Interview: Shawn Callahan: Using a StoryBank to collect stories 12.20.10

Finally, a webtool for collecting the stories that matter most.

In this latest video installment of The New Storytellers, I interview story practitioner and pioneer, Shawn Callahan of Anecdote. We specifically discuss his new product Zahmoo — a StoryBank web application soon to be available for use by organizations, individuals, and families. For years, Anecdote has been leading Story Collection and sense-making projects inside a diverse range of companies. Now, they’ve put the power of the web and software development together to offer a tool that democratizes this same process for everyone.

What is a StoryBank?

A Storybank is a tool for collecting, analyzing, and sharing the most important stories inside your organization. Consider it as a database repository for the anecdotes that best capture and communicate what you’re all about.

Let’s listen to Shawn describing Zahmoo and the various possibilities for what you can do with it:

Here’s three potential applications of Zahmoo:

  1. Let’s say you have 5 core values in your organization. Imagine a StoryBank with a dozen stories that explain and demonstrate that core value in action? That you and others in the organization can access and use this for a range of situations.
  2. Same applies to a big customer service campaign. You want to create a repository of stories that capture examples of employees going above and beyond to address customers needs. Think of Nordstrom’s mythological tale — accepting the return of a car tire, even though the department store retailer doesn’t even sell car tires. Imagine, what sort of legendary stories you could collect and share?
  3. Lastly, a StoryBank is critical for any nonprofit or membership organization. You need to collect stories that capture how your organization touches and impacts your constituents lives. It’s what you need for fundraising campaigns, grant reports, and social media communications.

Above are just three examples…there’s another dimension to Zahmoo that allows you to tag entries for analysis and pattern recognition. How cool is that?

Want to see a Demo? Here’s a short video that Shawn put together taking you on a tour of the Zahmoo product. You’ll notice the great gooey interface reflective of Ruby on Rails (for you tech geeks out there). Very cool feature: Zahmoo will be available as a free 30-day trial when it launches, so anyone can register and play around.

Add Your Comments and Share This Post

Please share one of the ways you envision using a tool like Zahmoo. Add your thoughts in the comments below. Equally, let us know what you think of our evolution of the podcasts to a video interview format.


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