Life in media in English

New media: content and storytelling

How storytelling becomes even more important: what techniques storytellers use, what multimedia practices help shape a story, how stories expand from advertising to the entire organization.

How storytelling becomes even more important: what techniques storytellers use, what multimedia practices help shape a story, how stories expand from advertising to the entire organization.

 New media are incontrovertibly seamlessly bound with our lives. New technologies changed the landscape of communication, brought new kinds of content, new possibilities.

 We are somehow contingent on social media and its new capabilities. Storytelling adopts new techniques and new media. Stories were always the most interesting and effective tool of communication and now with the new media it is becoming more animated and live. Organizations want to utilize it enhance the performance of the brand or utilize it as an effective communication tool.

Social networks are computer mediated applications who utilize user –generated content (Haenlein Michael et al, 2010). New Media is a catchall term and as Baudrillard has searched, the electronic and digital media contain and construct a more hyperreal world. It is not anymore about one to one communication. The internet and social media are a hybrid of the new promotion mix and enables companies to interact with consumers.

The framework that defines the social media contains elements like identity, sharing, reputation, groups, relationship and conversations (Kristopher Hermkens et al, 2011). This is the famous honeycomb framework that help you unpack the meanings of social media. Conforming to Nielsen citation, users spend more time online and on social media and sites than any other type of communication. Levy’s on his book Cyber culture (1997) cited that new information and communications technologies enhance human cognition. Technology and the internet brought a new kind of globalization which entails the selection of a language. 85% percent of the internet is utilizing the English language (Kelly, 1998). So we speak about a lingua franca on the Web.

Many scholars have shown interest examining the subject of storytelling. Storytelling is an ancient form of teaching and communication. Storytelling have origins back from the ancient years in Greece. We all remember the Aesop’s fables. These little stories created values and convey messages. Back then stories contain myths and legends, stories made people heroes. McLuhan cited three ages of mankind ,the oral age (speech and verbal communication), the mechanic age (literacy , written material, print) and the electric age (electronic media) .

Storytelling comes through all of these ages and created values, identities and a scope in each culture. The re-shape of a global sphere, as Habermas used to say, made the route for many changes and many technological inventions.

Nowadays stories are part of communication, are part of listening, entertaining and are the most important teaching tool (Groce, 2004 and Kortner, 1988). Digital stories are short stories like personal multimedia tales, and this technique has become a revolution (Meadows, 2003). A story is constructed by our daily experiences (Livo and Rietz ,1986) and can engage people in a sense of building a community (Philips, 2000).Through storytelling people communicate experiences , values and viewpoints and express feelings toward politics and society( Maynard, 2005).Many times a video storytelling has become the start of a revolution. As Maynard (2005) cited, storytelling is so much powerful that can be utilized in political campaigns, awareness campaigns as well as social campaigns. Valenzuela (1999) agrees with Groce (2004) and Kortner (1988) that storytelling is an important education tool that can make children understand core ingredients of a subject. According to Barzaq (2009: 7), storytelling entails a way of disseminating information, targeted to specific audiences.

There are 7 elements of digital storytelling according to the Center for Digital Storytelling (Lambert, 2007). First of all Is the voice in a sense of listening to the storyteller, to a personality, the legacy that narratives leave, biographies , a reflection to the listener, transition, benchmarking in a sense that audience tend to tell their opinions, documentary and artifacts. Transmedia storytelling is a combination of stories with narratology. Semiotics play an important role in storytelling (Jerkins, 1959). Semiotics are the science of signs and conforming to Saussure nomenclature, words and semiotics is a way of making a story. Integrating forms of words and writing can embellish our story. Transmedia examples were like Harry Poter, Big Brother and the Matrix which contain narratives.

Many scholars like Marie –Lauren Ryan (2006), examined the cognitive approach of narratives and Ferraro (1999), Semprini (1990) agree with this concept and go further to cite that brands have a world of narratives and is a way to analyze them. Listening is the most essential part in the world of storytelling. It has been also examined by many scholars as the core ingredient of stories. Storytelling is a linguistic form of narrative (Egan, 1995) and people tend to listen good stories (Harmer, 2004). The most important thing in order to evaluate your storytelling experience is to see if people listen to your story. If people listen to your story then your story has gained momentum. In the listening experience, morphological, lexical and syntactical knowledge are really important in order to shape your schema. According to Doff (1995), there are two ways of listening, the focused listening and the casual listening. The casual listening happens when you listen with no scope and with no purpose (listening to the radio), whereas the focused listening is when you listen with a purpose. Millrood (2001 ) described thoroughly the stages of listening which contain the first phase when the sound came to us and goes to the echoic memory then turns to have a meaning and then goes to memory where can be kept and evaluate ideas.

WHAT IS STORYTELLING?        

                Storytelling is way of telling stories. Stories has been an integral part of our lives. Stories became to expand via world of mouth and the kept authentic for centuries. From ancient times the storyteller was a respected person. Myths, legends, fairytales are all part of stories. Storytelling has been the most powerful tool for centuries in terms of communication and excites human imagination.

