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

Here are four things you should probably know about me:

  • I went to school for animation, spent a decade as a videographer and editor, and designed YouTube campaigns for consumer brands
  • I spend more time analyzing film and TV than most peopleprobably should
  • I currently freelance in the PR world as a ghostwriter and communicatons strategist for companies ranging from pharmaceutical to education to nonprofits to solopreneurs
  • Ten years ago, I blogged daily about marketing; these days, I blog about how storytelling works in media— and why some stories don’t really work at all

So if you want to understand how stories work, 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 more people.

By night, I study films, TV, books, video games, history, and pop culture, so I can learn how to 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 write and speak about storytelling, marketing, and the future of media.

Here’s one example of my speaking style. If you want a speaker who gives your audiences advice they can actually use, contact me and let’s make that happen.

I just moved to Richmond, but Pittsburgh and Baltimore will always be in my heart.

Follow me on Twitter for more insights about the art and business of storytelling.


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]