Storybird is working on multilingual story-sharing

I was delighted to read the news in Guardian Education about “E-publishing and digital storytelling”

They say Storybird harnesses “the power of great art to stimulate creative thoughts and writing and could be used in any language”. Well, now Storybird is working on a soultion. It would be great to see, for example, Welsh-language stories being made and shared on this platform.

The Guardian also gives honourable mentions to the Book Creator app and to Puppet Pals, Sock Puppets and Strip Design where students can design and make their own comic strips.

Working with groups of more than ten people on their personal stories

Canadian digital storyteller Kent Manning contacted Barrie Stephenson and I recently with a question: “I’m conducting a digital storytelling session next month for a group of 26 educators. I value the story circle part of the process as this is the way I was taught by the folks at CDS. Would you have any suggestions for conducting story circle time with such a large group? Would you have individuals share their stories with the large group? Small group sharing perhaps?”

Here’s what I suggest:

26 is a big group. You could either split it into three and hold three storycircles or here’s a suggestion that may help.

1. Pair people up and ask each to talk for two minutes about ‘the most remarkable day of my life’. Their partner takes notes and will relate their partner’s story in the next step.

2. Bring neighboring pairs together into six or seven groups of four. The tell each other’s stories of their big day to this small group.

3. Bring neighboring quads together into three groups of eight or so people for the Love/Hate game.

4. If you want one preparatory activity with all 26 together, Gilly Adams’s Match Game is the one I suggest.

5. Back to the three groups of eight will be the best way to develop the stories each participant intends to tell.

For other Story Circle activity ideas, see also this page with seven articles about helping people to capture their story in a digital storytelling workshop.

Photo is either by Huw Davies or Carwyn Evans. I can't remember which, sorry.
Kent got back in touch afterwards to say:

“I employed a couple of the strategies you mentioned at my DS session in New York City. The group was a close knit bunch and all had very good working relationships so small group interaction as you suggest below worked the best. And then we gathered as a larger group to talk about our stories.

The teachers came prepared to the workshop with story ideas and photos, so we used the morning as a writers workshop and most folks had a working draft by noon. It was at this point we started our conversations and story circles in depth.”

If you’ve worked with larger groups and have tips or experiences to share, feel free to use Comments.

The Storycenter has a brand new blog

Here’s some good news from Storycenter: they’ve just launched a new blog.

It begins with seven categories. The number seven relates back to the number of steps in Storycenter’s digital storytelling guide. Here’s how Allison Myers – southwest director – sets out these categories:

Owning Our Insights. We will feature CDS staff reflections on workshop experiences, stories or projects, or our own stories from time to time. We may also include reviews and opinion pieces on books, articles, and movies.

Voices from Around the Table. Because sharing stories sparks stories, we want to hear from others. Look for interviews and guest reflections or opinion pieces.

Updates from the Field. This section is more resource heavy and will include technology reviews, methodologies, innovations, articles, and reports on story work in a variety of contexts, written by CDS staff and others.

Storyteller Reflections. Hear directly from storytellers in our workshops about their process, the back story, and maybe their answer to the question we always ask, “Why this story, and why now?” 

Project News. Sometimes, we just want to share with you some of the interesting projects that we get to develop with our community partner organizations around the globe.

In the Moment. Find out about upcoming events, project announcements, and news about our partner organizations and clients.

The Story Behind the Picture. One exercise we sometimes do when our staff are together is trade a photo from our life with a colleague who then narrates to the group what is in the photo and what the possible story behind the photo is… or what you can’t see. Then the owner of the photo reveals the real story behind the photo. This will be a crowd-sourced component of our blog, and we hope it will be a lot of fun. 

I wish Joe Lambers, Allison Myers and all the Storycenter team all the best with their new venture and I look forward to reading their posts in the future.

Call for Speakers: DS8 #digitalstorytelling festival in Wales

There’s a call for papers and speakers at DS8 – the 8th Annual Digital Storytelling Festival in Wales – from organisers the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, which is part of University of Glamorgan’s Cardiff School of Creative & Cultural Industries.

Following on from the success of DS7 last year (CDS, Cowbird, Historypin), DS8 will be held at Chapter Arts in Cardiff on Friday 14th June 2013.

A wide range of attendees is expected: from practitioners to researchers; from community workers to students. Proposals are invited to present either an academic paper or to run a workshop or a break-out session.

Deadline for submissions of 300-word abstracts is Friday 29 March 2013. Please send them to Karen Lewis whose email address is klewis (at) glam.ac.uk

News from CDS of Digitalstorytelling conference in Ankara, May 2013

Here’s an exciting announcement from the Center for Digital Storytelling about CREATE, ACT, CHANGE: 5th International Digital Storytelling Conference and Exhibition. 8-10 May, Ankara, Turkey.

The venue is Beytepe (Tunçalp Özgen) Conference Center, Beytepe Campus, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Communication, in Ankara, Turkey.

There’s a call for speakers, papers, digital stories for screening and exhibitors on the conference website.

The submission deadline for 400-500 word abstracts and stories for screening consideration is 15 February 2013.

