Monday, June 4, 2007


The Murmur oral history project has created an innovative way to communicate with people in a location-specific way.

"We collect and make accessible people's personal histories and anecdotes about the places in their neighborhoods that are important to them. In each of these locations we install a [murmur] sign with a telephone number on it that anyone can call with a mobile phone to listen to that story while standing in that exact spot, and engaging in the physical experience of being right where the story takes place. Some stories suggest that the listener walk around, following a certain path through a place, while others allow a person to wander with both their feet and their gaze."

I believe this concept could be applied in many ways: How about having murmurs all over bookstores with personal reviews of lesser-known books? Or murmurs in a perfume store, explaining the differences between colognes? Or murmurs in front of a restaurant? This could be really helpful when you're traveling. Or think about murmurs as part of the car dealership experience?

This communication model could become an integral part of overall sales communications. It's a sales tool without being a sales pitch. Where can I find expert advice about colognes, paint, printer ink? Murmurs could provide that without being too salesy.

Murmur began in Kensington Market in Toronto in 2003. Currently, you can experience Murmur in three Toronto locations, as well as Dublin, Edinburgh, San Jose, Vancouver and Montreal. You can sample a Murmur recording by clicking on the maps on the web-sites listed. It gives you a good idea how it works

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