Introducing the Tap Essay

Using the Tapestry app has been an interesting experience so far. Inspired by Robin Sloan’s “Fish,” the app allows users to create an interactive narrative. It’s somehow more intimate than turning the page of a physical book, even though the stories are relatively short and exist online. In my opinion, Tapestry is the digital equivalent of listening to a story someone else is telling you, including all of the pauses where they wait for your affirmation to continue.

In order to create my own Tapestry, I’ve come up with several topics that might translate well into what I think is an exciting new format – it’s the narrowing down and selection process that’s giving me trouble. Do I turn an old commentary about Twitter and erroneous citizen journalism into a humorous, snarky tap essay? Do I choose the image-heavy idea about math and beauty in nature? Do I go with the topic I know and love, Dave Matthews Band and their fanbase? What about the more serious route of explaining third-party trackers and the Google Chrome extensions that block them?

Again, my problem isn’t that I feel too limited in Tapestry, it’s the opposite. While only one of these ideas might be good enough to translate into a class project, the rest are Tapestries just waiting to be made. And although these seem like they’re more fun to read than they are to make, I’m looking forward to the process just to see what storytelling can become. It’s nice to think that Sloan’s dead fish inspired so many living, active stories, isn’t it?