Stories are amazing and I am always amazed how stories can connect people. I am getting ready to launch a project this week with Greenville Hospital System, and I have been amazed how the first part of this project has truly defined the meaning of stories.

The first story was one of connection…connecting people, connecting their thoughts, connecting their perspectives, and connecting missions. As Greenville Hospital System grows and spreads it’s footprint across the Upstate of South Carolina, relationships and trust become key. No better way to connect these ideas, missions, and perspectives than by finding a common language and stories fill that void.

Nielsen Research just released the 2011 3rd/4th Quarter Digital Consumer Report illustrating the point that we are growing more and more as a connected culture. Media has become our connection point and technology has provided that link between brands and consumers…and consumers as a whole. Let’s look at some of the recent stats from the US by ¬†Neilsen:

274 million have Internet access
169 million visitors to social networks/blogs
165 million people watch video on a computer

117 million mobile Internet users
44% of mobile Internet users have a smart phone

70% of time spent using a tablet is at home

76 million tv homes are HD capable
35 million tv home have 4 or more tv sets

We are connected, but does that mean we are connected? Just because we have a device and we have internet access? Yes, we are online…but content brings us together. Specifically stories connect us…we seek out common threads, rich information that touches us in a way to read, watch, connect, and even purchase. We want something more than typing in a URL, downloading an “APP”, turning to a televisions show, or engaging in online conversation.

Our stories connect us and we are consistently seeking stories that take us to new places and times. We are seeing more story development during large events like the Super Bowl. Brands are recognizing that consumers want a story to follow. Audi’s Twilight commercial during the SuperBowl allowed people to continue following the Twilight storyline and connecting in conversation over Twitter using the #SoLongVampires hashtag. ¬†Millions of people connected in conversation weeks after the SuperBowl…all via a story of vampires. Cool.

Stories connect us…we just have to find the right story to tell.