The Digital Storytelling 2014 Workathon

by Wendy Ann Mansilla

An inspiring and productive event where we could try out different tools suiting different purposes. 

We arranged a two-day seminar on digital storytelling and workshop for evaluation and validation of digital storytelling tools and we called it a “workathon”.

Four groups participated in the workathon – NRK headed by Bjarte Johannesen, Addressavisen led by Hilde Østmoe, Sunnmørsposten, and Trønderavisa led by Liv Jorunn Håker Ottesen, and IKM / HF headed by Barbro Rønning.

The workathon was inspired by various successful front-runners in digital storytelling in journalism such as the New York Time`s Snowfall and the Guardian`s Firestorm which provided the glimpse towards the future of digital storytelling on the Internet.  However, these digital stories are not something that non-programmers, storytellers, or journalist can produce easily or quickly. These digital stories were initially developed by various teams of journalists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, and programmers to put the package together for several months to even half a year.

But that’s not always the case, our evaluation of various digital storytelling tools together with the survey of user requirements proved that various readily available toolkit is already present in the market and can be used to explore what can be accomplished without being multimedia and/or coding expert.

Furthermore, the workathon served as a basis to further evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the various chosen digital storytelling toolkits. During the workathon our team also briefly presented various prototypes that we developed within the Digital Storytelling Tools and Experiences project