The Quality Web: Stories Count

by admin on January 9, 2012


Holly Finn from The Wall Street Journal writes about “Humanizing the Web” where she addresses deeper meanings from the online experience. The Internet is blazingly fast with people who run madly from page to page; skimming and not reading. The pace is tiring and the online experience becomes defeating.

When most of us look at our website traffic it’s common to note that the majority spend a minute or less on the site. We are a nation consumed with speed. I guess the question is whether or not there is a kinder, gentler web?

Ms. Finn provides several examples fulfilling the promise of quality rather than quantity. Did you know that Volkswagen doesn’t send employee e-mails after quitting time? Gotta consider a Volkswagen for my next purchase.

But the most interesting example of the “quality web” is Cowbird ( If you go to the “New to Cowbird” icon in the red box at the top of the page, you will see a description of the site starting with “Cowbird is a small community of storytellers focused on a deeper, longer lasting, more satisfying kind of storytelling than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the web.”

“Cowbird allows you to keep a beautiful audio-visual diary of your life and to collaborate with others in documenting the overarching “sagas” that shape our world today.”

The site goes on to say that it’s interested in short human stories behind major news events. An option for audio story telling is also offered, all for free.

Now why would I suggest a free service when this site will eventually charge for doing the same thing? Well, it’s nothing different from the article on my site telling all how to use WordPress for free (see

Those of us who grew up listening to the stories of our fathers and mothers desperately wish we were running recorders at the time. Stories are the essence of any culture. Story-telling is a lost art and the internet is uniquely suited for a continuation of oral and written histories.

Besides, I have always stated  that I was more interested in people telling their stories than collecting a fee.  There will be plenty of people who will pay to be interviewed by a professional so I’m not the least bit worried about a loss of clients.

The Internet is all about telling stories. Regardless of your area of interest, somewhere out there there’s a site for you. All you have to do is write your story and follow the directions as to posting (putting it on the site). If you’re a nurse, there are websites for nursing that encourage you to tell your nursing oriented stories. It’s the same with any occupation or condition. There are thousands of websites waiting for you to post your story.

Holly Finn’s article, WordPress, Cowbird and additional platforms exist to create oral and written histories as an expression of hope in a world that desperately needs to slow down and enjoy the accounts of peoples’ struggles and triumphs. The online world doesn’t have to be a mad dash.

It can be a leisurely stroll through the park of life, learning from each other as to the quality of our collective experiences.  To me, that’s the essence of the “quality web.”

Best, Len.

Source for Holly Finn’s article:

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