Through this week’s reading, I considered Digital Storytelling in relation to Digital Humanities and based on what I read, I believe that digital storytelling serves as a useful component of Digital Humanities in its organization and validity. This belief is based mostly on the two websites we looked at, but also explanations of digital storytelling in Joe Lambert’s “Digital Storytelling” text book.
The first part of this is the accessibility of digital storytelling. On the ds106 website it is communicated that digital storytelling is very accessible and the first step in the instructions is to “design and build” an online identity. As a generalization, I believe that the majority of people in the US already have one. As internet and social media use increase, I believe people are constantly building and adjusting their online identities. I think in most cases this identity is an extension of the self, or maybe is a reflection of how the user sees him/herself. This would perhaps make step 1 very easy and the rest is simply following the formula.
On the ds106 website the Digital Storytelling course’s objectives include developing the skills to use technology as a tool for “networking, sharing, narrating, and creative self-expression.” I compared this to the HASTAC website’s page on digital literacy in the classroom, where the internet is described as somewhere where the answer to almost any question is less than a second away- but we must learn to decipher what is true and what is false. Digital literacy is “a mental framework one develops through practice- a simultaneously personal and collaborative skill that one must constantly hone in the midst of our computer-mediated lives.” Digital Storytelling assists the person either creating or analyzing in understanding the necessary filters in making sense of the endless content on internet, and allows them to create with the tools the internet offers.
In my understanding of Digital Humanities, I believe certain points must apply in order for something to fall under the category of “Digital Humanities.” It must be academic, it must be intellectual, it must be organized, it must somehow study or address human culture, and it must involve the digital world. In this definition, Digital Storytelling seems to fall into the field as a way to understand stories and human lives. Digital Storytelling inventor and scholar Joe Lambert does not believe sites that are 100% user generated such as twitter or facebook have value like his digital storytelling because they often lack thought, organization, intellectual merit, and effort. Even those who disagree have to admit, these platforms are not academic in themselves and do not require any intellectualism at all. This is where Digital Storytelling is different. In the midst of our “computer-mediated lives” Digital Storytelling provides a filter and produces an intellectual product through its organization and thought. The HASTAC website also says, “Without digital literacies, manipulation becomes the norm instead of empowerment.” Maybe Joe Lambert believes that this is why we need a Digital Storytelling formula to receive a comprehensible and valuable form in the digital humanities.
I am not sure if I agree with Lambert completely but I understand his point. I would like to continue to search for the value in the overload of info that exists on social media platforms such as Twitter. Although it is a largely unintellectual hub of any information people want to put on it at any given second, I think its ease of access to any and all must have some value even to academia.