Episode 86 – Storytelling and Attention with Matt Locke

Matt Locke tells a good story. He does, after all, run The Story conference, and his content studio Storythings helps businesses including Google and the BBC tell better stories. Right now he’s fascinated by attention: how we measure it, and how it’s changing.

In this episode we bring all that together. We discuss why stories are so important, how they work and how not to mess them up, and we talk about how attention is changing in the digital age and what that means for anyone creating content, particularly authors of books.

Intelligent listening, with a side order of practical inspiration.


Storythings on Medium: https://storythings.com/

Matt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/matlock

The Extraordinary Business Book Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447064765612358/

Alison J.:                Hello, and welcome to the Extraordinary Business Book Club. Today I’m here with Matt Locke, who is the founder of Storythings, a content studio helping businesses like Google, the BBC and WaterAid, tell better stories. He also runs The Story conference (which I love the sound of), an annual celebration of storytelling, and the digital magazine, How We Get To Next. In a previous life, he used to be head of multi-platform commissioning at Channel 4. He blogs at Storythings.com, and at the moment he’s writing a series for Medium on the history of attention metrics, and how they’ve shaped culture. And if that doesn’t fascinate you, frankly, you must be dead. Hello Matt, and welcome to the show.

Matt L.:                  Hello. Thank you very much for having me on.

Alison J.:                Now, we’ll come to attention metrics in a minute, because I think that is fascinating, but let’s just talk about storytelling, which is obviously the water in which you swim. It’s a massive buzzword in business these days, however very few businesses actually do it really well. So, why does it matter, and what’s the most important thing to get right to avoid screwing it up?

Matt L.:                  Well, you’re absolutely right, in that it is a real buzzword at the moment, and that’s slightly accidental. When I left Channel 4 in 2011, I knew I wanted to start my own business. And I’ve been running this conference, The Story, for a couple of years as a side project, and so thought, “Oh, I’ll set up a company to manage that, and do some other freelance work.” And I knew I wanted to tell stories, and help people tell stories. But I also wanted to make things, I really wanted to actually get involved in the production of work, rather than just consultancy.

And so, I chose Storythings as a company. And it wasn’t until I did that, and called ourselves Storythings, that I realised that actually, there was this boom in storytelling within advertising and marketing. So, I was slightly ignorant of it when I started Storythings. I think, because I’d worked in broadcasting for 11 years, where stories are so intrinsic to the everyday work that we do, I hadn’t realised that it was a buzzword in marketing and business. So, I guess I had to learn myself why storytelling was interesting.

Alison J.:                And that’s so frustrating, isn’t it, when you’ve got a lovely concept, and then you realise that you’re on a bandwagon, and you hadn’t even realised? You thought you were there blazing a trail. Why is it important to businesses?

Matt L.:                  I think it’s partly down to the way in which audiences have changed their behaviours, particularly in the last 10 to 15 years. So, we’ve moved from this world which is organised by schedules and distribution, the world of mass media of the late 20th century, to this world of circulation and streams, the world of Facebook and Twitter. And what’s interesting about moving from this world of schedules to this world of streams, is in a world of schedules, the decisions about what stories were amplified and broadcast were made by very, very privileged people in hierarchies. Commissioning editors, schedulers of broadcasters, editors, and newspapers, etc etc.

But the stories that scale in the world of mobile streams, are the ones which touch a nerve with enough people that the amplification of those stories via retweeting and sharing and commenting and stuff like that, create scale. So, we’re in this world where scale is created in a very, very different way to the way it was created in the late 20th century. It’s created through the emotional responses of the audience, rather than the creative or business decision-making of gatekeepers. So, I think storytelling’s become more important, because emotional stories in particular have so much more scale and impact now, because of social media streams, than they did 10, 15, 20 years ago.

Alison J.:                There’s something about the unfinished-ness of it as well. As you say, when you’re looking at a stream, rather than a complete programme, I’m thinking back to the Nescafé ads, actually, so this is not a hugely new thing, but you had this on/off romance between the Nescafé couple. But there’s a way in which stories go on through different streams, and become public property, and people take them and spin them in their own way. I’m thinking of Wattpad as well, and the way that the serialised story’s almost come back. Have you noticed that going on? It’s a less curated, finished product, and more of an ongoing situation.

