London – An interactive storytelling website for children launches this week, harnessing some of the best traits of Web 2.0 – creativity and collaboration – to provide its users with inviting, engaging content.
We Make Stories was created by Penguin Books for Puffin, its children’s imprint. The paid-for site (the membership fee is a one-time payment of £5.99/€6.99) features a host of story-creating tools, including easy-to-use applications for making comics, pop-up books and audio books. Children can share their creations in a publicly accessible gallery on the site, as well as print copies of their work to show off to proud parents and grandparents.
The website distinguishes itself from the branded Puffin Books website or an e-retail space, promoting, instead, the services it offers. ‘We asked what services we could create in the business of storytelling and whether we could make a service rather than just distributing content,’ Jeremy Ettinghausen, digital publisher at Penguin UK, says. ‘What we’re not trying to do is sell books – we’ve made a distinction between marketing books and providing a service.’
Brands providing consumers with a useful service rather than pure product? It’s no fairytale.