Stories that tell our story…

Eric Norlin has posted some comments on Chris Ceppi's explanation of “Identity Reform“:

1. i'm not sure if Identity Reform is the proper way to speak about what we're all doing.

2. I like what these cummulative posts are saying — namely, the critical thinking and conversation is a beginning point, the technology is a continuation of that —- the story around that is a third, important piece…..I'd call the first and third parts marketing :-)

Of course while marketing may be critical thinking and conversation, I'm not sure that means critical thinking and conversation is marketing… But hey – Eric is pushing our buttons – so I won't say anything.

3. don't underestimate the power of a good story. chris points out frank lutz. doc often speaks of Lakoff. we have yet to dig up all of the story threads in identity — but several have already been told (and had effect) — threads like:

A) the entrepreneur whiz kid that starts an identity company because he just *knows* it'll be the next big thing [any guesses what i'm referring to there?]

B) the “laws discussion” — a thread that implies community discussion and some kind of *rational* thought that will allow the deduction of *what* should be built….ie, not only is everyone being included, but once the laws are done, we'll have some agreement grounded in “the natural state of things” [note: AKMA should have a ball dissecting how the laws of identity relates to Augustine theology up through Erasmus and the rise of the protestant work ethic…natural law anyone?]

C) the “people's” identity: the us v. (insert big bad evil entity) story is a powerful one…..open source movements feed on this one, but its certainly not limited to them. the idea that we can all become involved in something bigger than ourselves that will strip away the wrong-doings of an existing order of things…..well….

and other threads will form:

the technology that was the best that never suceeded

the person who champions reform after a tragedy

the evil CEO that fights reform to the end

….feel the mythic qualities? see, the more closely you weave in “mythic” elements, the more powerful they become….and let me stress this mythic DOES NOT equal false. all of the stories i've cited are true — and mythic.

good “marketing” is not just conversation — its recognizing the stories that people *want* to tell and acting accordingly.

The identity story is a powerful one because it touches most of us very deeply. the depth of it is attested to by the oft-had response of “the individual must own” their identity information and its use. Watch the emotion that attaches to that response – people *react* – with their hearts and minds.

The story of identity is being told in multiple ways with many different threads — in such a way that it has room for everyone and all of their stories. the last technology that I know of that was big enough for that was blogging (everyone tells their story); before that, the internet (the wild west gold rush); before that the personal computer (bringing to life the Jetsons future); before that the credit card (you can have what you want now, and worry about it later); before that the automobile (freedom on the open road); before that, the land rush (free land and fortune); before that, the american promise…….;-)

ps: wanna hear a good story?

the entrepreneur whiz kid founds an identity company after being inspired to think deeply about technology by the events of 9/11. he grows out of whiz kid and into experienced executive, as his company grows through funding – assembling a bright young staff of developers to build out the infrastructure of his vision. this company goes on to be a rising star in a david v. goliath fight versus the big technology stack guys — bringing a “best of breed” (which is marketing codeword for david v. goliath story) technology to market — with critical customer wins – it becomes a press and analyst darling….

how does the story end? i dunno – yet.

yes, my friends, we don't live out our stories. our stories live us.

So true.

Published by

Kim Cameron

Work on identity.