Innovation in storytelling with Storify

It’s 7 am and I have just woken up. I use my Blackberry for an alarm and so its become my ritual to flick through Twitter to see what the world got up to overnight while I was in dreamland. Yes, I am a Twtter tragic, and yes, I was the one that tweeted that post about Carl Sagan’s quote and Twitter addiction: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”. 

And so my friends, at 7am I discover not only that the mouse is dead, killed by the tablet, but also that stories have a new twist, thanks to this brilliant new mash-up technology called Storify

I have been an evangelist of storytelling in corporate life (AMP) since October 2006 when we held our first story slam for leaders, gathering 67 stories all up, and we have grown this year on year and now the whole company is doing it! Yeah! 

So you can imagine my delight to discover new ways to innovate on the theme of stories, alongside this other one I found last week! I have requested a beta account to trial Storify because sadly, the “Mashable” code didn’t work- must have been used up already.  I want to use Storify to tell the stories of the different speakers and topics at the Amplify Festival that I produce. (Next one is June 6-10 2011- have you booked yet?) 

But take a look, here’s the demo of Storify. How will you use it? 


Storify demo from Burt Herman on Vimeo.


Float like a butterfly!

In celebration of Leonardo Da Vinci’s birthday today, 15 April, and the start of World Creativity Week- a little spiritual reflection and soulful inspiration.

From Leonardo, this quote: When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. He enjoyed purchasing caged birds so that he could set them free and believed that “The time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” 

Next, from two spiritual men of our time, Deepak Chopra and Andrew Cohen, this beautiful short clip about the quantum leap in creativity that is enabled by just a few cells- the imaginal cells. But, no post will be complete without a story….so, watch the video first, 

then read this delightful story, sourced via


The caterpillar’s new cells are called ‘imaginal cells.’
They are so totally different from the caterpillar cells
that his immune system thinks they are enemies… and gobbles them up.

But these new imaginal cells continue to appear. More and more of them!
Pretty soon, the caterpillar’s immune system
cannot destroy them fast enough.
More and more of the imaginal cells survive.
And then an amazing thing happens!

The little tiny lonely imaginal cells start to clump together
into friendly little groups.
They all resonate together at the same frequency,
passing information from one to another.
Then, after awhile, another amazing thing happens!

The clumps of imaginal cells start to cluster together!
A long string of clumping and clustering imaginal cells,
all resonating at the same frequency,
all passing information from one to another there inside the chrysalis.

Then at some point,
the entire long string of imaginal cells
suddenly realizes all together
that it is something different from the caterpillar.
Something new! Something wonderful!
…and in that realization
is the shout of the birth of the butterfly!

Since the butterfly now “knows” that it is a butterfly,
the little tiny imaginal cells
no longer have to do all those things individual cells must do.
Now they are part of a multi-celled organism—
A FAMILY who can share the work.

Each new butterfly cell can take on a different job—
There is something for everyone to do.
And everyone is important.
And each cell begins to do just that very thing it is most drawn to do.
And every other cell encourages it to do just that.

A great way to organize a butterfly!”

*Adapted Version of Nori Huddle’s story from her book, Butterfly

Diary note: On Monday 20 April, I am launching with my team our 2010 Creativity Week initiative that I cant tell you about just yet, but it will be beautiful and exciting and be sure to check back in regularly as I will be blogging about it.