Storytelling: Written, Audio, Visual, Digital Storytelling

Please see the paper Barbara wrote for the Orton Family Foundation, Re-Weaving the Community, Creating the Future for a thorough grounding in why stories matter.

Refer to our wiki, LocalMatters, Designing a Storytelling Project for Community Engagement, for  a workshop in storytelling with communities.

Written Stories

Why Use Written Stories?

  • Easy to gather — people can do them on their own
  • Accessible to many *Letters-to-self-to-town-to-world can deepen bonds with community
  • Easy to extract meaning and information *Honors traditions of stories

Examples:

  • 826 is an organization with tutoring centers focused on improving writing skills, teacher lesson plans, publishing student work, & services for English language learners

Tips & Tricks:

Publishing & Outlets:

Audio Stories

Why Use Audio Stories?

  • The equipment is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. You just need to practice a little and get comfortable with it.
  • A microphone is less intrusive than a video camera. People can be more natural – more themselves in the company of a good interviewer or group.
  • Audio forces the teller/catcher to be creative and pay attention to words, sound and language.
  • Audio is intimate. When you hear someone’s voice on a podcast, it seems as if they’re talking directly to you. Swedish researches have found that audio creates more of a sense of co-presence than does text.
  • In a one-on-one interview, the sharer is heard directly and feel valued; the listener gains insight and connects to the sharer in a new way.

Examples:

Tips & Tricks:

Visual Stories

Why Use Visual stories?

  • Single Images (Still photos, paintings, etc.) convey strong emotion, a single point or mood.
  • Images can speak more loudly than words, especially in this image-centered era.
  • Images can show things differently, and show different things.
  • Easy to place in the landscape for an ongoing presence.
  • Terrific way to engage people in a collaborative project (see mural project examples)

Examples:

Maps

Tips & Tricks:

  • Mapping the stories using Wayfaring
  • ManyEyes visualize data
  • Media Cloud is a system that lets you see the flow of the media. It builds an archive of news stories and blog posts from the web, applies language processing, and gives you ways to analyze and visualize the data.
  • Wikiviz a list of visualization tools

Publishing & Outlets:

  • PaintMap – paint, take a photo, then upload to this interactive map; the country’s landscape revealed using paintings
  • Flickr MemoryMaps

DIGITAL STORYTELLING

Why Use Multimedia Stories?

  • Video brings viewers to the action, to the place central to see and hear.
  • Mixing text and image well can amplify the message: two plus two equals far more than four.
  • Audio and image complement one another, bringing the viewer close to the teller and to the teller’s perspective.

Examples:

Individual Stories
Story Projects/Organizations

Software and Server hosting stories combined into one

Tips & Tricks:

Publishing & Outlets:

  • Stories for Change – Connect & share around community-based digital storytelling work. Upload videos, share curriculum ideas, engage in meaningful conversations.
  • Creative Narrations – Provides support and training to document the unfolding stories of change in our neighborhoods.
  • The Abroad View Foundation – College students and recent graduates submit writing, audio, and video from study abroad experiences.
  • “Digital Storytelling” group on Vimeo: upload your video and join the group
  • Our Media – upload/publish videos, podcasts and other works of personal media and creativity.
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