Facts Without Context

A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Saunya Peterson was at Ignite Minneapolis giving a presentation on context.

Her basic premise: story often gets lost when you present facts without context.

Saunya’s example: “Young girl is mysteriously transported to a strange land where she kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

These are the facts of Wizard of Oz, but they are decidely not the story.


I share all this as set up to a little miscommunication with my wife last night.

Imagine you’ve gone to bed early. The TV is off so you have no idea the whole world is buzzing about the death of Osama bin Laden.

You wake up to a text from your husband, who’s on an airplane somewhere:  “You watching CNN?”

Before you can get to the TV, a second text comes in:  “Still on tarmac. People hugging and high-fiving.”

And another:  “Surreal experience.”

What might be going through your head?

I will not reprint the text I finally received in return.