Monthly Archives: May 2011

May 30, 2011

U.S. Should Stop Asking if “They Like Us”

The September 11 attacks spawned a public mania in the United States for uncovering whether people in other parts of the world “like us,” and if not, understand why they “hate us.” Ten years later, the U.S. State Department and, more broadly, national security community is still using this uninformative metric. It is time to …

May 22, 2011

The Psychology of Conspiracy Theorists

Conspiracy Theories are Narratives on Steroids Conspiracy theories are narratives on steroids. In a story, the plot moves forward when one thing causes the next.  In a conspiracy theory, cause is an outsized malignant force that knows everything and controls all events. Nothing happens randomly, all events are tied to the larger purpose of an …

May 19, 2011

NY Times tells the Story of the Story of Obama’s Mideast Speech

The degree to which communication’s globalization has changed the way we think and talk about the news is evident in today’s reporting on Obama’s Middle East speech.  Once upon a time, communication-via newspaper, radio, what have you—was considered a transparent vehicle conveying to readers and listeners what was happening on the ground. Not so any …

May 14, 2011

Strategic Narrative Definition

There is no concrete thing in the world–like a granny smith apple, or a suspension bridge–to which the term “strategic narrative” refers. Nevertheless, there are an increasing number of mentions of this abstraction out there, which means that a shared definition is beginning to form in the collective minds of different groups, so perhaps we …

May 8, 2011

How to Market an Unpopular Cause

How do you market an unpopular cause? In a world crowded with attention-worthy causes, why do some get the backing of the international community, while others languish? This good question is being asked by the recipients of this year’s Hope Fellowship, a fund established by the National Albanian American Council to strengthen the role of …

May 2, 2011

“Global Drops out of “War on Terror” in post-bin Laden Narrative

When President Obama addressed the nation and the world last night to report Osama bin Laden’ death, I was surprised by the absence of a global element in his message.  Obama is known for his multilateral, global approach to foreign affairs, and it the lens through which he seems most comfortable framing American actions in …

May 2, 2011

Transmedia Storytelling Goes Beyond Entertainment

Transmedia Storytelling, according to media psychologist Pamela Rutledge in Psychology Today is “the new standard for 21st century communication:” Transmedia storytelling uses multiple media platforms to tell a single, coherent story or narrative that unfolds across time. Each media piece-whether it’s a website, novel, video games, mobile apps, or a film-provides different points of access …