Cybertainment: Facebook launches storytelling website

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Facebook has come up with a new way of keeping people online. The social media giant recently launched Facebook Stories, a website that gives people in the Facebook community a chance to share their stories with the world in a new way.

It's storytelling with more depth than the usual Facebook news feed post. Sometimes Facebook users just update others about what they ate for lunch, but some stories people tell on Facebook are compelling and inspiring. The goal of Facebook Stories is to share some of the latter.

Facebook members are invited to submit their own stories to be considered for future editions of Facebook Stories.

For August, the theme is remembering. The main feature is the story of Mayank Sharma, a 29-year-old New Delhi man. In 2010, tubercular meningitis wiped out his entire memory. A moving video tells his story and how he used Facebook's People You May Know feature to track down people who could help him piece together his past life. Although his memory hasn't returned, some people in his network have been able to help him with details.

Another story takes the reader to Guelph, Ontario, where a Facebook community is rallying to save a historic building that has fallen into disrepair. People have collected memories, newspaper articles and photographs and used Facebook as a rallying point to build the network needed to save the building.

There's a video interview with Jeremy Bailenson, director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford, who talks about how virtual reality affects memory.

Other elements of the new Facebook site include The Reading List, a collection of articles from the New Yorker archives. This month, each explores some aspect of memory.

The Bookshelf offers book recommendations from Goodreads. This month writer Joshua Foer, a past winner of the U.S. Memory Championship, shares some recommended titles.

A map marks the places on Earth where each of the stories came from. And there's music, with curated playlists from Spotify.

Facebook Stories has -- of course -- a Facebook page, plus a monthly podcast on iTunes.

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Adrian McCoy: or 412-263-1865.


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