The readings this week show how diverse an interactive environment can be.  The approach does not have to be necessarily linear, such as the projects on Vectors.  I looked at project about rug weaving that I did not find particularly effective, as it seemed to lose directness by having to weave a thread to get information.  It can be incredibly creative like the book project with the LOC.  This is traditional story telling format using a new environment to draw on an old project.  The Inauguration Day project showed the day with pictures, articles and a map.  This, as well as the rug project on Vectors, used a no-linear format of viewing.  Comparing the projects, it seems that non-linear approaches in a educational environment seem to work best with a simple story like the Inauguration Day as opposed to the social complexities of the rug weavers.

There are websites that do offer more organization like the 9/11 website.  Not only does this use more formal ways of website creating, with categories and links that are easy to find and follow, but it also invites the user to share their stories of an important day in American history.  It shares the properties of formal archival information while using new media and internet social networking to create a richer history for generations to come.

I think the digital environment can make academic writing and argument more interesting.  It can make writing more precise (academic books can sometimes be a bit redundant and contain unnecessary info).  All along we have been asking how digital storytelling will change academic arguments but perhaps we need to change digital storytelling to accommodate the academic argument.  Fusing the old with the new seems to be an innovative move that our creative and intellectual minds can benefit from.

Category: W9: Interactivity
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One Response
  1. lparks says:

    I definitely agree with your comment about how non-linear approaches work best with simple stories. It seems like, to be effective, you have to be able to understand the overarching story very quickly in order for any of it to make sense. I also agree that having a place where viewers can share their own stories is important, not just for the interactivity but also because it will become an important historical record in an age where people rarely ever write letters or keep diaries. All of the primary sources we’re used to dealing with are disappearing in the face of this new type of technology, so we as historians should really focus on using it in that way so historians 200 years from now will have personal histories available to them.