact that Cowbird is beautifully designed, simple but interactive, a repository that seems to be in motion constantly, a place where depth is welcomed.
If I haven’t convinced you to request an invite to join the project yet, there’s no hope for you. :)
Did I say project? As of yesterday, Cowbird is a company.
I asked Harris to tell me more about Cowbird, and this is what he sent me back:
We have three main goals: The first is to create a space for a deeper, longer-lasting kind of self-expression than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the Web. The second is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events. The third is to build a public library of human experience — a kind of Wikipedia for life experience.
We take a slow and measured approach to everything. Prospective authors can request an invitation by telling us a little bit about who they are and what kind of stories they would like to tell. We personally contact each new author to welcome them into our community. Telling stories on Cowbird asks a little more of you than dashing off tweets from a cell phone, but we think it gives back a lot more, too.
It’s soul food, not fast food.
Check it out folks, you won’t regret it.