New York Writes Itself is a story-telling platform that bills itself as “a production by the people of New York.” Based on the idea that NY is an ever-changing story, the site invites citizens of the city to register as “scribes.” Scribes are then asked to record conversations and observations about the city; these written records will then become part of the larger “script,” which will in turn be used to inform future productions, be it videos, art installations, posters, etc.
The script is available to anyone for viewing, and can be sorted by neighborhood and category (characters, quotes, scenes) and filtered by date and popularity. Each week, a celebrated New Yorker (dubbed the Chairman) will cull through submissions and present some of the more interesting ones; a group of art and literary talents will select submissions for production.
This collection of stories is being run by Leo Burnett, while it is not currently tied to any brands or clients of the agency.
Why I’m Curious
Generally speaking, NYWI has a lot of potential as an experiment in crowd-sourcing. And it marks a continuing trend in the ad world: content curation. We’re no longer in the business of marketing communication, but curating content that may or may not inspire or influence. Or maybe it’s the same thing, just semantics. Either way, it’s near-certain that this project will be of interest to brands, and LB will need to be able to market it as such. It will be interesting to see how the NYWI experiment plays out.