got a business story to tell.. think “Thumb Novels”

In a twitter ‘tweet’ I just posted:  keitai-shosetsu – ‘thumb novels- fiction series in phone-sceen bits, 50% of Japanese top-10 fiction bestsellers originate on cellphones.

So you ask, “How in God’s name is this relevant to anything about my business?”

There’re arguments floating around that as we read more things like quick blog entries, bullet-pointed summaries, and (obviously) tiny twitter tweets, we become less comfortable wading through long(ish) texts. SO how do you, as a business owner, get longer messages across to your customers?  While there are lots of possibilities, here’s something you can consider.

Just as Charles Dickens’ wrote novels intended to be serialized in penny newspapers, so too are an increasing number of Japanese authors writing stories that are capable of being broken into small bits. In this case, however, the bits are displayed on mobile phone screens. Stories written for, truly, the Small small screen are typically less than 500 words – and even this short amount of text is broken into 6 or 7 chunks. When you finish one, you send a text message to a text address that sends you the *next* chapter.

Two things are important here. The first is that authors get their stories out to a potentially huge marketplace easily. The second is that  because of the nature of the medium, readers have the ability to send comments to a central site — and so the stories become interactive.

So – maybe there’s a clever way to wrap up your information in short, punchy, narrative spurts. Tell people they can get you stories at such-and-such a text address. And the novelty can drive the audience.

Background on this new form of story-telling:

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