Saturday, April 14, 2012

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #7 Point of View

Point of view is about whose eyes are observing what happens in your posts, whether long or short.

And don't assume that all this is if no importance to social media. It is. Here are some point of view options to think about. At the very least they should give you ideas for new posts. For the purpose of this post let's assume the Tweeting party is a small town bakery:

1. Omniscient, "Everyone loves chocolate cake. This bakery has the best in a hundred miles." An omniscient narrator claims knowledge over every corner of our world. Considered out of date these days in fiction, you can still use it, with some tongue-in-cheek attitude.

2. First person. "I love chocolate cake. We make the best chocolate cake for a hundred miles." You will typically create a character for this point of view, through whom the posts will be made. The character could be you or a fictional character who will sometimes voice some often unspoken thoughts to liven things up.

3. Second person point of view. "You will love our chocolate cake." Rarely used in fiction, but often used in songwriting, second person has a place in social media. You can use this point of view to ask people to follow you - "you can follow our chocolate baking video feed here," or get people to ask questions using this point of view - "you are welcome to ask any question you like about how we make our cakes". You can also alternate with first person in which you alternate between "you" and "I" posts, highlighting possible comparisons in views.

4. Third person point of view, which uses he, she, it and they. "He will love our chocolate cake." The commonest point of view in fiction, third person can range from close-third, such as the post above, where you assume you know the thoughts of the person you are speaking about and distant third, "She sure might like our chocolate cake," where you don't claim to know the inner thoughts of whoever you're speaking about. The narrator here, the person who is making these claims about chocolate cake, can be visible or invisible. If they become visible they start to interject with their own views

Social media generally requires a reliable voice or narrator, but comedy posts "Ours is the best chocolate cake in the whole world!" can take a less reliable turn.

Video games are generally 1st person these days, but social media can accommodate multiple point of view in posts. I hope you enjoyed this one!

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