Matt L.:                  Yeah, in many ways. There’s a brilliant designer called Erika Hall, who’s written a lot about content design, and she gave a brilliant presentation in which she referred to one of my favourite books, a book called Orality and Literacy, written I think in the late ’70s, early ’80s. And in that book, there’s basically an analysis of how stories are passed in oral versus literate cultures. So, in oral cultures, what’s really important is that stories are designed for re-performance, that the structure of the epic tales of Greek mythology and fairy stories and things like that, have a very strong structure to them, so that they can be endlessly re-performed, and in re-performing, slightly changed. There are many different stories that have used the structure of the Iliad or the Odyssey or stuff like that as their inspiration.

So, stories that have a very, very strong cadence and structure to them can survive re-performing. And that was how stories were told for centuries, until the development of the Gutenberg printing press. And then suddenly, stories could be reproduced precisely with exactly the same language, millions and millions of times, and they didn’t need to be designed for re-performance, they could become more complex and more technical. So, in a literate culture … So, in an oral culture, the stories that do best are the ones that can be re-performed, and in a literate culture, the stories that do best are the ones that have personality and authorship and technicality to them, and are complex, and pass really complex knowledge on in really precise ways.

And that’s the culture that we’ve really lived in for the last couple of hundred years. And probably the absolute apogee of that, is the rise of the 19th century novel, where you had stories that were very much written from within the head of the protagonist and the lead character, and the inner life of the character becomes an important part of the story. Something that didn’t really exist in oral culture and oral stories. That only really happened when you could produce perfect copies of these stories millions of times.

Alison J.:                That’s so interesting. At one end there’s the the hero’s journey which is still hardwired into us, but then at the other end of the scale you’ve got Ulysses haven’t you? Yeah, really interesting.

Matt L.:                  And in a way, nowadays, we’re in what Erika Hall calls a technical orality, or a mediated orality, where because we are sharing and re-performing the stories by tweeting them, and screen grabbing, and sending them around, the stories that survive now are the ones that can survive that re-performance.

So, memes, in their very existence, their very structure, are designed to be re-performed. When there were things like the Harlem Shake, and Gangnam Style, and stuff like that, anybody could just set up a video camera and create a meme, create their version of the meme. And, in a way, those kinds of memes are much closer to the oral storytelling structures of pre-Gutenberg worlds, than they are of the literate, technical stories of the last couple of hundred years.

Alison J.:                That’s so interesting. And at the moment, we’re talking about stories in the traditional sense, of fiction, of things created. But there’s something about storytelling that’s based on how you shape reality, isn’t it? And businesses, advertising particularly, use this very effectively, because instead of telling you how great their product is, they tell you a story, and suddenly you’re interested and engaged, and they get in below your ego, and go right straight to the visceral heart of the fact that you now care about their product.

Matt L.:                  Yeah, that’s exactly what great advertising has done throughout the last 100 years or so. And there’s some fantastic histories of advertising. I actually think Adam Curtis’s Century of the Self is a brilliant documentary about Edward Bernays, who was a relative of Freud, and who used some of Freud’s understanding about the unconscious, and the way in which our unconscious desires and minds worked, and used those insights to create what we see as modern advertising, desire-generated advertising. So, there is this really strong link between the kind of techniques they use in advertising and marketing, and the way in which we respond to stories on a psychological basis.

Alison J.:                So, do you see people, businesses particularly, doing it wrong? Because I think it is really possible to make a complete mess of this, and to think that you’re telling a story, when actually you’re making a complete idiot of yourself, and it’s not resonating. When do you know somebody’s got it right, how can you tell?

Matt L.:                  I think there’s a couple of things that are really important in stories, that are often overlooked, and one of them is that we really respond to them on human levels. So, things like voice and protagonists and authenticity are really, really key to stories. What a lot of people do badly, is they see somebody else’s stories that might create a really … So, even though I’m not a really big fan of McDonald’s, I think the storytelling they do in their adverts where they create these little vignettes, showing how their product helps people connect with people they love, they’re really powerful stories. Even though I really don’t like the product, I really admire their storytelling skills.

But, I think that they tell really authentic stories, that actually in those 30 seconds make you believe in the protagonists, and believe in the world that’s created. And I think where people go wrong is, they don’t understand exactly how hard it is to tell a story that’s believable, where you actually identify with the protagonist, and you identify with the world that’s been created. What a lot of companies do, is they have a brand message, and then they think that you can just basically drape a story over it and it’ll work.

