One component of the Networked Narratives is the concept of the “bus trip,” where Mia Zamora and Alan Levine took the show on the road. They did virtual visits with their students, and assorted guests and open participants, to other places than Kean University campus, including Puerto Rico, Vermont and Egypt. As one of the Open Folks, who is part of NetNarr but not part of the graduate class at Kean, I pitched the idea a few weeks ago to some other open participants about organizing our own “Bus Trip.”
Last night, thanks to the organizing prowess of Wendy Taleo in Australia, we did just that, with a full Hangout House of folks — Terry E., Sandy, Alan, Mia, Mark, and Keegan. It was a fantastic time to gather together, and talk about our various creative projects that we have underway, and set the stage for some feedback for projects in the days ahead.
Keegan talked about a text-based game project he has in the works for professors at his college; Terry talked about using a Federated Wiki concept for a Fall class; Wendy mentioned learning how to fly drones so she can drone-race her son, and Sandy also talked about drones, and how the technical interface made learning about them daunting for her; Mark talked about an independent research project underway to better understand open learning platforms in hopes of sparking social change; Mia and Alan discussed the framework of Networked Narratives, which is now moving into an online world-building game mode, and how they are scrambling to keep a few steps ahead of students and participants; and I chatted about a Poem for Five Voices project I am just finishing up this week with some online friends.
When this much creative energy comes together in one place, at one time, it is inspiring. I have been grateful for my open friends in NetNarr and beyond. I notice that many of us are willing to try new things, to see how and if they work, and to keep pushing the envelope of digital storytelling and digital narratives a little bit further each time. To know that we have others to support us, and to help us (or let us know we’re on the path to Crazytown … again), is heartening in so many ways.
The Open Bus Trip hangout last night affirmed an important realization of online projects for me: Taking the time to be in the same “space” as others, even virtually and even across many time zones, for conversation and sharing provides an important emotional connection to the online experience itself that no amount of tweeting, blogging, commenting, and social media liking can ever replace. We’re people, after all, and people like to find their Tribes. I’m grateful to be in this particular Tribe at this particular time.
Peace (stories unfolded),