The power of storytelling with Johnny Harris

The power of storytelling with Johnny Harris

Speaking at the Xynteo Starter, Johnny Harris, senior producer at Vox Media talked about how digital videos are going through a massive transformation and how we need to figure out how to use them to reach people via videos. “Earlier, we thought we just had to keep content to two mins. If we go over, people would check out.”

Harris shared how when he started out at Vox, they uploaded only three-minute videos because of the belief that nobody watches content that’s any longer.

“You can’t cut down the seriousness of these videos” he said. This is what he thought he had to do for a video on the Syrian civil war. The video ended up being seven minutes long and that got them 100 million views on Facebook!”

In time, they pushed that to six, 10, and now 15-minute videos and are still getting millions of views.

Harris believes that people want to learn and feel empowered with information and that they watch complex stories if told well.

Internet isn’t just incentivising people to change but it’s also opening doors for people to learn. “People want to understand the border conflicts that are going on in our world.”

He concluded by inviting the audience to imagine the impact if story-telling was applied to climate change!

Xynteo
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