But really good story crafting … I really noticed this when I actually left Channel 4, and was lucky enough to be working with a lot of the commissioning editors, particularly in drama, and people who really … This was around the era that Channel 4 were doing things like Misfits and Skins, really popular serial drama and stories that people were absolutely loving, and really enjoying the story worlds that they were creating. And I left Channel 4, and I had a lot of brand companies coming to me, because this was at the beginning of the whole branded content boom. And some agencies, some of the best creative agencies in London, were starting to think that maybe they could pitch TV shows to broadcasters for their clients, and work with them in that way.

But, they were really bad at it. Not because they weren’t great storytellers, but because the formats and the research and the development that TV companies had learned to do over decades, the craft of storytelling on TV, was so different to the craft of storytelling in advertising, that they just really … They took the structure, and they took some of the rhythms of those stories, but they didn’t really do the in-depth character and world development that was really needed.

So, I’m fascinated that actually the craft of storytelling from one world to another are actually really hard to transfer. It’s really tough to write a great 30 second spot, it’s really tough to write a great serial drama, it’s really tough to do a good podcast. All these are real crafts that you have to put in the hours to really develop your skill in. You can’t just quickly switch from one mode to the other.

Alison J.:                So, if you’re having trouble with storytelling, don’t feel bad, because clearly you’re in good company?

Matt L.:                  Yeah.

Alison J.:                Doing it short is always so hard as well, isn’t it? Was it Charles Lamb who had that wonderful phrase, “I’m sorry this letter’s so long, I had not the time to make it shorter.” When you’re doing that 30-second, that micro-video where you’re communicating the story, that’s really tough, because you’ve got to distil it down into the pure essence, and get it all across in a gesture.

Matt L.:                  Again, I think that’s a craft thing, I think that you can only get good at that if you do it an awful lot. The kind of people who write really brilliant 30 second spots have probably been doing it for decades. And so, I think that one thing I’ve learned, I’ve been lucky enough to work in lots of different sectors, with storytelling projects, primarily in digital, but in broadcast. We worked with clients in publishing and film, and online publishing, and lots of different sectors, and the one thing I’ve really learned to respect is just craft.

It’s really, really hard to do really good things, because you have to fail an awful lot before you do the one good thing. It’s not something that you can turn up and just knock something out, and say, “That’s great.” So I think, yeah, the biggest mistake people make is really just not respecting craft, and not understanding how important craft is to the success of the project.

Alison J.:                And if you’re developing your storytelling muscles … One of the things I wanted to talk to you about was Medium, because obviously you’re using that for your series on attention metrics. I think Medium’s a really interesting platform. I don’t use it myself, but it seems to suit that serial, ongoing digital storytelling mode quite well. Tell me a little bit about why you use it, and how you use it.

Matt L.:                  Well, we were one of an early group of publishing partners with Medium back in the day, and I think they’re still, they’re quite problematic as a platform, because I think they’re still working out their business model, and they’ve been on a bit of a multi-pivoting journey. But I think the idea at the heart of William’s vision for Medium, that actually a space for really high quality writing, that really rewards craft, that really rewards the storytellers and the writers on the platform, is a really good one and a really necessary one.

There’s, one of the downsides of the boom in mobile streams, and the way that’s changed audience behaviour in the last 10 years, is it’s really created a race to the bottom, to try and understand algorithms. The core business model of the stream at the moment is, you need to get scale in order to drive advertising on particular platforms, in order to generate enough money to fund your craft. But the economics of that now, particularly the dominance of Facebook, are so tough, that the levels of scale you need to get mean that you end up writing for things that you know the algorithm will reward.

So, if you look at the videos that different news publishers produce for Facebook, aesthetically they’re all very, very similar, because everyone’s learned the trick that the algorithm seems to respond to on Facebook, and so everyone makes things in the same way. It’s much harder to create a space online that rewards a diverse, heterogeneous style of content. I don’t think Medium are there yet. I think there’s, still probably the dominant content in terms of numbers on the platform is Silicon Valley productivity tech bro stuff.

But I think Medium are actively trying to branch out from that, and to try and encourage new types of writing and new partners. It’s still very early days for them. But I think the key thing for me with Medium, is that it was a place to write that also had that connection to the audience. It has a way of reaching and finding your audience on the platform, which is very different from how you might work on, for example, Twitter or Facebook.

Alison J.:                So tell me more about that, what do you mean?

