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Telling stories through technology

Here at Shipshape HQ we're always thinking about new ways of telling stories. Just this week we spotted a fantastic Choose Your Own Adventure story by Terence Eden on Twitter and it linked in with some of the issues, ideas and projects discussed at a Stories of Change event we attended at Watershed in Bristol last week. The event featured great speakers highlighting lots of inspiring projects which are looking at platforms and narrative in innovative ways. One of the themes of the event was how new technology changes the way we tell stories. As technology evolves we are constantly discovering and developing new creative tools and new ways of communicating.

As a bunch of greedy culture vultures there is much about this that excites us, but at the event Bill Thompson warned about allowing social media and other platforms to dictate and constrain our creative processes.

He suggested we think about who controls the medium through which we communicate, along with how those media shape both the stories we tell and the ones we don't. Perhaps an important story gets left behind because of the limitations of 140 characters?

As the man who oversaw the development of The Guardian’s first ever website (and by his own admission killed the printed newspaper!) he knows what he’s talking about too. His impassioned talk called for creatives to take control of the means of communication.

Bill urged the audience to do two things: learn some coding, and engage fully with the tools that are out there – ensuring that we can all freely and creatively express ourselves in the digital world and not allow the communication giants to limit our voice(s).

Terence Eden did just that, finding a great way to reimagine twitter, using it creatively to tell a story and be interactive at the same time. Check out the Choose Your Own Adventure here. The notes from Bill’s "The Magic Is In Your Head" presentation can be found here and provide much food for thought. What both he, and the event’s other speaker Mandy Rose, also gave was a list of people and projects that are embracing technology to allow them to present work in new ways. Here then, are some of our favourite innovative projects from Bill & Rose's talks along with a few of our own for you to enjoy: > Interactive documentaries Bear 71, the Quipu Project and Waterlife show how filmmakers can now choose to share issues and insight in more immersive ways

> Blast Theory’s exciting new ‘life coach’ app Karen mixes gaming and storytelling while examining how platforms and corporations use engagement to collect data and profile us > Mudlark / RSC’s brilliant bite-size retelling of the Bard Such Tweet Sorrow > Visual artist (and Shipshape client!) Bruce Asbestos' various social media projects including his prolific Youtube output and Tiny Canvas Friday.

Bruce Asbestos - Tiny Canvas Friday.jpg

> Freelance mobile media maker Documentally has a wealth of food for thought on his site, well worth your time to explore (and follow him on twitter too!) Lots to check out and be inspired by, then! We'd love to hear your thoughts and find out about how you are using social media and new platforms in challenging, creative ways. Leave us a comment, tweet us or drop us a line and we'll share your stories too.

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