Thursday, December 9, 2010

Part 3. On Digital Storytelling

    Digital storytelling is a broad term that brings what is private and personal, usually stories and narratives, into the public; many times on a global scale, in mediated forms. This includes but is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and blogging. Before webcams, video and digital cameras, and laptops were widely affordable or accessible, the traditional digital story was when an outsider with technology such as voice or video recording devices came in and recorded stories of usually underrepresented populations. This has largely changed and many of these unheard voices and stories represent themselves without the need of another person facilitating the recording.

       Today, digital storytelling is created in line with our re-mix culture as it often takes things that are already produced such as images and sounds to help people tell their stories.  There are institutions such as The Center for Digital Storytelling which assist people in creating their digital stories according to very specific guidelines in terms of length, form, and purpose, and then there are more DIY forms which are unmediated by institutions.  But in general, there are not that many models of digital storytelling and people tend to use the same structure over and over again, usually making photo slideshows with voiceovers or they talk to a webcam, their stories often confined to conventions specific to their topic.  For example, a typical digital story on being “hapa”, mentally ill, “coming out” or being “AB540” will often follow certain respective narrative patterns which one can decipher with a little Youtube or Blog research.  

Here is an example of an AB540 Digital Story created by 1.8 Million Dreams:

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