digital storytelling,  instruction,  timeless,  tips

Why naming conventions matter

Here’s a tip that will make post-production, storing, archiving and finding individual digital stories easier.
When working with workshop participants and individuals, ask them to make a final decision about which name they will use on their digital story.
This seems so simple, but some people find it difficult because:

  • they have a name like John Smith which makes it hard to identify or make themselves stand out in public
  • the name by which they’re known is not their given name
  • they think they may like to keep the option of telling an anonymous story
  • etc

Having decided on a name. Make one folder called, say, “joe-m-bloggs”. Spelling is important, as is not using spaces in the folder name. On BBC Capture Wales / Cipolwg ar Gymru workshops, inside this folder we always used to make sub-folders for:

  • projects
  • scans
  • sized_images
  • soundtrack
  • titles
  • video
  • voice-over

This folder is the storyteller Joe M. Bloggs’s special place on the workshop computer. Joe will use these folders to store the pictures and sounds that he is  going to use in the making of his film.

This kind of tidy housekeeping is something I learned mainly from Huw Davies when he was in charge of post production at BBC Capture Wales. When you’re working with groups of digital storytellers in workshops, having each person’s assets all within one named folder is essential. It makes it easy to to keep track of everything, give individuals a copy of not just their story but their source materials. Cleaning up the machines ready for the next workshop also becomes easier.
From the Capture Wales guide, here’s an article on editing your digital story by Huw Davies.

files photo
Photo by Doug Waldron

Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 25 June 2009

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