AWE | Storytellers Beta
We launched the beta-version of the European Storytellers website today,
I’m giving myself two blank lines to let it sink in.
Okay, three - because it took three months of hard work.
I joined the Are We Europe team in early January. It was clear at that point that AWE was splitting into two trajectories: an in-depth quarterly magazine and an open source community platform for writers, photographers, illustrators, video-artists, podcast-makers and everything in between. This community platform – European Storytellers – was born out of the simple realisation that everyone has a story to tell, and - more importantly - that Europe is the sum of these stories; the European narrative is, after all, that of its people. European Storytellers wants to offer a stage to anyone that has something to say, show, sing or shout, and aims to create a cacophonic choir of individual voices singing praise or condemnation to the European experience.
In practice this means that AWE wants to create a massive, open-source storytelling platform. We want to give people the opportunity to create a personal account, post their work, discuss the work of others, give each other feedback and creative pointers, or simply lurk and learn. We hope to create something comparable to the community and accessibility of Reddit, the collective intelligence of Wikipedia, the content-diversity of Tumblr and the tone of Vice. We dream big, but have to start small.
Small. With ten people, to be precise.
We have set up a team of ten Beta testers. People that have contributed to Are We Europe in the past; people that have been involved since the beginning – the ten AWE household names, if you will. In the upcoming months we – or they, rather – will be exploring all the functionalities of the website, brainstorm about where to take Storytellers, develop editorial lines, think about financial models and – of course – produce fabulous and finger-licking content. European Storytellers can go in many different directions. Which direction it will take is to be determined by its current and future members.
I’m excited to see what the future holds. Because I truly believe in the potential of a European storytelling platform, and I truly believe in the potential of the AWE community to give shape to an exciting new form of content-creation: creative expression that is open to all, accessible to all and most of all – done by all.
I think this is the start of something exciting.