Back in 1999 when I was the editor for the now defunct Web Review, I covered this fascinating event in Crested Butte, Colorado called the Digital Storytelling Festival. My stuff isn’t online anymore, but Dan Bricklin’s excellent webphotojournal still survives. Attending that event high in the Colorado mountains, and my getting to know its cofounder, Dana Atchley, has influenced my work ever since.
People continually ask me, “What is digital storytelling?” It’s simply applying current technology — digital photography, video, music, and voice — to communicate ideas. Usually, these “stories” are only a few minutes long, and you can publish them on the Web, CD, or any other suitable media.
I’ve been contacted by business executives, HR departments, small business owners, and educators who realized that they could use these techniques to better speak to their respective audiences and customers. My books, heck, my whole approach to writing, is an extension of digital storytelling.
In December 2000 Dana Atchley died from complications of a bone marrow transplant, and the festival’s future was uncertain. Fortunately it reemerged in 2003, led by its original cofounder Denise Atchley. The Digital Storytelling Festival is now in Sedona Arizona, June 10-12.
I spoke at last year’s event and am looking forward to speaking again this year. I know from the correspondence I receive from O’Reilly readers that many of you would benefit from the ideas presented at the festival. (Mention this weblog with your registration and take 10% off the already reasonable price.)
If you’ve never visited Sedona, it’s worth the trip alone. The combination of nature’s beauty and the works of art there inspired by it will impress you. It’s a great place to get the creative juices flowing again.