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Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories

Self-representations in New Media


Edited By Knut Lundby

Recent years have seen amateur personal stories, focusing on «me», flourish on social networking sites and in digital storytelling workshops. The resulting digital stories could be called «mediatized stories». This book deals with these self-representational stories, aiming to understand the transformations in the age-old practice of storytelling that have become possible with the new, digital media. Its approach is interdisciplinary, exploring how the mediation or mediatization processes of digital storytelling can be grasped and offering a sociological perspective of media studies and a socio-cultural take of the educational sciences. Aesthetic and literary perspectives on narration as well as questioning from an informatics perspective are also included.


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Part IV: Challenging Authorities


™ PART IV CHALLENGING AUTHORITIES Lundby et al.indd Sec1:195 7/30/08 10:04:57 PM Lundby et al.indd Sec1:196 7/30/08 10:04:57 PM ™ ELEVEN Problems of expertise and scalability in self- made media JOHN HARTLEY DST Th e term ‘digital storytelling’(DST) can be used generically to describe any computer-based narrative expression, including ‘hypertext fi ction’ and game narratives as well as YouTube and the like. Here however it refers only to the practice whereby ‘ordinary people’ participate in hands-on workshops using computer software to create short personal fi lms that privilege self-expression; typically narratives of realisation of identity, memory, place and aspiration.1 Digital storytelling fi lls a gap between everyday cultural practice and profes- sional media that was never adequately bridged during the broadcast era (Car- pentier, 2003). Digital stories are simple but disciplined, like a sonnet or haiku, and anyone can learn how to make them. Th ey reconfi gure the producer/con- sumer relationship and show how creative work by non-professional users adds value to contemporary culture (Burgess & Hartley, 2004). A genealogy for this mode of digital storytelling (henceforth DST) has become established; it is in- deed a ‘Californian export’, as the 2007 ICA pre-conference in San Francisco aptly put it.2 However, in one important respect the form of DST in Austra- Lundby et al.indd Sec1:197 7/30/08 10:04:57 PM 198 ™ Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories lia, including the R&D that we do at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), departs from that original as will be discussed below...

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