Matt L.:                  Well, quite early on, they built this community of followers. So they introduced a couple of tools, which, again, are similar from other platforms, so people that can follow you, tools to let people like and respond. But they seemed to do it in a way that didn’t create the kind of trash fire scenario that Twitter’s now in. There’s a lot less grief and trolling on Medium as a platform. So, they’ve done something right, I’m not entirely sure what it is, but they’ve done something right with the design of the community on the platform that actually makes it quite a nice place to hang out, and quite a nice place to build readership.

It’s not perfect, by any means. As a publisher, we have very, very little information about the audience that follows us, which is quite frustrating, because that data and that information is absolutely integral to what we do. But I think they have managed to build a scaled community of tens of millions of people without it turning into the kind of trolling trash fire that, sadly, Twitter has become now.

Alison J.:                I wonder if there is a straight line equivalence between the length of the content that you’re consuming, and your tolerance and humanity? There’s a PhD thesis in there somewhere. But, if we’re going to follow that along, I guess the next step along is your actual book, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on how books fit into this story, content ecosystem.

We talked a minute ago about attention, and the way in which that’s monetized, and it does seem to me that when you read a print book, it’s almost a subversive act these days, because you’re taking yourself offline, you’re taking yourself out of … Because, nobody can see what you’re doing, how you’re responding, how you’re interacting. I think that’s one of the wonderful things about a book, and why readers still respond to print books.

Matt L.:                  Yeah, and I think there’s two things in that. One is, what’s interesting about the last 10, 15 years in particular is that it’s introduced lots of new behaviours. Well, not necessarily new behaviours, but identifiable behaviours in the audience, new attention patterns. And that’s something that we’ve been quite obsessed with for the last decade or so.

So, if you think about the late 20th century, the ’80s, the ’90s, nearly all stories that were distributed by mass media were between half an hour and about two hours long. So, TV programmes were half an hour or an hour, films were about an hour and a half or so. And if you produced a story that was radically shorter or longer than that, so if you produced a three minute film, or a five hour film, you were an artist. You were distributed at festivals, there was hardly any way to get that to a mass audience. And what’s happened in the last 10 years is two things: one is, Facebook and mobile streams have created a way to identify audience behaviours under half an hour, so a way to monetize attention patterns, to distribute and monetize stories that are under half an hour long, so everything from seconds, to the three and a half, four minute YouTube videos.

And everyone was focused on that, and said, “Oh my God, our attention patterns are now ruined, we’re all sitting there with our phones scrolling through these endless streams of short, snappy bits of content.” But at the same time, something else has happened, that actually longer attention patterns are now becoming addressable as well. So, at the same time that we’re spending time scrolling through mobile streams on our mobile phones, we’re also coming home and binge viewing three or four episodes of a drama on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

So, we think that actually we’re now dealing with a much wider spectrum of attention. That actually, the last 10 years has seen the audience’s attention spectrum expand upwards and downwards. From, instead of just being, ‘everything has to be between half an hour and two hours’, you can now create content digitally and address audiences, anything from three seconds up to six to twelve hours long. There are people watching streams on Twitch TV of live video game views, or playing Xbox for multiple hours with their friends.

So, in a way, we’ve now got this giant attention spectrum, that’s everything from seconds long to hours long. And still, books are a really big part of that. And it’s interesting, my wife’s a children’s book illustrator, and children’s books in particular have seen a real reversion to buying patterns in physical books. And I think that’s because, there is something obviously very tactile, but a lot of those books are gifted, and they are seen as objects that you want to carry with you for years, or for the rest of your life.

So, there is something really, really … I’m sitting here in our office now, looking at our library, and we do have a physical library here in Storythings of, I’d estimate, probably about three or four hundred books. And there is something really reassuring about being surrounded by knowledge in that way.

Alison J.:                Books do furnish a room, as the saying goes, don’t they?

Matt L.:                  They really do. And a mind, they furnish a mind just as well.

Alison J.:                That’s fascinating. When you talk about those big attention blocks as well, there’s something about the quality of attention, I think, that’s interesting. I don’t do the binge watching Netflix, partly because, I think if I did I’d probably never haul myself out of it, so I just don’t let myself go there, but when people do that, I guess they are completely absorbed, they’re probably not doing much else. I think when they’re reading a book they’re doing the same. With the other stuff, maybe it’s more interstitial, or maybe it’s more fragmented? I don’t know, what do you think?

