Barry Diller At The All Things Digital Conference: Story Guy Glimpses Ending Of Narrative As We Once Knew It

Just saw Barry Diller interviewed onstage by Kara Swisher at the All Things Digital conference.

When Swisher asked him what he thought about the valuation Facebook got from Microsoft, he touched on a key aspect of the story-software dynamic I’ve been obsessing about for the past few months—and how expectations for story will be indelibly influenced by, well, software, and software tools. All emphasis mine:

"I had to learn this. I did not think this a few years ago. I come from narrative. I thought nothing would interrupt the story, and people want to sit there and watch passively, and that is the storytelling experience.

I have learned that that is partly true. And very true for older people. But the truth is interaction, the tools available to you . . . Facebook is, in a sense, nothing more than the princess phone 30 years ago, 50 years ago--a way for people to be communicating with each other. It's got great tools that enhance it, that draw you in, keep you in, and allow you to do it at a scale you could never do before. Even if you were on a small-town party line with 300 other people.

What's happened because of that, because of how these things are changing, social networks--a dumb-ass phrase if I ever heard one--[have given rise to] the idea of constant engagement with a content, wherever it is, with whatever assemblage of communication tools . . . will play a role in all of our lives.

I don’t think passivity is going out the window. But it will reduce pretty far down . . .

Everything is going to have those [interactive] components. Something that allows people to get what they want more actively, or manipulate content with tools we give them, or allows them to communicate with each other. We're now in a different communications age."

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.