Digital Storytelling

18 Oct

Mister Monkey & the Finite Flying Contraption:
Reflection on Digital Storytelling

(Please note: this post is the REFLECTION on my Digital Story. To view the Digital Story itself, please view this post: https://omygodfather.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/a-picture-storybook/)

My online story is a culmination of a variety of tangible forms of art, translated into an online medium. I have used the major elements of a picture story book (still images and text), used photography instead of illustrations and added an accompanying soundtrack to engage the viewer further and elicit and stronger emotional response. In this sense, the digital story is part storybook/part short film/part photographic story (as many elements of the story are actually not revealed in the text, and rely on the photographs to be communicated).

Drawing on the flipped lecture on visual storytelling I made sure I had a clear idea from the very beginning. As pre-production was already thoroughly thought out, I believe this meant that I avoided any errors during the production stage as I was fully prepared and knew exactly what I needed for completion. During the editing (post-production stage) I utilised slideshare tutorials to work out how to add audio and time the slides in a way that communicated my story in the way I desired.

Composition was very important in my photographs. I used low angles to communicate the height of the balloon and made sure colours complimented each other. I also made sure I minimised reflections so there was nothing to distract the viewer. I drew on my understanding and practice in cinematography to help compose the photographs – they are a lot more like stills from an animated short film rather than stand alone photographs (i.e. the use of close-ups). This flipped lecture was especially useful in understanding key compositional and visual techniques.

Using various elements (sound, photography, powerpoint, audio, text) was an idea I got from the flipped lecture on transmedia.

 

Disseminating and Sharing Digital Story

The flipped lecture ‘A Perfect Storm’ was particularly useful in developing my marketing strategy. The concepts of ‘hypersociability’ and the emphasis on the connectivity of social and media networks online, got me thinking how easy it would be to spread this digital story via the communicative networks I already utilise with friends and acquaintances. For the purpose of this story, my aim is to delight people…and I don’t mind just starting with people I know. If they enjoy it, they may pass the link onto friends. My marketing strategy therefore involves:

1. A Facebook Post via Slideshare

2. Tweet on twitter (#netmed) as well as using hashtags that relate to similar creative media (#digitalstorytelling, #photography, #story etc.)

3. Attach hyperlinks into youtube videos of short films I have made in the past/other creative content.

4. Share the blogpost on Facebook

For the type of audience I am after for this digital story, this is a perfect, personalised marketing strategy. As in the flipped lecture, ‘A Perfect Storm‘ I am utilising the social networks and connections I already have!

 

 

 

 

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A Picture Storybook

18 Oct

Mister Monkey & the Finite Flying Contraption

A little picture story book for you.

Please wait a minute or so until the play button is enabled (don’t move side to side with the arrow buttons).

Watch in ‘full view mode’.

Go on.

Have a gander.

Image

Strengths & Weaknesses: An Infograph

17 Oct

The Web – A Universal City

6 Oct

We try to tame the World Wide Web by giving it names. Web 2.0, Web 3.0. But what does this achieve?

Does it stop it’s expansion? Help us understand it? Does it change anything? Does it define anything? How do we define something that is constantly in flux? Constantly evolving?

This short story is told through the eyes of a girl who reflects on the city she inhabits – the Web – and how a man in a black suit came down from the clouds one day, and tried to name that which was unnameable.

See my story on Cowbird here:

http://cowbird.com/story/42483/The_Web__A_Universal_City/

Books, ebooks & Squashed Bugs

6 Oct

ebooks!

Do I hate them? Affirmative.

Have I used them? Negative.

Does that make me a grouchy elderly person? Probably not at this current moment in time because I’m only 19, but I would say it indicates that in the future I will be like those old grannies that refuse to use Microsoft Word because they already spent years learning wordperfect back in the 90s.

I just can’t disregard the fact that I love old crumbling books (and I love that old book smell. Unashamedly), I love dogeared pages and I love holding a BOOK in my hand. Now some words that spring to mind to rebut my love of real books in this ebook debate: modernisation, progress, advancement, technology, convenience, development. Ok fine. As an ezine article notes:

Ever since the dawn of civilisation, the progress of mankind has been aimed towards one main purpose and that has been to make life easier and more convenient…Books and newspapers are the latest additions to the paperless online juggernaut

(Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7068840)

And yes, I concede, in a changing media landscape the ebook is just another way of getting things NOW, getting things quicker and of course…like the iPod…not having to lug a whole library around with you. So yes Mr. eBook, you win points for practicality. But surely you only need one book at a time? And maybe, as noted in the Rise of e-reading,  eBooks encourage more people to read. But why do I feel a little stab of offence in my wee-little heart, every time I see an ebook reader on the train? Perhaps the pros and cons will help:

The Pros and Cons of the eBook Race, According to Myself and My Research:

PROS:

  • Cheaper (the price is usually around half of the physical book price)
  • Faster access (can purchase and download straight away)
  • No more long lines at the book store!
  • No more overdue library book fees
  • Convenience
  • Promotes more reading amongst those who would not usually read (according to a U.S. Survey)
  • Allows easy access to a wider range of material for those who are already avid readers (see here)
  • Creation of a new market for online eBook businesses

