Turning data into a story

first, I saw that Michael Lopp, writing as Rands, posted a long, thoughtful essay on the hierarchy of information, and about how the data points available to us are getting shorter and shorter (going from long newspaper articles to short, 140-character tweets), and how those of us who love Twitter are taking the small data points and creating a narrative, a story, from those tiny bits:

“Those frustrated with Twitter are frustrated because they have a belief that a story needs a beginning, middle, and end. And that it should have all of those parts before it’s presented to them. What the hell am I supposed to learn from a tweet? The point of Twitter isn’t knowledge or understanding, it’s merely connective information tissue. It’s small bits of information carefully selected by those you’ve chosen to follow and its value isn’t in what they send, it’s how it fits into the story in your head. There are great stories to be found on Twitter, but you have to do the work.”

And then I saw Google’s Super Bowl ad, and it demonstrated the point perfectly:

The small pieces of information we get from Google aren’t the story; it’s what we do with the information.

Brilliant.