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TechSoup kicked off its 2013
Digital Storytelling Challenge with the webinar Creating a Culture of
Storytelling. The webinar provided case studies of how one nonprofit and one library
created storytelling cultures within their organizations. The case studies were
presented by Zoe Blumenfeld, communications manager for Global Fund for Women,
and Viktor Sjöberg, digital services librarian at Escondido Public Library. The talk
concluded with tips from Brandon Walowitz of Lights.Camera.Help. on how to get
your organization started telling stories digitally.
Blumenfeld kicked off the discussion by talking about making
the transformation into a storytelling organization. Creating a storytelling
culture begins with getting leadership buy-in. Blumenfeld also suggests that
organizations move from classic corporate-speak to more natural, emotional
language. Getting to natural, emotional language is possible by asking staff
about their proudest moments fulfilling your organization's mission.
staff articulate their stories and developing them might require storytelling
training. Blumenfeld organized workshops for staff that taught them about the
important aspects of stories, incorporating calls-to-action in their stories, and
more. Once staff understand how to tell stories, the organization should
empower them to share these stories. Stories should be shared on the
organization's official channels and staff members' personal channels, like to their Facebook friends.
Sjöberg introduced the work of Escondido Public Library by noting
how historically libraries have provided content to be consumed. Escondido
Public Library has upended that paradigm by embracing technology to empower its
community to create content for library use. Escondido Library's LibraryYOU
and Pop Up Podcasts teach library users to operate audio and visual equipment
to record, edit, and produce content.
User-generated content includes how-tos,
interviews, and life stories. To encourage library patrons to continue making content,
Escondido Public Library trains library patrons using mostly free and open source
software. By utilizing free open source software, LibraryYOU and Pop Up
Podcast participants are encouraged to take their training outside the library
and continue creating.
Video, according to Walowitz, is important because it's an
emotion medium that can be easily shared. The nature of the web and social
media is also means that our online supporters expect our organizations to
provide video content. The idea of getting started might seem daunting but it’s
completely possible for any organization. Embracing a storytelling culture is
the first step and the second is to determine what you have on hand for digital
For instance, an organization can use easily use their headquarters
as their studio. Adding music and editing your final product can be done
internally with access to the Internet and a search royalty free and open
Much more information about
creating a culture of storyetelling, with question-and-answer session with the
webinar’s experts can be found on the archived webinar recording. While there,
make sure to check out upcoming and past TechSoup
Digital Storytelling Challenge webinars and online resources
Susan ChavezOnline Community & Social Media Team, TechSoup Global@Susan_Chavez
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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