Friday, September 24, 2010

Interactive fiction: The future of the book?

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

From The Guardian:

"What impact will digital books have on the experience of the written word – apart from the form factor, and the ability to store hundreds of works on a single ebook reader? Will the rise of gadgets like Kindle and tablet computers like iPad actually contribute to the medium in a creative way?
This is a question that design consultancy IDEO has grappled with, producing a Vimeo clip to show three possible book-reading applications for tablet computers and ebook readers: Nelson, Coupland and Alice. It's the third (from 3:03 onwards) that interests us. Alice, the narrative informs us, is "an interactive reading experience that invites the reader to engage with the story-telling process [...] Stories unfold and develop through the reader's active participation." ...

Shape-shifting of the mobile phone

The mobile phone is getting physical, or blending into the physical world. ... This TEDTalk looks at what could be next.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Fascinating to see something like HistoryPin emerge, especially with a Google partnership, and the engine that comes behind that:

Very promising idea. Geolocated augmented reality data with mobile devices has been difficult to get to work properly on a large scale in the past, such as with Wikitude and Layar. I assume the AR overlays are the logical progression of where this service is going long term, although it appears also to be a desktop system as is. But if you test this out, let me know how it works for you and what you think.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Village map

I have annotated the Fort Vancouver map above, to help you visualize and create a geo-based schematic for you digital story. Please feel free to download this image and mark up as needed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A bit more about mind mapping

The link to the Freemind software is below. There are many other mind mapping programs available on the Internet. I like that one. It is free, but, like I said, there are many alternatives. Use whatever you want, including paper and pen. ... The most important advice I think I can give you on this mind-mapping exercise is to start with a compelling historical anecdote. You can work backward, meaning you have a great storytelling technique as an idea and then go and try to find the anecdote to fit it, but I think the organic way is a simpler and more natural way (if there is an organic / natural way to do this). So I suggest looking for a slice of history at the Village that really inspires you to bring it to life. Then, start thinking about all of the possibilities the mobile device affords. For example, I became interested in the Hawaiian influx at the site, then started to find characters and stories in the historical record, then started thinking of ways to bring those elements to life through the mobile form, through audio, video, photographs, animation, quizzes, user interaction, etc. For more on that work so far, and the Fort Vancouver Mobile project in general, please look over this behind-the-scenes journal,


Campfires and Candlelight - extra credit

To earn 25 points extra credit:

Attend Campfires and Candlelight for at least two hours, preferably after the candles are lit, say from 7 p.m. on (the event ends at 10 p.m.). I say this because Campfires and Candlelight takes place at the fort from 3 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 18, but the action really doesn't get going until later in the evening. And it's much more spectacular at night.

Anyway, during that time, think of the event from the perspective of a mobile device user, imagining what you would want to be doing with your device while experiencing this activity. That could range from stories you would like to know more about to interactive games you might like to play with the costumed interpreters (I, for example, think it would be interesting to have the interpreters engaged in the sub-activity, maybe providing verbal clues or such to allow the mobile users to have a digital adventure, while the non-mobile users are unaware of what's happening in the ether).

In your Google Group post afterward, minimum of 250 words, share your observations from the site, demonstrating that you did indeed attend and think deeply about the possibilities, and share one example of an idea you would try if the fort came to us next year and said it would like to hire our team to enhance its biggest annual event through digital stories.

Any questions?

The best site on the Web for mobile storytelling / narrative resources

At least that's how I rank it:

And I generally put mobile notes of interest on this Twitter feed:


Fort Vancouver links

Here are a few links to help your research:

Fort Vancouver main
The Village main
Fort on Flickr
Fort on Facebook
Fort on Twitter
Fort on FourSquare