Justin KownackiHello! Welcome to my blog, where sociology meets storytelling.

Here are four things you should probably know about me:

  • I love teaching people how to tell more interesting, engaging, and effective stories
  • I went to school for animation, spent a decade as a videographer and editor, and designed YouTube campaigns for consumer brands
  • I currently freelance as a corporate ghostwriter, marketing consultant, and PR pro for companies ranging from education to nonprofits to solopreneurs
  • Ten years ago, I blogged daily about marketing; these days I blog about pop culture storytelling hits and misses — and why they work so well (or why they don’t)

So if you want to understand how stories work, and if you want to use those insights to make your own stories more interesting, engaging, and rewarding for your audience, your fans, or your business, then you’re in the right place. (You can start here!)

My Current Life

By day, I help businesses tell better stories so they can reach their goals faster.

By night, I study films, TV, books, video games, history, and pop culture, so I can tell even better stories myself.

(And when I’m not doing any of those things, I’m writing screenplays. But that’s a whole different topic.)

My Past (and Future) Life

In 2003, I needed a creative outlet to balance out my day job, so I launched what would go on to become the web’s longest-running sitcom, Something to Be Desired (“STBD”), which I wrote, shot, directed, edited, and produced from 2003-2009. In 2008, STBD was nominated for a Yahoo! Video Award for Best Web Series. (We lost to The Guild, so congratulations to them.)

In 2006, I attended the very first PodCamp Boston, which created the original social-media-for-business scene and propelled the careers of dozens of marketing experts whom you’ve probably bought books from, including its co-founders, Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn. Six weeks later, I launched Podcamp Pittsburgh, the annual social media “un-conference” that survives to this day, in the spirit of the Boston original.

In 2010, with help from our fans on Kickstarter, STBD was spun off into a new series, The Baristas (2010-2011). Unfortunately, the real-life coffee shop that the show was filmed in closed down in 2011, so — like STBD before it — The Baristas never quite came to a proper narrative end. (Yet.)

The Brief Life and Sudden Death of The Baristas — or, How Not to Make a Web Series

Where Can You Find Me?

I speak about storytelling, marketing, and the future of media. Here’s one example. If you want a speaker who gives your audiences advice they can actually use, contact me and let’s make that happen.

I also contribute to the MAQTOOB group for entrepreneurs on Medium.

I currently live in Baltimore, though I’m a Pittsburgher at heart.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn for more tips about the art and business of storytelling.

Want to Tell Better Stories for Your Business?

Check out my new online course: Storytelling for Business

3 Comments

You can’t force engagement, no matter who you are « One True Sentence · February 26, 2010 at 8:06 am

[…] week, Justin Kownacki wrote a blog post telling his audience that they needed to step up their game and write better […]

Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/03/10 | PerkettPRsuasion - The PerkettPR Blog · May 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

[…] Guys: When It Comes to Your Audience, Size DOES Matter Justin Kownacki hits the nail on the head with this fantastic post about the long winded debate between quantity […]

5 Ways to Network Without Feeling Dirty | The Good Badger · May 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

[…] the self proclaimed “Armchair Socialist and Perpetual Contrarian”.  I stumbled upon Justin’s blog during one of my innumerable conquests through the Interweb, and have made his site part of my […]