This page lists some of what I learned at the Festival broken down into categories. You can find most of it in the Journal pages.

What is Digital Storytelling?
Digital Storytelling refers to using digital media to aid in telling stories of all types. It could be a 3 minute Quicktime movie where you explain how you dealt with the death of a friend, a set of images to accompany your presentation about why a customer should trust your company, or a CD-ROM exploring the life of a famous person through vignettes of the recollections of others. Storytelling is one of the oldest ways of communicating ("Hey, Adam, let me tell you what happened to me today") and digital media and the Internet are making it possible to do it more effectively and reach more people.

Many of the people at the Festival used the term Digital Storytelling to refer to a specific style: A 2-4 minute video mixing stills, video, and a narration with music. An example of a story in this style can be viewed in a RealPlayer G2 on the RealNetworks' web site: Redheads. (It is best viewed at faster than 28.8.) You can also see a Quicktime version on Dana Atchley's web site,, as Redheads in the NextExit section.

Digital Storytelling also refers to how we can use the emotional appeal of telling stories instead of just reporting facts to improve our computer-based communications.

Any words of wisdom? (In no special order)
   Every person has good stories to tell that are worth telling.
   Our stories help make up our identity.
   Voice is important.
   Sound is important. It makes up for poor pictures. (Pictures enhance text, too. There is a cascade.)
   Tie things (narration, images, whatever) to the subject: Have a participant in the subject matter do the talking, show an artifact.
   Pictures and sounds from public events and people can be a jumping off point for a personal story, or a good background for a story you are telling. They evoke a connection in the listener.
   Interactivity can impede a narrative. Be careful not to break up a narrative at an inopportune time or in an inappropriate way.
   Storytelling is a valuable skill in much of our lives. Learn to tell the stories you know. Use them in your work.
   Get people's stories while you can: "When a person dies it's like a library burned down."
   Facts are different than stories. Don't ask for a fact when you want a story ("When did you meet grandma?" instead of "How did you meet grandma?").
   To reach Gen-Y'ers, look at their video games. They do many things at once, like to click and not scroll.
   Storytelling works for corporations and organizations to explain better who they are.
   "Do with what you have -- master the tools you've got."
   Learn to take advantage of the limitations of the media you are using.
   You don't have to be a professional to make good digital stories if you have tools you can use.
   Interactivity brings us back to the way communications should be and was.
   A mixture of web-site-like navigation and narrative is good.
   Know your audience. Make profiles and scenarios about them when planning your web site, story, or whatever.
   Personal relationships last.
   Stories can help people deal with problems, both telling them and reading those written by others.
   Web site structure can be part of the content.
   Write for skimming on the web.
   Personal web sites, with or without webcams, are important, and blur the line between personal and professional lives. It is an evolving area. Experiment with it.
   Storytelling is important. Learn about it.

How do I cover an event like you did?
   Use a digital camera and also bring some sort of tape recorder. I used an Olympus C-2000Z which worked great for me in low light so I didn't need to use annoying flash. (I wish I had brought a good little tape recorder.)
   Take pictures of the slides they show on stage to remind you what they said.
   Take notes.
   Take lots of pictures. The more the better.
   Take pictures of things you find unusual or funny. People like it.
   Use easy-to-use products like Trellix Web and RealSlideshow.

Any useful links?
   Digital Storytelling Cookbook, from Joe and Nina, Friday afternoon.
   Ira Glass on how he writes stories, from Leili on my plane ride home Saturday night.