Digital Storytelling

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facilitated by Tracy Perkins

notes by Emily Thompson


Tracy started her work by telling stories of the women she worked with in San Joaquin Valley.


A. Learning experiences for readers

B. Learning experiences for those collecting stories

C. Fundraising strategy

D. Can influence political change (hard to do)

Types of Storytelling

  • Interviewing, editing, actively curating stories
  • User-generated: provide a platform for people to submit their own stories. Can have some issues - hard to gather stories, hard to gather cohesive info. Speaking language isn't necessarily storytelling language.

Ethics and Policy

  • Good practice: If you curate and edit, go back to original subject/source to share how you edited it, how you want to use it, get final permission. In some cases, you may want to get permission signatures.
  • Be explicit with source about use of their story
  • Get written permission to use photo and quotes
  • Be prepared to show up with forms. Be aware these forms can be off-putting. Make sure it's about protecting the source's words/thoughts

How to Turn Informal Talks Into Formal Interviews

  • Make first contact, build a relationship
  • Take contact info
  • Let person(s) know you want to share their story and why. Let them know where their words could appear and how it will be used
  • Create a list of questions ahead of time. Consider hosting "practice" interviews to get wheels turning
    • Ask open-ended questions
    • Be a gentle guide for the conversation
    • Have follow-up questions to help get and keep people talking on topic

Exercise: Involve others in the storytelling process by allowing others to review transcripts of interviews and highlighting what they feel are the most important elements.

Sharing Stories

Through professional networks, with partners/funders, target press, share stories with other NGOs.

Look into...


Digital storytelling projects. Community-run. Take pics of community, then stitch photos together into a story with audio overlay. Can be themed projects. It's not an app, just a method. Find method on Wikipedia or Google.

A game format that educates players on an issue. The issue is poverty. This is one example of interactive storytelling.

Have a way to share!

Most people won't find your games, videos, or apps. Think about practical applications.


Creates one cohesive story in Tweet/collaborative form.

Jesikah Maria Ross

Praxis Projects uses another storytelling method in which the process of gathering stories informs the overall discussion.

Tracy's website

Voices From the Valley (see some examples of digital stories ) Built on WordPress - features a news feed and RSS feed

  • Looking for ideas on timeline software

Text, Photography, or Video?

  • Photos really help reach people faster than text.
  • Mix up your mediums!
  • Video is more labor intensive, takes some techie knowledge. Photos can be more easily managed
  • Beautiful vs. Message and Aesthetics vs. Content, up for debate!
  • Pretty can cost more.