This week, I read Chapter 5 of The New Digital Storytelling.
Alexander starts with Podcasts. In full disclosure, I prefer podcasts to reading text ANY DAY OF THE WEEK. I think my attention span for focusing on words on a page is growing worse and worse as I get older, but I have no problem listening to others talk or tell stories. The author starts to talk about an individual who did a series of podcasts on the Byzantine empire. If you told me I had to read a book on this topic, I would laugh and probably use the book as a coaster (Sorry). However, the podcast version would work for me. I listen to podcasts daily as I walk to work, walk home, walk the dogs (Yes, I do a lot of walking…my Fitbit loves me). For example, the Hardcore History podcast sounds a lot like the one being described in this chapter. Never would I read about it, but I don’t mind listening to someone talk about it while I do mundane tasks.
I also see the value in podcasts over print to tell stories because as a listening, I am able to pick up on the emotion, the feel, the moment, etc, of what is happening. I don’t feel like things get lost in translation this way. Obviously podcasts have evolved over time, and the production quality plays a huge role in whether or not a listener will keep going. From something as easy as having multiple people speaking/discussing, to have entrance and exit audio can make it a better experience.
Ok. Web Video time. I have never heard of this lonelygirl saga. I have never heard of Connect with I. I have never heard of Marble Hornets. The serial phenomenon sounds to have started 8-10 years ago. I find this concept described as completely fascinating. Immediately, I’m thinking of a story I could tell using this format. The fact that the short narrated videos invite viewers to participate through other mediums is huge. I talk into a camera. I address the audience abstractly. The audience engages with others via social media and blog comments. The audience directs the story based on their own feedback. Awesome.
I have never considered Podcasts and YouTube to be a way of storytelling until this semester. I have always been a consumer, never a creator, but that is going to start to change.