                With the advent of writing and with every new medium storytelling was the same but the means were different. The tools of telling a story change when a new medium appears. During the past, paintings were telling a story. A part of storytelling are the documentaries and web documentaries which contains information and narratives. Storytelling in indigenous cultures of America was a way of communication, a kind of language.

Stories were used in education in a way that through stories kids learn. Stories in a village and in a group of people encompass values that shape the foundation of the community as a whole.

TECHNIQUES OF STORYTELLING

                The art of storytelling contains techniques that make it more successful like the monomyth which also called as hero’s journey, the mountain technique which has to do with conveying the levels of tension and drama, the nested loops (which includes a center story), sparklines, in media res (telling first the most exciting part of the story), converging ideas and a false start story especially used when you talk about failing in something and starting again. The last technique was utilized by Tailor Swift in her video clip ‘’Black Space’’ and by Oreo. The period in when the legendary Titanic sank on April 14th 1912, the dramatic story expanded to the whole world through press. It followed a narrative of a story through journalistic perspective.       

As Giles Lury cited, the technique of storytelling is a need that all human have in order to be entertained. Storytelling is not a push strategy but a pull strategy. That is a reason that storytelling is used in politics and by many leaders who want to unite people and work for the future. A great example is the speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have a Dream”.

DIGITAL STORYTELLLING

                We are sitting in the midst of a chaotic technological evolution. Digital media are becoming an integral part of our lives and we all have a new approach to them. Storytelling has embraced new techniques because of the social media. New ways of making a story, new ways of distributing a story.

   Digital storytelling is a new way of telling stories through new digital platforms. The term ‘’digital storytelling’’ was adopted in nineties in United States by Dana Atchley and the Center for Digital Storytelling in California. The purpose of digital storytelling is to enhance social participation. Now, we are facing a new way of storytelling, the way of people making stories about their own lives (McWilliam &Hartley, 2009). This situation goes further and is becoming a social movement which has brought changes to the media production and consumption. Journalists adopt digital and visual storytelling techniques as narratives. Storytelling is an essential marketing strategy tool that can also help businesses to reduce crisis events (Poulton, 2005) and it is a means of decreasing the emotional tension that crisis events can bring to employees and to a company. As we can get an outlook of what is storytelling, we come to understand that storytelling is everywhere, is in every field of our lives, in politics, in education, in entertainment industry, in journalism and in business. Through storytelling people can express values, generate emotions, enhance awareness and build a social voice.A story must always contain some ingredients that help it shape an idea. The conflict in a story is really important, a hero and an enemy are the personalities that a story should have to sustain interest, omit the irrelevant, and make it more personal, and use emotional intelligence, experience and core values. Show things not only tell things, make it visual with the help of any multimedia tool. A good structure is an essential part of a successful story (beginning, middle and an end). In every story there is a theme, a description, the utilization of analogies make the story more visual and a narrative aspect.

 The most essential elements of digital storytelling are the eye of the concept, the question, the emotional structure, the voice of the storyteller, music, rhythm (Czarniawska, 1997). In other words, the new media hyper reality is a core characteristic of a new way of ancient storytelling, the digital storytelling. As Jeffrey Alexander cited, storytelling triggers the situation of expressing a personal experience or trauma and this can become a social situation (Alexander et la, 2004). We encounter a form of storytelling in Greek ancient dramas where it is also the Aristotelian catharsis at the end of the play. This can be utilized in every modern kind of storytelling. Catharsis is really important for the audience. A story includes some steps as the writing step, the script, and the storyboard, multimedia.

TOOLS OF DIGITAL STORYTELLING

                What is multimedia? Multimedia is the combination of media such as sound, video, graphics to produce a story. The visual storytelling has to do with what we see, has to do with photography and cameras are the most important thing on how we enhance stories. Transmedia are stories made by multiple media (Jerkins, 2009). They have a narrative procedure and can expand through various media platforms (television, radio, eBooks etc.).

                Another tool is the video and its implementation on how we make a story visual through photography and animated video. Animation is not an easy task because it has not to do with recording a video and synthesize it, it is more than that because you make a story. Online news video are utilized by many news sites like nytimes.com and The Guardian. In advertising, animated video are more utilized. Digital storytelling can happen with low cost cameras. The editing process of the story needs a software which is not a very difficult task and many computers contain it. A popular program for this procedure is Adobe Premiere which you can purchase it with a code and start synthesizing videos. Every computer has its programs. Mac computers have programs that enable you synthesize your videos. Social media platforms like you tube, Vimeo, Magisto enable users to make their own videos and their own stories. There are many more like Storybird, Sway, Utellstory, Piclits, ArtofStorytelling which enables people to make storyboards and stories and share them online.

