After 2+ years of work, 145,000+ lines of code, one Icelandic grass hut, one night in jail, one serving of jellied ram’s testicles with fermented shark meat, and countless pieces of toast with orange marmalade, in December 2011 Jonathan Harris launched Cowbird, a community of storytellers focused on deeper, longer-lasting, more personal storytelling than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the Web.
Cowbird‘s short-term goal is to pioneer a new form of participatory journalism, grounded in the simple human stories behind major news events. In the long-term, they aim to build a public library of human experience — kind of like a Wikipedia for real life.
… Are you a global nomad? Elena Martinez-Moratalla, our contributor in San Francisco, spent a couple of hours with Jonathan Harris, who recently joined our Global Nomads Project, a community of great people with better ideas.
Jonathan Harris and Elena, south from San Francisco.
Jonathan Harris in 42 words
Blue and Black are my favourite colours. “I believe in technology, but I think we need to make it more human”. I like the taste of Highland Park scotch. I really feel at home underwater. “Storytelling can help us bring some order to the chaos of actual experience, packaging it in a way that is usable for yourself and for others”. I never travel without my sketchbook. I like the smell of pine trees. “People actually are very similar but have trouble seeing that”.
The best thing about the TED experience as a speaker was being finished with my talk. “Itʼs that feeling of building something”. “The Power of Myth” is one of my favourite books. Beauty means to you something strange that you have not seen before. “Cowbird is a new platform for storytellers, asking people to move toward, longer, slower, less”. Love is what I am searching for. A song is a poem with legs, but a website is a poem with wings. “We define ourselves by our gaps” . The next place you would like to visit is outer space. A dream keeps me awake. A word cannot equal silence. The best part of living in San Francisco is its openness to the future. “This is what I work to do”.
… Are you a Global Nomad?
Tell us your story!