WHAT IS DIGITAL STORYTELLING?

STORYTELLING is the way we have communicated since our earliest ancestors gathered around a campfire. The stories and anecdotes we share with one another are the way we let each other know who we are, what we care about, where we come from, where we are going and, most importantly, what we care about.

Stories are how we connect on the most fundamental, human level. Stories are the best way to embody share and remember knowledge. Before the advent of the written word were the only way of communicating history.

Digital Storytelling uses computers to create media-rich stories and the internet to share those stories creating communites of common concern on a global scale. Computers are just one more tool in the pantheon of tools that humankind has used to share stories. This includes the pen, moveable type, photography, film and video–tools that have allowed us first to record and share our stories, and then to reproduce them to be shared by many.
Digital stories are all about making connections

Dana Atchley Productions has been developing digital stories for over a decade and practices four notable applications of the technique .

1. The first is Atchley's performance Next Exit which literally brings into focus many of the most significant people, places, and artifacts over the last six decades that have formed the fabric of his life. It is impossible to describe Next Exit which must be seen to be appreciated. One of the digital stories Atchley tells about his first romantic infatuation as a seven year old was what caused the President of Coca-Cola to hire him to create a personal digital storytelling brand presentation.

2. A second application is location-based digital storytelling–that is, digital stories that are both "presented" to customers in a fixed location, and that enable customers to tell the company their stories about their relationship with the company and its products. An example of this approach is the Digital Storytelling Theater created by Dana Atchley Productions for The World of Coca-Cola, Las Vegas.

3. The third application of digital storytelling is exemplified by creative consulting services provided by Dana Atchley Productions for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Here, two major financial services firms were merging, and they wanted a way to let both their customers and their employees know who they were. Digital storytelling gave their Senior Vice-president in charge of the brand an entirely new way of engaging the new company's primary audiences–a way that was entirely consistent with Price Waterhouse Coopers' brand promise of being a "breakaway" company. Digital stories for companies like Coca-Cola and PricewaterhouseCoopers are new forms of emotional branding.

4. Dana Atchley Productions holds intensive four day digital storytelling workshops for small creative groups to learn, prototype and explore possibilities and best practices. During these workshops particpants actually create digital stories. Clients have included NCR Global Learning and the Ford online group from J. Walter Thompson.

Digital storytelling is also appropriate for corporate presentations, training, recruitment and on the web, where it can be used to create communities of customers who join together to exchange stories.

Joe Lambert & Dana Atchley

A Conversation with Dana Atchley on the Subject of Digital Storytelling by Joe Lambert

Background
Next Exit
Corporate Storytelling


"Digital storytelling ala Dana Atchley is the most vivid clue yet to the question of 'What's next after PowerPoint slides?' for corporate presentations. Executives, in order to reach decisions, need data that they can understand AND a compelling story that brings the data to life for them. What Dana does is to blend storytelling-–an ancient art and one that lives on in business–with digital visualization in a style that is very provocative to business people. Dana communicates best with the more creative segments of the business population, especially those who need to make frequent presentations."

Bob Johansen President and CEO Institute for the Future


Fast Company Cover

Fast Company Magazine's Contributing Editor, Dan Pink, writes about Digital Storytelling in his article's "What's Your Story" and "Publish or Perish".


For two excellent overview's on digital storytelling read
"Dan Bricklin's Online Festival Journal"
and Derrick Story's
"A Digital Story About the Festival".