Archive for the ‘storytelling’ Category

Digital Storytelling Tools Breakdown

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

With Aisle 2 Bin 36 in the works, here’s a current breakdown of how I plan to share the Swope family’s story digitally:


Because this is a web-based project, I want to tailor my article length for an online audience. That means briefer stories, so I’ll likely have multiple articles, each on its own page, rather than one long piece on a single page.

Before I begin writing, I want to meet with Andy a few more times, so while I haven’t started writing any articles yet, I’ve been thinking about them quite a bit based on our two get-togethers in October.

I’ve also been considering my writing process. Unless it’s a very foreign topic to me, I’m not the type of writer who outlines an article or paper. Typically, when I sit down with my computer, I find the detail or part of an anecdote in my notes that interests me the most and start from that point, adding the remaining facts above and below it until the story feels complete. I’ll probably stick with this technique for this project, as everything usually “falls into place” with this method for me.


I’ve referenced The New York Time’s “One in 8 Million” series before. It’s a collection that profiles several New York City characters, from the “rookie detective”  and “uncertain gang member” to the “adoptive mother” and “type A teenager.” As an example, here’s the “grandfather.” The series has shown me how powerful coupling images with an audio narrative can be. Many stories included in “One and 8 Million” are very simple, but told in this method are quite engaging.

I want to use an audio slideshow as part of my project. At first I thought of doing just one. Then I discovered this digital story. In this section, the stories of 9 people are shared, each with it’s own image(s), text description and audio (for a single example, click here). My intent is a little different…and I’m still fleshing this out and may go with it, alter this plan, or completely kill it…but I’m thinking about doing something similar with a set of images on the site. After viewing the above mentioned story, I asked myself “Why limit myself to just one audio slideshow?” Now, I’m thinking I can have one overarching audio story showcased on the site. With other photos, I can caption them with text but also have brief audio snippets of Andy. I like this idea because it gives the audience something a newspaper can’t, the opportunity to literally hear the voice of the subject being profiled.

Map and/or Timeline

I’m interested in using Google Maps (or a similar map tool) as a way to share the family’s story, highlighting the different places they’ve lived and served. I’m not very familiar with the tool and need to do a bit more research, but from some of the better examples I’ve seen, I’m thinking I could incorporate photos and text captions for each point on the map, personalizing it to the story. As an alternative (or additional storytelling method), I’m also toying with the idea of a timeline. I’m not sold on any of the free tools I’ve found on the web to create one, so I need to look into this more.


These are the main digital storytelling methods on my mind right now. I’m continuing to research and ask myself the best ways to creatively share this story digitally, so I hope to think of more techniques as the project grows.

The Giant Pool of Money

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

This American Life tells the story of the 2008 subprime housing crisis, and the resulting fallout. Here is the transcript, and below is the audio.

Little Giants in Six Frames

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Sorry for the low quality pictures. If I can find better versions of the same images before Thursday’s deadline I’ll update my post with them!

Adventures of a UMW Squirrel-Image Story

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Adventures of a UMW squirrel.
Such an adorable squirrel awakes at the break of dawn without a care in the world except for
what it will have for breakfast. He searches and searches for something yummy, and then he
spots a human being. Will he run? No that’s not the type of squirrel a UMW squirrel is. Then he
attacks. The human person is never seen again.

Credit: Jenn Arndt, Leane Baramki, Jessica Murnin, Megan Eichenberg