Melbourne Writers Festival used what it called “Wi-Fiction” to tap into the standard list of available wireless networks and tell a series of stories one network name at a time.
There are many ways to tell a story, but recently we stumbled across an example that’s surely the first of its kind. Tapping into the standard list of available wireless networks that’s frequently presented wifi users, an effort at the recent Melbourne Writers Festival used what it called “Wi-Fiction” to tell a series of stories one network name at a time. The Melbourne Writers Festival is an annual event, and this year it took place in late August and early September. New this year, however, was that among all the many illustrious and up-and-coming writers who took part was one named Router Writer, billed as “the pioneer of an entirely new genre known as ‘Wi-Fiction.’” Some 15 written works have already been produced by the new effort, all of them told via a dedicated set of six routers and the ubiquitous “Select a Wireless Network” list on readers’ phones and computers. “Ugly duckling / Gets beak-job / Snares rich / Mallard” is one example, with each line conveyed as a different wireless network name. “Grandmother / Drops bombshell / Held as / Terrorist” is another. To enjoy Router Writer’s Wi-Fiction during the festival, readers had only to visit Melbourne’s Atrium at Federation Square with an iPhone, iPad or laptop. The video below demonstrates Router Writer in action: Similar in some ways to building a dating profile or job application in 140 characters or less, Wi-Fiction stories are tightly constrained by the size limits of the wireless network list. At the same time, they also bring storytelling to a new and unexpected medium. Plans call for “Router Writer” to continue the Wi-Fiction effort at other literary events as well. PLentry of inspiration here for publishers and advertisers everywhere!