writing narratives as a swarmApril 22, 2009
Today I tried to map the design experiment findings from Hybrid narrative ecology on top of the foraging behavior in swarms.
Every time when individual starts some narratives it leaves a trace and focuses his own attention on certain features. This makes him accumulate more similar narratives until he becomes aware of the story.
So, web 2.0 stories are granular and appear even for the individual as a result of accumulating some idea traces, which works as an environmental feedback to notice more similar traces.
The more the narratives are accumulated, the more attractive and visible the story as a trace becomes, this attracts other individuals as well.
The attention is caught by various trace-leaving techniques like mashing, pulling and aggregating, tagging for social retrieval, social awareness technologies, hybrid maps etc.
Picking up traces of other individuals of the swarm depends on analogy or closeness of the attractors narratives to your own.
Is it a species specific? And the species is defined by similar culture, using same kind of retrieval, mashing, pulling etc?
Various collaboration forms may appear. One is agglomerating stories similarly like termites build the nest. The traces (pheromones) are glued to the soil material (the content of the narrative pierces, text, images).
This is kind of swarm-like co-working without initially decided goal, but still co-working emerges (eg. dedicating narrative pierces for the story). Cloning narrative pierces may also make the trace of the narrative more visible, similarly like pheromone traces are agglomerated due to the swarm activity. Thus cloning will hype up some stories.
Actually this story is not something that has start and end, but it is like the current or dimension that emerges when swarm collects narrative pierces individually. The story currents may remain individual stories, or may attract more storytellers.
Individuals tend to mutate their narratives. Most often these are errors, which always happen if we try to tell the same narrative. Interpretation happens most often if narrative is transformed from one environment to another, from one individual to another. This presumes translation from one system to another without complete coding correlation.
This may in the end change the attractor to the certain story so much that the story trace will be lost and individuals need to start the search for new narrative resources as new attractors.
Some mutations may also cause the appearance of new attractors that allure the swarm away from the story.