The Things DS106 Has Done For Me

I think it’s time I said thanks to DS106 and to list the things it has done for me. Not that I’m stopping. I’m just getting started. And who doesn’t like a good list? #46 will shock you!

Actually the list has only 3 things. But they’re biggies! I’ll keep this short and sweet so that people with short attention spans like me might read it.

  1. Learning how to tell stories better. Shocking that a course on Digital Storytelling would help with this, I know. But it works as advertised. Also, with the lovely openness of the set up, if I forget how to do something or don’t get to everything, it’ll all be there for me when I need it.
  2. Seeing just how far a learning community can go. Again, with an open set up as well as extensive attention paid to how to set yourself up in the community, something that started as one course in one school can become something people all over the world commit to #4LIFE.
  3. Finding new inspirations. The characters that one comes across because they are directly or indirectly tied to DS106 are people you might look up to for the following reasons: sharing, critical thinking, creativity, selflessness, DIYyness, leadership, commitment, inclusiveness, risk-taking, piss-taking, and you know, other good stuff. Alan Levine, Audrey Watters, Jim Groom, Paul Bond, Kin Lane, Gardner Campbell to name just a few. And there are a whole lot more amazing people in the community that I am still sifting through. You can decide for yourself which reasons you might look up to these folks.

I’m plenty happy to be a small part of the community, so thank you all and see you out there!

What’s the Story with Stories?

No Googling, no cheating. It’s time to just use what’s currently stored and available for recall in this here brain of mine to answer the question: What is Digital Storytelling?

Let’s focus on the first part of the second word: Story. And here’s my brain’s in-depth analysis: Story, is like, what happened. What happened to the thing to get that thing where it is today. And by today I mean whenever the present of the story is, which could be in the past or future. And by what happened I mean that it didn’t necessarily happen for real. Someone might have made it up. Even if it’s a true story there’s probably some embellishing for fun. So yeah, that’s story: the things that happened, are happening, will happen, or will have been happening (ah, you never get to use the future perfect continuous tense!)

The second part: Telling. The telling part is where the magic happens. And by magic I mean effort and enthusiasm. The more oomph you put in your story, the better. A mundane story about picking up your dry cleaning can be made great (or, to be more realistic, listenable) by some ooomph in your telling. How do I oomph, you may ask? Well, oomph it up with details, background, emphasis, passion, whatever. Hey I’m at the early stages of learning about digital storytelling. Someone else is going to tell me how to oomph. I’ll get back to you on that.

That takes us to the fancy part: Digital. We say it first in the term Digital Storytelling, but it’s more logical to describe it last. The digital part is where we get to cheat. A picture is worth a thousand words so other fancy things are worth extra free words too. Sounds (+500 words), GIFS, (+1750), videos (+500-10000). These numbers are approximate. When we tell a story in person with our voice and body, we can add oomph with gestures and intonation and expressions. The digital part, when we want to throw this on the Internet for the whole cosmos to see, is how we can oomph online. So, wish me luck learning to oomph. I’ll need some.