#NetNarr: Can Data Help Us Tell a Story?

Data Storytelling

Terry Elliott shared this Ted Talk out, via Vialogues for annotation, and I really appreciated the ways that Ben Wellington uses storytelling as the frame for using data in meaningful ways. I am following Terry into an online course about data storytelling for journalism (he is in there, to learn more about teaching his university students and I am in there … because I am curious about data as the means for crafting stories), in hopes it might dovetail into the concurrent open course around Networked Narratives.

I have no idea how those two ideas will merge together, and yet, it seems like there might a fit for finding ways to use information around us in the real world to craft stories about or in the digital world, with all of the nooks and crannies of collaboration and creativity that #NetNarr might provide (it’s hard to say, since the course has only just sort of started).

One of the central tasks in the first post for #NetNarr is to define storytelling, since #NetNarr is hovering over the concept of Digital Storytelling, in the vein of DS106. My initial, non-Google-it, response is that storytelling is the act of making sense of the known and unknown world through layered compositional practices (talking, writing, using media, etc.) That sounds awfully academic to my ears as I read it quietly. Or, how about this: A good story entertains while also informs the reader/listener/player about the larger workings of the world.

Still working it out. Meanwhile, check out Ben Wellington.

Here is Terry’s Vialogue version, and he invites you to join in an annotated conversation about this juxtaposition of data collection and storytelling as a means to make sense of the world. Daniel Bassill, Wendy Taleo, others and I have already jumped in with Terry. You come, too.

Peace (make sense of it),

  1. Kevin,

    This is an important thought thread as we wade into our early pondering about storytelling. Data (arranged this or that a way) is indeed another form of representation – and it certainly becomes another layered compositional practice.

    Thank you to both you and Terry for sharing the Ben Wellington talk here!


    • Open invitation to all your F2F learners to lurk/look/liken/learn

      antispamitation: idly nags The teacher idly nags at the student, then when the student doesn’t respond, the teacher ratchets up the nagging to “strongly suggests”. What next? Highly recommend? Advise with extreme prejudice? What threat levels do students even recognize anymore? Fear is a damned bad long-term teacher.

  2. A few marginalia.

    Antispaminaliacs unite: eg marmot The egg marmot is a rare form of the genus Marmota that lives in the cave and karst regions of southcentral Kentucky

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