A new global platform for digital storytelling launched this month called Storyteller.is.
The website features stories about place, stories about home, or stories on nostalgia. We all associate physical locations with important meanings. I wrote a piece on my family history and also the history of Detroit. A family that was split at an early age leads me back to finding peace and connection at my grandmother's urban farm.
"I find home in the city that grows and reinvents itself despite urban blight. I find my sense of place in the beauty of rebuilding."
Check out the short essay Detroit is for Rebuilding on Storyteller.is.
Where is home for you?
First, I imagine a scene. Then I write it down. Next, I try and draw it out into a clear visual story for a video.
But I don't have to draw at all. I can use Amazon's Storyteller platform instead.
Amazon's Storyteller just launched last week. The online program allows writers to create a storyboard for a movie or a graphic novel. It's in beta right now and looks amazing so far. The application comes with different backgrounds, characters, and props to visually tell your story. It's free for anyone using Amazon Studios.
Amazon is not only allowing creatives to use their visual storytelling tool, but they're also looking for the next great visual story. They have an open call for movies and television series going on right now.
This platform is a great start for making digital storytelling easier. When we have great tools, we can focus more on innovating and creating.
But what else can we create for digital storytellers?
How about a platform for citiquing different types of work that pays creatives, but offers very valuable critiques from screened applicants? This could be similar to an online writing group or other form of trusted feedback. (I miss my writing group. Having trusted and honest criqiue is so valuable across fields...)
Or, what about a library that creatives are paid or receive credits for donating work (copy/photos/slogans/ideas) they no longer want or have never used?
I hope there will be more tools like Amazon Storyteller that make sharing, critiquing, and creating stories easier for us. We can spend our time dreaming up our next great story idea.
[This is the first in a series of interviews with innovative media makers. Please leave comments below on people, publications, companies, and innovators you’d love to learn from.]
What stories really capture and define a place? Noah Rosenberg Co-Founder of New York’s Narratively will tell you that it’s the local human interest stories that capture a city.
Noah spent eight years working in multimedia storytelling, creating video documentaries for CBS and also working as a fulltime freelancer for The New York Times. He created Narratively to help preserve stories that offer an in-depth view of the people of New York City.
“I was afraid that this type of storytelling would get lost in the scandal, breaking news, and politics,” said Noah. “I wanted to build a platform for a specific type of storytelling; there really was no platform for in-depth stories.”
When the New York Times published Snow Fall, readers were suprised, moved, and fasinated with their mix of reporting and digital storytelling.
The in-depth piece artfully mixes video, photos, writing, maps and more. It unfolds as a snowball, gaining traction with the tension of wondering who will survive this tragic avalanche. It shows the multi-platform ways we can tell a story online, and it does raise some questions. How much is overwhelming? How much is just enough to tell a great story?
Read the insights from the creators of this digital story online in 10 Tips for Compelling Digital Storytelling.
We weren't trying to overwhelm you with quantity. It was more like we wanted to seduce you with the quality and I think it worked in this case." --John Branch, NYT
I picked the New York Times along with these other innovative platforms for storytelling as 5 Websites to Watch out for in 2013. I hope we get to see more artful storytelling like this soon.
What digital stories have you seen online similar to Snow Fall?