November 2014 webinar: The Art and Science of Story Patterns

• When: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
• QED presenter: Laurie Webster
• Guest respondent: Mike Carroll (@mike1carroll), Cognia, Adelaide, SA

For most practitioners and their clients, the steps in a SenseMaker® project between collecting stories and reporting findings can be unclear. In this webinar, Laurie Webster demystifies this analyst-in-the-middle phase of a project. She gives example-based answers to questions ranging from “What’s the first thing to do with a story set?” to “How do you show this to a client?” Mike Carroll of Cognia, who has worked with Laurie, responds from both practitioner and client perspectives.

Questions (from participants) and Answers (from Laurie) that were inadvertently not answered during the webinar:

Q. Angela – language needs to be different for web versus app
A. You may need to change some of the instruction text. And, if you use Stones, you must use a rectangle canvas for the iOS version.

Q. Angela – have either of used used audio or photo uploads as the narratives – reflections on that?
A. I only worked a small bit on one project with photos. First, you need to remember that they reside on the server (with a url link in your data). You can download certain ones that you want to highlight. I can’t say more than that. I would love to do a test project with them though.

Q. Barrett – A common question in our project was ‘who is going to be able to read these stories?’
A. Excellent point. In every project I’ve been involved with, this has been thought through and articulated to the respondents. In many cases, there is a question that gives permission to use stories as described by the project sponsor.

Q. Barrett – Also noted that stories shared online fairly often would have been easily matched to individuals–which was a potential problem.
A. I agree. This is a problem with smaller groups or if you are dividing up the story by, say, a department in a company.

Q. Barrett – Serious question: How to ensure that experiences will be anonymous.
A. First, there is no audit trail or capture of IP address using the web browser as the Collector. You can also ask people not to mention specific names or other identifying information. It really is the signifying data that we are mostly reviewing, e.g., triad, dyads, questions.

Q. Tamara – have either of you had experience using naive interviewers? If so, what were some of the benefits and challenges?
A. I personally have not used naive interviewers.

Q. Bruce – I wanted to ask about Tableau. Are the data visualizations you showed us of the triadic fields, also available in SenseMaker itself, or do you have to use a product like Tableau to get that analysis and view?
A. You can get triads using SenseMaker Explorer. I did not show Explorer, but I am adding a short screencast to the playlist of videos that I’ll post for your review.

Q. Gary – Dave shows 3D fitness landscapes in his presentations. Do you have one to show?
A. I don’t use 3D fitness landscapes. I never understood them or could figure them out. Instead now, I am starting to use a new visualization called a narrative landscape. These are in alpha. They seem very effective. I never give dates for Cog Edge software, but we won’t see them until some time next year.

Laurie Webster has worked on more than 40 narrative projects with the Cognitive Edge methods and SenseMaker® since 2008.

Mike Carroll has a long-standing parallel career in the film and television industry focused on science and natural history. This is where he encountered complexity, which led him ultimately to Cognitive Edge and narrative, with which he has been involved since 2008.