Digital storytelling: how to tell a story that stands out in the digital age.
To address the most important issue first: there is no such thing as digital
storytelling. There’s only storytelling in the digital age, and frankly speaking this
isn’t much different from storytelling in the age of hunters, gatherers, or
dinosaurs. This doesn’t mean it cannot be challenging to tell a story people react
upon online. On any given moment, hundreds of stories are unfolding around
you, on Facebook, Twitter, and in niche social spaces. So, how do you tell a story
in the digital age that stands out, engages with an audience and captures people’s
Let’s take the example of the story of Troy public library. There are a lot of
reasons this story works very well in the digital age:
1. The story is unique and unexpected.
2. The story is told in the public space, in ‘active communities’. The streets,
Facebook, general media: all the places where the story happens are
easily accessible for most people and designed to foster discussion.
3. The story is about the audience. People should not only be involved and
directly addressed, it should be their story, the thing they are telling, to
make it stand out. People usually listen to themselves.
4. The story helps create real life connections, has a physical component. I
believe each great story in the digital age needs a physical element to
really turn people from simply interested into highly enthusiastic.
Telling a great story is an art, it’s a skill, but it’s certainly not something
incredibly technical and difficult. You certainly don’t have to be a social media
guru in order to tell a great story, even online. It’s storytelling, and ‘digital’ is just
the time we’re in. Of course is important to know and understand the tools of the
trade and the options they provide for engagement and interaction, but they
have nothing to do with the story.
Digital is not the difficult part in digital storytelling. Storytelling is.
Write a Six Word Story (Compose)
Use Twitter, Google+ or another social platform to publish a six word story. Your
story can be about anything. Check out the six word stories site http://etmooc.org/blog/2013/02/02/introduction-to-topic-2-digitalstorytelling/ (or the twitter stream) for inspiration. You can experiment with
Storify to tie other’s tweets together and make a collaborative story
Two wives, one funeral, no tears.
First heartbreak. Nineteen years wishing. Reunited!
Man cries holding his dog’s leash.
One candle, unattended. Only ashes remain.