Tommy Tomlinson breaking from his Observer column, trying out new story formats
Posted on 23 Aug 2010 by Justin Ruckman
Tommy Tomlinson, one of the Observer’s best and brightest, is ditching his traditional column for new, more experimental formats — including finding new ways to work with his audience.
His first project: One Good Thing.
“The idea is simple: I want you to say one good thing about a group you don’t like.
If you’re a Democrat, think of one good thing about Republicans. If you’re an atheist, one good thing about people of faith. If you’re a Carolina fan, one good thing about Dukies.
Those aren’t the only categories, of course. Think about the one crowd you most complain about, the one club you’d never join. Now: Come up with one good thing to say about them. We’ll be rejecting all sarcasm, cynicism, and backhanded compliments. You have to be sincere.”
He says his inspiration for this particular project is Ze Frank’s similar post-2008-election “52/48″, which like many of Ze’s internet culture experiments, found a substantial following of loyal contributors looking for the best qualities in each other.
Charlotte could definitely use a local Ze Frank to stir things up, so here’s hoping this takes off. Local writers playing with story formats and looking for reader submissions isn’t anything new, but with Tommy’s skill at story-telling this could really be something special.