Virtually Connecting at DST 2015

I’m excited to be heading to the International Digital Storytelling Conference September 25-27th.  I’ve been looking at digital storytelling predominantly as a form of personal expression and an educational activity, and I think I’m ready to spend some time considering the way that story sharing is inherently a vehicle for social change. Who we share our stories with, and which stories we share, is part and parcel of defining who our social group is and what we hold in common.

Which brings us to Virtually Connecting. Conferences are great places to share stories – but by definition, they lock out those who can’t pay to get to them (in either money or available time). Some conferences are providing an online analogue of the conference – by which we almost always mean “a videocamera in the back of some sessions, with a chat channel if you’re lucky.” That’s a good way to amplify your speakers’ voice, but it doesn’t even attempt the social transformation which happens in the crowd after a session, in the line at the hotel Starbucks, over lunch or dinner.  Maha Bali, Rebecca Hogue, and a growing group of fellow travelers thought they could address that gap. They hop on Google Hangout for an hour or so and have an informal conversation among presenters, attendees, and would-be attendees spread across the globe. No, it’s not the full conference experience, but it is the kind of relatively unguarded interaction which allows real relationships to develop.

Living in the future is cool.

So I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be the “onsite buddy” for a Virtually Connecting session with Joe Lambert of Storycenter. We’ve still nailed down the time – it’ll be Saturday the 26th at 11:30 AM Eastern. If you’d be interested in joining us, tweet us at @joefromkenyon and @vconnecting, or post a comment here. Come talk about stories and hear what we’re talking about!

Hey… here’s what we talked about!

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