Monday, September 24, 2007

digital storytelling: Will it catch on?

A wet weekend provided me with the time catch up on organising my photos from the tramps over the last couple of summers! Sorting through the photos got me reflecting on how technology is changing the way we do things in so many small but life changing ways. One of the quaint customs members of my tramping group indulge in, is to have a reunion a few weeks after we have completed a long tramp together. It’s a way to share, as a group, the good & bad times of our tramp.

The usual ritual is to have a shared tea (evening meal), chat about the highlights of the tramp & share photos that some of us have taken of the trip. In the past, we will have slides and hard copy to view. Orders would be taken of various photos, so that the owners would be able to reprint the chosen photos and post them to the people who have selected them. The most organised of us would arrive at the reunion with stamped / addressed envelopes and enough small change to pay the various photographers for a copy of the photos selected.

In the reunion for my January Stewart Island trip, all the photographers had used digital cameras. We were a group of tail-end baby boomers, with most of us working in non-techy jobs. However, when it came time to viewing the photos, out came a couple of laptops & the photos were viewed on laptop screens. Sharing of the photos involved transferring the photos on to CD or in my case, on to my memory stick. I could also have used my mp3 player for storage. So, the more organised of us now come with post-it notes with our email addresses on them, blank writable CDs or memory sticks.

One of our group archives all her photos on to scrap book based photo albums. She is working on album number 40 plus. She printed out digital photos that she thought worthy of inclusion & organised them as usual, into her photo album. As for the rest of us, most of us transferred the photos on to our computer’s hard disk where they formed the basis of our screen saver display.

Like it or not, we are witnessing the change over from hard copy into a digital environment. The above is but one example of many small but important changes in the way we do things that lead on to a ‘tipping point’.

The next stage is to move on to a digital story telling format. I am awaiting this development to see how long becomes this becomes mainstream within our tramping group. As such, no one in the group blogs on their myriad tramping trips. Time is usually the excuse. We all have busy lives revolving around work, studies and family. However, as more of our tramping memories are collected in digital form, then more of us will eventually be recording our trips for posterity in digital format.

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