Monday, November 26, 2012

Dr. Faulkner: Six Words

Six Words

            In 2006, journalist Larry Smith founded an on-line magazine called SMITH.  It was one of the first examples of personal media.  One quote refers to it as “a gigantic party to which everyone is invited to come, listen, and contribute their own personal story.”

            In 2007 SMITH partnered with a 5 month-old start up called Twitter to promote a reader contest:  Tell us your life in six words.  The prize was an iPod.

            The six-word memoir blossomed into books, events, t-shirts, comics, games and publications.  Millions of people have created and posted six-word memoirs.  For example Stephen Colbert posted, “Well, I thought it was funny.”

            So what’s the point?  In a time when we often see an abundance of words and even simple things can become highly complex, perhaps really important things should be distilled to as few words as possible. 

Here is my challenge to you.  Express the Vol State mission in six words.  You may send them by e-mail direct to my office or drop them into one of the suggestion boxes around campus.  You will have two weeks to submit your suggestion.

One of the SMITH editors, Rachel Ferschleiser offers some tips to get started:

Be specific.

Be honest.

Forget the thesaurus.

Use your speaking voice.

Experiment with structure.

Stop trying so hard.

You have two weeks to make your submission.  I will share some of the best with everyone in a future blog.  Unless you request to remain anonymous, I will share your name as well.

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