Matt L.:                  Absolutely. When we talk about that attention spectrum, we divide it up into behaviours that are about distraction, and behaviours that are about immersion. And at the lower end of the spectrum, you go onto Twitter and Facebook when you’re looking for distraction, you’re looking to randomly find something that will occupy you for a short period of time. So, you might be procrastinating at work, or sitting at home, and there’s something you’re not really watching on telly, and you’re just idly browsing it, similarly to how we might flick through a newspaper in olden days.

So, mobile streams are perfect for that distraction behaviour, and I think we’re becoming more away as audiences of when we’re making that decision, when we’re deciding to distract ourselves. And we’re starting to get good again at saying, “Actually no, I now want to really immerse myself, I want to save up and actually sit down and watch that Netflix show back to back, or sit down and read that book.” So, I think that we’re starting to realise that actually we need to create times to immerse ourselves in stories, just as much as we need time to be distracted.

Alison J.:                And as the creator rather than the consumer, that’s interesting, because it makes you think, how people are viewing their attention, it’s a scarce resource, it’s probably the single most important thing that we have to spend. So, obviously if you’re in business, you have content strategy, it’s a needed-to-play these days. You’re putting stuff out there, a lot of the stuff you’re putting out is fairly short, it’s tweets, it’s social media, it is more of that distraction, top of the mind stuff. But when you sit down to write a book, you’re doing something qualitatively different, aren’t you? You’re making a play for that immersive attention. How do you do that?

Matt L.:                  Well I think if you’re smart, you think, “Well how do I help that audience make that decision to immerse themselves in it?”, and you think of all of the things that might stop them being able to do that. So we’re focusing on episodic series at lot at the moment at Storythings, so podcasts and long-form journalism series, and we really want audiences to follow us over five, six episodes, as we explore a subject in depth. And we know that the biggest challenge to that is, people are just not going to do that. They’re going to read one thing, and then maybe not come back.

So, a lot of the things we’re exploring, is how do we do that? How do we use email, how do we use things like Facebook groups, how do we use Slack channels, to get people to come back and carry on reading? And if you’re trying to do that digitally, then they’re product and platform decisions, what platform are you on? If you’re using Medium, if you read three or four episodes of a series, it will remind you when a new episode is released on your email alerts and stuff like that. So, Medium has ways of bringing people back into a series. Netflix obviously does it in the interface, where it shows you what you’ve been watching and makes it easier for you to dive back in.

With things like books, I think you have to use a lot of narrative tricks that are familiar to fiction books. So, you have to think about the arc of the plot and the arc of the story, you need to think about things like jeopardy and cliffhangers, and what is it that’s going to make people, coming back to a book? And I think that’s hard in business writing. It’s actually, I think, where a lot of business writing really fails. Probably my favourite business book that I’ve read in the last couple of years is Creativity, Inc., by Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar. And that’s partly because it’s really memoir of his life setting up and running Pixar. And there are some real struggles, there’s a real hero’s journey through the book, and I think that actually makes it a really gripping and compelling read.

Alison J.:                That’s interesting, and I agree with you. I think when it works really well, and when you have a story worth telling, that’s quite important too, mixing in your own story and that human interest bit with the lessons you’ve learned that your reader can apply, because you have to do that as well, is really … It’s hard to do, but when you do it, it’s really powerful.

Matt L.:                  Yeah. And there’s a lot of tools and documentary there that you can use. We started How We Get To Next working with Steven Johnson, who’s one of my favourite science and tech writers, and his books just tell these incredible stories about the interconnectedness of ideas and innovation over centuries. And he’ll start a chapter by telling you this really specific story about somebody doing something in Venice in the 13th century, and by the end of the chapter, he’s linked that to cutting edge chip design in a plant in Texas Instruments in the 21st century.

And he has this technique which he calls the deep zoom, which is to take an idea and follow it through history, so that you can create this thread of instances and ideas, this daisy chain, throughout history, to connect that. And he’s just a really good storyteller. He’s working in a non-fiction way, but I think his writing is just as good as some fiction writers.

Alison J.:                That’s interesting. We’re back to craft again, aren’t we?

Matt L.:                  Absolutely.

Alison J.:                It’s that triangulation of knowing exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve, and doing the research, doing the background stuff, bringing in your own experience, but also keeping the reader front and centre. Because, if this isn’t relevant to them or interesting to them, you’ve lost them, and you’re writing into a vacuum.

