It's that time again! Each Friday, we share our favorite books, films, and content from across the web in the spirit of storytelling. What are we hooked on this week?
(1) Spotify's #ThatSongWhen Gallery
Spotify unveiled its recent storytelling campaign, #ThatSongWhen, earlier this week – and we're loving it. By asking its audience to claim songs and contribute stories of nostalgia around them, Spotify is getting into the same emotion-based branding game that Songza has captured, and Rdio is trying to break into. The Gallery provides a space for people to curate their moment, add a photo (like a first dance at a wedding, or a cross-country flight) and embed the song with it for others to explore and listen to. Spotify avoids blatant "choose us!" messaging, and instead gives its fanbase the mic, proving that "whatever the memory, there was most likely a song playing".
Derek Jeter. Do we have to give any further introduction? The all-star living legend has retired from the diamond, but he's just getting his toes wet in the digital content and publishing world. With two new books on the way and his latest content platform, The Player's Tribune, live on the web, Jeter is giving his fellow athletes a chance to go on the record with their own voice. Frustrated by the spin and tabloidization of players in the news, Jeter is giving athletes a chance to speak to their fans directly for the first time, and giving sports' most beloved icons a space to talk about the pressing issues that are affecting them. It's kind of like Medium, for athletes. First up to bat? Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, writing on domestic violence and abuse. We love The Player's Tribune for mixing photography, the written word, and podcasts with personal stories that make athletes more human themselves.
This is a tough one to swallow for fans of the Madewell brand and those who believe in the authentic story behind it. BuzzFeed published the story of the great-grandson of Madewell's founder, a New Englander with limited ties to high fashion. After the last factory shut down, J.Crew relaunched the company, the logo, and even its bespoke, high-quality feel – without any connection to the founding family. Less of a complaint and more of an eye-opener, this is a must read story that tackles topics that marketers think about every day: how is an authentic story parlayed as fact? And, how do ethics come into storytelling when authentic resembles "faux-thentic"?
(4) "What to Do When Its Your Turn", by Seth Godin
If you're on Seth Godin's daily blog post mailing list (and you should be), you probably received word of his latest book, "What to Do When It's Your Turn" today. It sounds like a great read for those of us in the creative field, who often have to wrestle against our fear to produce the work we love. Seth has alluded to the idea that it's less of a cover-to-cover read, and more of a magazine featuring full-bleed photos and four color illustration. The best part about this storytelling effort is the way it's being published: rather than going for the typical "top-down" method, Seth has asked his fans to pre-order copies in multiples of 3's, 6's, and 9's, so that the book will be passed around horizontally, from person to person. We're excited to get our hands on a copy and share it with our friends.
Because passing notes never gets old. This is an awesome social experiment where a note is left in a public place, and the recipient is encouraged to write back. When the note is found, it's shared on the site. Remember PostSecret? This hearkens back to that, but in a more succinct way. It's ironic, though, that the shortest answers are often the deepest, without revealing any other details about the "writer". As in life, right?
What will happen to everything you've put on the internet after you die? It's a morbid thing to ask, but we're citizens of the web, and we should be thinking about the footprints we're leaving. Do you want your stories to be left behind for others to look at when they remember you? If so, read this cautionary tale about how everything Leslie Harpold made for the web eventually disappeared, and talk to someone who works with the web about what you can do to preserve your own digital legacy.