New Media and Storytelling
This blog entry relates to a presentation which I will be giving to the Alberta Institute of Agrologists Annual Conference on Agriculture, Food and the Environment, April 20, 2016 at the Banff Centre. It contains links to some of the companies and new media that I will discuss in the session.
Storytelling is the oldest and the newest way to to communicate. It began when ancient peoples sat around fires, sharing stories about their lives.. Storytellers used songs, poetry, dance and visual art such as cave paintings to tell these stories and to pass them on to others. Business leaders, teachers, and many others are recognizing the importance and the effectiveness of stories.
We tell stories about our lives, our goals, our achievements, and our difficulties so that we can make sense of them. Storytelling is the most effective way of understanding the world and communicating that understanding to others.
We tell stories to describe ourselves, not only so others can understand who we are, but also so that we can as well. We share our stories with others in part because it helps us to make sense of them. Until we share them they are not complete, just paintings, photographs and other works of art are not complete until they are shared with an audience.
As storytellers, we don’t tell people what to think, but we do remind them of the questions they may wish to think about.
The poet Muriel Rukeyser said that ‘The universe is made of stories, not atoms.’ If we wish to change the world we must change our stories.
Dave Lieber explains storytelling, its form and its power, in his presentation at TEDxSMU in 2013. I had the pleasure of hearing Dave discuss storytelling last year at a meeting in Edmonton.
What are new media and how can we use them to tell stories?
That question has already been answered by millions of people across the world. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and many other products give us opportunities to communicate with each other, using words, photographs, and audio, anytime, anywhere. We now can reach specialized groups of people as well as large numbers of people with multiple interests.
Podcasts and storytelling were made for each other. One can listen to stories told around the world by some of the best storytellers in scores of podcasts. Try The Moth podcast (’true stories told live’), This American Life, and others that you’ll find online. You won’t be alone: podcasts are becoming very popular. This American life podcasts, for example, are each downloaded approximately one million times.
More Links to Information on New Media
Podcasts about Publishing – A series of podcasts produced and hosted by Jerome Martin for the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.
jeromemartin.ca – a blog about photography, publishing, music, technology and travel.
Cappuccino U: A new way of learning and working (Jerome Martin, Spotted Cow Press, 2006) This free e-book is about informal and blended learning. As one would expect, it was written in a coffee shop. It received a lot of attention from informal learners throughout the world.
Golden Prairie – Jerome Martin started photographing the southwestern Saskatchewan village of Golden Prairie in 1955. This 2007 e-book, which contains text and photographs, includes those early photographs and others from the following decades. Free download.
London – A multimedia e-book (2009) based on photographs made in the 1970s by Jerome Martin. Free download.
Hole’s E-Books – Excellent gardening books at reasonable prices.