Matt L.:                  Yeah. One of the greatest … Even if you’re writing a short essay, one of the greatest bits of advice is always to read out your story to somebody else, because when you read it, you find in yourselves where the rhythm of the writing is sticky and gluey, and where your sentences are too long and too turgid. But also, you can see the response. For me, storytelling is absolutely about the feedback loop between the audience and the storyteller. And the challenge of writing is that often, you’re not in the room to see that response. So definitely reading out your story to somebody …

One of the early versions of the research that I did for the series I’m writing now for Medium, I actually performed for a Radio 4 series called Four Thought, and I had to perform it live in a room full of about 200 people in Somerset House. And that was fascinating. It was really fascinating to see which parts of the story audiences responded to, and laughed at, and stuff like that. So absolutely you should read out, perform your stories as much as you can if you’re writing them.

Alison J.:                That’s fantastic advice. And something that I always recommend people do, not just … There’s two ways of doing it. One is, as you’re developing your ideas, don’t just sit in your room and write them, actually do that thing where as you say, you’re out in front of an audience, you’re seeing what lands, you’re seeing where they’re puzzled and they’re not following you, you’re seeing where the connections are because it will help you write the better book.

But also, when you finish the first draft, read it out loud, because as you say, and I love that, the stickiness, the gluiness of the language, you just hear the clunkiness, don’t you? And you think, “No, that’s not right.” The music’s gone, and you can fix it, but you can’t fix it if you see it on the page. You can only fix it when you hear it. It’s really interesting.

Matt L.:                  Yeah. You use the word music, which I think is a great word, because there is a kind of flow and a lyricalness to well-crafted writing that’s almost invisible when it’s there, but it’s very, very noticeable to the reader when it’s not.

Alison J.:                Yes. And just like music as well, the space on the page, when you actually come to see the book, keeping those sentences short, because the white space gives you the thinking space around what you’re saying doesn’t it?

Matt L.:                  Absolutely, yeah.

Alison J.:                Brilliant. That’s so interesting, thank you. I could talk about this all day, but I’m going to have to draw it to a close. And I’m going to ask you, as I ask all my guests, to recommend someone that you think would be an interesting guest for this show. Someone with something interesting to say about the business of business books, or indeed storytelling, or attention, or any of the stuff we talked about today.

Matt L.:                  I’m going to recommend Anjali Ramachandran. Anjali is someone we’ve worked with a bit at Storythings, but I’ve known her for many years. She was head of innovation at PHD, the media agency, but she does a remarkable number of projects. One of the things she does is a brilliant newsletter called Other Valleys, which looks at VC activity and innovation in the Global South, and India and Brazil, and development countries, and I just think her perspective on business … She also set up Ada’s List, a really important network for women working in technology. And I just think Anjali has a fantastic handle on business stories that are not often heard, and I just think she would be a really, really interesting person for you to talk to.

Alison J.:                That sounds like a really good recommendation, thank you. I don’t know her. I’m also really interested in the idea that, and I see people doing it really effectively actually, using the newsletter as that communication, storytelling, ongoing attention-holding tool. So, it would be interesting to talk to her about that.

Matt L.:                  Brilliant.

Alison J.:                Excellent. Well, thank you so much, Matt. Now, if people want to find out more about you, and I realise there are about 50 different places that they could go on the internet, you’re all over it, but where should I direct them? Which links should I put up in the show notes?

Matt L.:                  Storythings.com is our company site, and you can also follow our Storythings newsletter, talking of newsletters. My co-director Hugh is a brilliant curator, and every week he selects 10 interesting stories from around the web, which are always fascinating if you’re interested in creativity and storytelling, and innovation and ideas. So, you could follow us on the Storythings newsletter there. And I’m @matlock on Twitter, but I’m trying not to use mobile streams very much at the moment, because I’m trying to write. So I’m on a bit of semi-enforced Twitter break.

Alison J.:                So if we see you on there, we have your permission to slap you off, yeah?

Matt L.:                  Indeed.

Alison J.:                And I’ll put up the link about the attention metrics stuff, as well, on Medium, because I think that is really interesting, and people, if they haven’t used Medium or if they’re not familiar with it, they can go and test it out as well, and see whether they agree with your analysis.

Matt L.:                  Brilliant. Thanks very much.

Alison J.:                Thank you so much, Matt. Goodbye.

Matt L.:                  Goodbye.


  1. Another great interview, and I found the discussion around attention spans fascinating. Thank you.

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