CONS:

  • Requires electricity (the benefits of a good ol’ book, was that you could have it in your bag, for all those times when technology fails us – I agree with this gentleman)
  • Doesn’t have the same generational/family importance – a memory passed down the ages
  • Libraries die
  • Book shops die
  • Paper factories die
  • The social environment created in book stores and libraries of like-minded, book-loving people is…dies
  • The ‘old book smell’ phenomenon fades into an oblivious of myth and legend
  • We spend even more hours of the day staring at a digital screen

So ok. I think I’m coming closer to the reason why eBooks make me cry. Some facts:

  1. To purchase an eBook, you usually won’t pay more than 50% of the physical book price (so they have an unfair advantage already!)
  2. 43% of Americans aged 16 and older have read an eBook (so it’s definitely on the rise)
  3. There are more than 4 x the amount of people reading eBooks now, than 2 years ago (so it’s definitely, definitely, on the rise)
  4. 42% of ebooks are read on computers, 41% on digital readers like Kindle or Nooks, 29% on cell phones and 23% on tablets

I think my major issue with this whole eBook phenomenon, is that it’s obviously on the rise = people seem to enjoy the convenience and cheapness = so I feel like I’m on the losing side. And I don’t like losing.

I just feel like we have excused every technological development with:

The thinking behind progress being that a better life is an easy life.

(Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7068840)

But has technology made our lives easier? The stress of having your employer and work contacting you whenever he wants via call, txt, email. The suffocating rise of reliance on facebook for notifications, event invitations, birthday reminders, phone numbers, friendship connections. As if our eyes were not already overwhelmed with torturous over-exposure to screens of all kinds – work computers, home laptops, televisions, GPS screens, mobile phones, tablets, iPods.

And if all progress was to make life easier, then what is the point of art? Maybe eBooks make me sad because they no longer carry that ‘work-of-art’ aspect that real books just exude…a little bundle of joy, with a tangible cover – is it cloth? Is it paperback? Can you knock on it? Is it textured? Does the title stand out so you can feel the letters with your fingertips? Not only is a solid book a piece of art, but it carries so much heart (or soul, as this guy says) a note you scribbled here or there, a folded page, a slightly torn page, a coffee stain, a squashed bug…(yeah sorry if that’s icky, but at least it has character! Squash a bug on your eBook reader because you’re to engrossed in what you’re reading to carefully flick it off, and see if it has the same effect when it slides off your plastic protective cover!)

References:

(image from wikimedia commons)

http://vulpeslibris.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/why-i-hate-ebooks-by-daniel-roush/

http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/04/04/the-rise-of-e-reading/

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Ebook-Phenomenon&id=7068840

http://digitalpublishingaustralia.org.au/2012/04/05/lies-damned-lies-and-ebook-statistics/

Where Good Ideas Come From

6 Oct

References:

Harvard Business Review Article

Cafe Creative Video – ‘Creativity Takes Time’

RMIT Student Charter

6 Oct

The amendments I have made to the student charter are in purple (the original being in black). Whilst the circled sections are the parts I believe to be fundamental to the attitude towards education. The first four words I have changed from being:

Be fully committed to your own learning, the decision you take in relation to it, and the challenges involved” 

Although the formality of the language is probably more suited to a student charter, I think it overcomplicates and distances the student in its wordiness. Four simple words:

“Own what you do”

Captures the reader immediately and plants a seed that sprouts a multitude of connotations and sub-meanings. So that ‘Own what you do’ is a statement of:

  • Empowerment (it is your work alone)
  • Responsibility (it is up to you to make it happen)
  • Liberation (no one is forcing you to do anything)
  • Flexibility (you’re not a slave to institutionalised education, it is a tool to aid your future and growth as a person)
  • Inspiring (do great things with the opportunities afforded you. Own it!)

I like this more simplistic approach, and in fact, why not have a student charter that consists of those four words only! Because essentially, all the other key aspects – valuing and respecting diversity and other people, being innovative, respecting rules and practices, working hard, helping others with feedback, being open – stem from that one truth! This is your education, and it is for you alone. In the end, no one can tell you what you should do or how you should do it, or what you should do with it!

Now yes, don’t tell me…you’ve been saying

YOU

Quite a lot. Yes yes, this generation; consumerists, materialists, capitalists, self-indulgent-ists, narcissists, facebookists, the-world-revolves-around-me-and-owes-me-something-ists. BUT, there is another beautiful thing which I hope to accentuate in my ideal student charter, and that ladies and gentleman is COLLABORATION. Or:

valuing and embracing the diversity and differences of others

Not only embracing it and valuing it, but learning from it; drawing inspiration from it. And what a lovely demonstration of collaboration this googledoc is. A bunch of fellow students and friends conspiring against the formalities of an unalterable rigid charter…and ALTERING IT. That’s pretty cool. Collaboration. Collaborative editing. File sharing. Sharing experiences, skills, talents, education. Valuing and embracing it! Quite invaluable really. So don’t forget, that while your own education is…your own (so own it!)   The community of university students is also there to teach, encourage and support you…as you should do to them. As a great mate said about 2,012 years ago “Do to others, as you would have them do to you.” Amen. Preach it brother. Literally.