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Building interest in your story-bank

How do you gain the best value from the stories in your Zahmoo story-bank? How do you develop the interest in collecting, storing and re-using the shared stories of your family, your community, your business?

We call Zahmoo a ‘story-bank’, and that metaphor of a bank can be useful here. Think of your stories as the content of your savings-account: the more you save, the more return you gain. And like a savings-account, as you increase the amount that you’ve saved, the interest-rate you gain goes up as well.

There’s also a kind of compound-interest here. The more you use your story-bank, the more interest you’ll gain from others seeing the value of collecting and sharing their stories with you – and everybody wins from that.

Zahmoo provides a safe place to save your story-assets – a safe-deposit box, if you like. Yet it is a different kind of savings. In an ordinary bank savings-account, you’d gain the best interest by not using what you’ve saved; but stories gain their greatest value from how they’re used. A story gains interest whenever it’s remembered, re-used – yet in Zahmoo it’s also still in a safe place where it won’t be lost.

How would you re-use a story? One of the most important ways – especially for a business or for a community – is to illustrate a point, illustrate a value, something that matters. To quote Shawn Callahan:

Leaders don’t really know their strategy until they can tell a story to explain it.

Having a strong selection of stories on hand to illustrate each key point in the strategy would demonstrate straight away the real value of a story-bank.

Yet it’s also essential not to over-use stories, or to re-use them too far out of context – because either of those can cause people to lose interest. So use comments or tags in Zahmoo to remind you about which stories have already been re-used, for what purpose, and when.

Each time you re-use a story, add at least one tag or comment to its record in Zahmoo. For that example of a story for a business-strategy, add a generic tag for ‘strategy’, another tag for the date or time-period, and perhaps another to identify the specific strategy in which it was used, or the person who re-used it for that purpose. You could also apply or change the story-rating in line with how well the story was received in relation to that strategy.

That way, you’ll be able to keep track of how your stories have been used, and the interest gained, as your story-bank grows over time.

To summarise:

  • build interest in your story-bank by saving your stories and showing others how to find and re-use stories
  • use tags, ratings and comments to find appropriate stories for re-use
  • add tags and comments to keep track of how and when your stories have been re-used

Develop the interest by making use of what you have – not by hiding it away!

November 24th, 2011 by Zahmoo
Filed in: For Business, For Community, For Family, How to
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ABOUT ZAHMOO

Zahmoo is a story bank for collecting and sharing your family and business stories.


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