                The sound and the music are one of the most important tools in storytelling because it can arouse emotion and make people engaged and bound to the story. The choice of the music is really crucial, the rhythm, how this rhythm is combined with the video and how the picture of the video in tandem with the music and all of these appears on the screen. Although they all appear not so difficult, the mixture of all these when it comes to a YouTube video takes time and process. It is not so much of not having the technical knowledge to do it, it is more of a time consuming. As we see digital storytelling can be made by ordinary people, too by the means of you tube and other social media. You tubers utilize storytelling to show and demonstrate the views. The most important part is that they have a huge audience. People like stories and now with new media, more than ever. Equipment like computer, audio, tripod, even mobile phones, digital cameras can help you shape a story. In Apple computers iMovie is a good software and in Windows, windows live maker can help with the editing. The sharing process is the last step and should be really careful of how you can share and into which channels. Of course, the frequency of shares and the right touch points make the trick.

 Advertisements like Lacta which contain a story, a love story can touch people. The success of this advertisement came when young people became the protagonists and the subject was love. Love has always been the most discussable issue of all times. Another case study of the digital media is the famous storytelling of Coca Cola. Every video of Coca Cola contain a story. A story that engage people and evokes strong feelings. The Christmas advertisements were fantastic. The audio and music combined successfully together and made the story more close to the people.

Another example of a successful storytelling was the collaboration of Cartier and the most famous blogger of the world Chiara Ferragni. In this video, Cartier ’’ manipulated’’ the couple and advertised successfully the bridal rings.

CONCLUSIONS

Stories have power and through the digital media can help a company spread up a message, evoke emotions, change the landscape, leverage awareness, generate trust and opinion and in essence make people engage with the company or the others.

                Digital storytelling is an important tool of today’s companies and organizations. It is utilized in every work field as we discussed in education as a form of learning, in entertainment, in advertising, in business everywhere and has a huge history. How we evaluate our stories? Of course by looking at the message if it was correct, examining the KPI’s, see the multimedia we utilized, the music , not to put so much drama, authenticity, emotion, voice, rhythm and fast and low-paced scenes.

REFERENCES

ROGER SILVERSTONE London School of Economics and Political Science ‘’what’s new about new media?’’ 1999 SAGE Publications London

Gillmor, D. Moving toward participatory journalism, Nieman Reports 57, 3 (2003): 79-80. Retrieved from http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/03- 3NRfall/V57N3.pdf

Bardzell, S., Wu, V., Bardzell, J., & Quagliara, N. (2007). Transmedial interactions and digital games.

Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology.

Retrieved from http://conference.icts.sbg.ac.at/www.ace2007.org/download/p307-bardzell.pdf

Jenkins, H. (2007, March 22). Transmedia storytelling 101. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from

http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

Digital Storytelling Association. (2002). Digital storytelling. Retrieved from http://www.dsaweb.org/01associate/ds.html

Meadows, D. (2003a). Digital storytelling: Research-based practice in new media. Visual Communication, 2(2), 189-193.

Paul, N., & Fiebich, C. (2002). The elements of digital storytelling, Retrieved from http://www.elements.fiebich.biz/index.php

Steven Cohan & Linda Shires, Telling Stories: The Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction, Routledge: New York (1988).

Klaebe, H. and Burgess, J. (2007). Oral History and Digital Storytelling. A report prepared for the State Library of Queensland. Brisbane, Queensland University of Technology.

Meadows, D. (2003). Digital Storytelling – Research-based Practice in New Media. Visual Communication 2(2):189-193.

Storytelling Online. Story Circle. Digital Storytelling around the World. (Eds). J. Hartley and K. McWilliam. Chichester, UK, Blackwell Publishing: 37-75.

Jason Lipshutz, Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’ App: Inside the User Experience Retrieved from http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop-shop/6312276/taylor-swift-blank-space-app

Mitroff, Ian I., & Kilmann, Ralph H. 1975. Stories managers tell: A new tool for organizational problem solving. Management Review, 67(7): 18-28.

Gabriel, Yiannis. 2000. Storytelling in organizations: Facts, fictions, fantasies. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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Επικοινωνιολόγος. BSc Eπικοινωνία και ΜΜΕ (ΕΚΠΑ), MSc Δημοσιογραφία και Νέα Μέσα (ΕΚΠΑ), MA in Strategic Communications and PR from DEREE. -Life In Media Courses Instructor Έχει εργαστεί σε διαδικτυακά περιοδικά, σε διαφημιστικές εταιρείες, σε εταιρείες ως υπεύθυνη PR και social media manager και σε δημόσιους ερευνητικούς φορείς ως υπεύθυνη επικοινωνίας σε ευρωπαϊκά προγράμματα. Είναι απο τις πρώτες fashion bloggers στην Ελλάδα απο το 2009 με το blog της Life In Style να έχει γίνει case study στο Amsterdam Fashion Institute. To 2012 ίδρυσε το διαδικτυακό περιοδικό Spoiled, το οποίο αποτέλεσε καινοτομία στο χώρο της διαδικτυακής δημοσιογραφίας με αυτό να γίνει case study στο ΟΠΑ και να φτάσει τα 60000 views per day οργανικά σύμφωνα με το Google Analytics. Τα ερευνητικά της ενδιαφέροντα επικεντρώνονται στις δημόσιες σχέσεις, στο στρατηγικό πλάνο, στο branding, influencer marketing, blogging και νέα μέσα, διαδικτυακή δημοσιογραφία, κοινωνικά δίκτυα.

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