Digital Storytelling: Amplify your Community for Social Change

June's Net Tuesday will be about Digital Storytelling –the practice of collecting the stories of your community (whether geographical community or a community of supporters), and promoting those stories through video to support your work for social change.

Digital storytelling has been effectively used to amplify the voices of community members in order to engage new members, promote fundraising, and give a concrete foundation to advocacy campaigns. Instead of relying on a polished spokesperson or an executive director, digital storytelling looks to the wisdom of your supporters, speaking from their passion.

Our plan for the evening has two sections: talking the talk and walking the walk.

First, we'll be welcoming a panel of speakers, including:

Michael Feagans, creator of PhilaStories.org, grew up in West Philly where he listened to and told many stories. He now uses digital video to record the stories of anyone willing to tell them. Mike has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 20 years providing direct services to clients, managing personnel, and raising money.

Ryan Draving, CEO of Executive Education Alliance, a new startup that provides video training courses to make internet marketing easy for local businesses. Ryan has also served as SEO consultant to Fortune 50s, Senior Marketing Methodologist with Philly Marketing Labs, VP of a $1.6MM e-commerce company, and founder of VegVine.com.

Azim Siddiqui, of the Media Mobilizing Project, which builds a community media infrastructure that engages in collaborative campaigns and media projects with organizations and leaders of Greater Philadelphia's poor and working people to produce and distribute the real stories of our region for the growing movement to end poverty.

The panel will discuss aspects of effective digital storytelling:

  • Finding the stories in your community: Where should you look? How can you maximize the value of the story collection process — to not only surface raw material for videos, but engage your supporters and find out what they’re really passionate about?
  • Facilitating the telling of good stories: What questions should you ask? Where should you conduct the interviews? Should the speakers “rehearse” what they say, or should it all be “in the moment”? What kind of digital technology do you need to capture good quality video and audio?
  • Creating compelling videos and promoting them through social media: How long should the video be? What parts of the storytelling should be a part of the video? Should you use subtitles or music? How should you title and tag the video on social media to maximize the possibility of it “going viral”?

After the panel, we’ll have a “workshop” section, in which all of the elements of digital storytelling will be experienced and demonstrated. From soliciting and telling effective stories through recording, editing and uploading/distributing them. (Note: we invite people to bring their own stories, or to be prepared to discuss stories they would like to solicit from their communities, but we decided we would NOT be editing and uploading the actual stories that people may tell that evening.)

Lite fare will be served. RSVP’s are appreciated for planning purposes, but not required.

Can’t make it downtown? Watch the live Internet stream at http://phillynetsquared.org/live! And you can participate in the conversation on Twitter, with a hashtag of #phlnet2.

Thanks to the American Friends Service Committee for sponsorship.

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