Deadline for full paper submission for peer reviewed publication is 30 June 2013. Full papers should be between 5000-7000 words including bibliography and your paper can be either in English or Turkish.

Conference registration will open soon and it will cost between Euros 80-150

The draft programme is available here.

People who’ve been to this events in the past have told me what a well-organised and interesting conference this is. Well worth the trip to Turkey and a chance to visit Ankara and hear all about the latest developments in the digital storytelling world.

Telling Truths, Changing Minds – digital storytelling evening

As a round-up of digital storytelling activities in south Wales, it’s hard to beat this event TELLING TRUTHS, CHANGING MINDS in Cardiff, Wales, on Thursday, 29 November 2012.

It’s been organised by the CommsCymru network for communications professionals in Wales and it’s open to all members of that CommsCymru network (joining details below). The event is all about the ‘practice and tactics for making effective comms narratives plus the latest applied research from experts at our national centre for storytelling’.

The programme is impressive:

  • Professor Hamish Fyfe of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of Glamorgan will be hosting the evening.
  • Lisa Heledd-Jones of StoryWorks will share some of her digital storytelling work in the field of health and wellbeing.
  • Matt Chilcott of the digital inclusion project Communities 2.0 will talk about that project.
  • Bridget Keehan will be ‘Questioning the Purpose of the Arts in Prison’.
  • Chris Morgan – Mogs – of GEECS will discuss how storytelling can be used in digital inclusion.
  • Dr Pat Ryan will look at the improtance of story times in Welsh museums, archives and libraries.
Chris 'Mog' Morgan
Chris 'Mog' Morgan’s background is in digital storytelling and community based multi-media work. He has worked with a wide variety of community groups in Wales and Europe on projects from music and film making to animation and web design.

I’m really looking forward to this event. If you’re not already a member of the CommsCymru network, you can get details of free membership at www.commscymru.info and of how to register for this free event from commsprofession@wales.gsi.gov.uk

5.45 – 7: 30 PM Thursday, 29 November 2012
The Zen Room, ATRiuM, Cardiff School of Creative &
Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff CF24 2FN

A gentle introduction to Creative Commons for digital storytellers

Copyright in the old days:
All of this is owned by me, contact me if you want to discuss the possibility of re-using it.

Copyright nowadays:
You can still use the above model.

Or…

You can state explicitly and irrevocably up front that you’re happy for people to re-use your intellectual property in certain stated circumstances without them having to come to ask your permission every time.

This is attractive to those making digital stories who want the world to be able to share and re-embed what they’ve made. And a knowlege of this kind of license is useful for someone who wants to include other people’s work within their own digital story.

One model that’s popular is the Creative Commons licence, which has three axes:

1. Whether or not you want a name-check (Attribution or BY) for your work
2. Whether or not you’re willing for others to alter your work, or create derivatives. Risk: someone may Photoshop someone else’s body onto that image of your child’s face you put on Flickr. Three options here:
(a) If you want your work untouched, just passed on as it is, use NoDerivs (ND)
(b) If you do decide to allow alterations as long as the new author shares it in the same way as your original work was, you add ShareAlike or SA to the label.
(c) If you don’t care what happens to the altered work, no mention need be made of this on the license label.
3. Whether or not you care about others making money for themselves out of what is yours. This part of the label says either Non-Commercial (NC) or there’s no mention of it.

So a Creative Commons license which is labelled: Attribution, No Derivatives, Non Commercial means I’m happy for you to use my work without getting in touch with me as long as you name-check me as the creator, don’t change my work and don’t make any money from its re-distribution.

A more relaxed license – used by Wikipedia – is Attribution-ShareAlike or CC BY-SA. This is the license many of those lobbying governments to open up publicly-funded data would like to see adopted by governments.

Creative Commons is most straightforward if the thing you made was entirely made by you and contains no unlicensable third-party elements. So a video diary of you speaking your own words to camera in front of a blank wall is OK to label with Creative Commons. If there was a photo by Steve McCurry in the background, or some commercial music playing and it’s no longer ‘all yours’ and it might no longer be fair to pass the right on to others to use the clip.

So, as you can see, a knowledge of Creative Commons is useful for anyone involved in a diital storytelling project.

Source:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ – on this site you can read more about correct attribution, various international territories, comparisons between CC and Public Domain, etc.

Disclaimer – I’m not a lawyer; please don’t take what I say as legal advice.

9 things digital storytellers can learn from Steven Moffat, Doctor Who & Sherlock writer

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1. Imagine someone with their hat on, their coat half on, stepping out of the door. Make them say: “I’ll just keep watching until I find out what this is about”

2. Have a big whallop at the start.

3. Start with a promise of something you’re going to deliver

4. Surprise them

5. Try to think of a brand new idea.

6. Keep giving them reasons not to turn off

7. Try to make what you do appeal to _everybody_, then you’ve a chance of making it somebody’s favourite.

8. If you’re stuck for inspiration: stare out of the window, think of something and then write it down. Do that again.

9. “A good day is one when I _finish_ a script”

(source: notes I took at a conversation between Steven Moffat and Huw Edwards at a BBC Wales event on 19 June 2012)