So… what is it? That is a tough question, especially considering I started this post two days ago and just clicked on the draft praying I actually wrote something. Apparently I didn’t. So here I go:
Storytelling is the expression of a thought or idea to another person. It is trying to convey a message to that person. And there is an art to it. It has to be done with confidence, and it has to be to the point (no rambling like I am doing), while still keeping the audience engaged. Too much rambling and people lose interest, too dry and people get bored. To point is to engage with another person while conveying your message. Some people I believe are great at it, and some are not. Comedians I find to be the best storytellers because they use comedy to get their message across. I can find myself listening to an hour of George Carlin or Kevin Hart, but only 5 minutes (at most) of most politicians. The point is that the communication carries a message, and a means by which that message is given.
So how does the digital part change this? A lot. For good and bad. On the one hand, unless you are communicating through Skype you lose the ability to use body cues and contact to engage the other person. Over text, you lose the ability to use pitch and tone of voice to convey sarcasm and other emotions. This can limit storytelling quite a bit because you have to be careful and plan out everything to show emotion, and then things like sarcasm are still severely misconstrued. Yet the digital part still does have an advantage. Now I can include articles to help show my point. I can include a video that shows what I am trying to explain. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so this also allows people to explain things shorter and more precisely.
Digital storytelling is a very effective tool that has the ability to bring together multiple forms of media to convey a message in an interesting way (not what I am doing with this post because I am boring myself).