data

The data in storytelling

This week I looked into how I can utilize data, interactive databases and data visualizations to make my digital storytelling blog better. In terms of using data, I struggled to find any numerical data that would describe digital storytelling or any specific numbers that note the significance of storytelling beyond a few research articles. So instead, I am going to experiment with the idea of how storytellers are using data in digital stories. I read a few interesting blog posts about how storytellers are not just including data in their stories, but exploring how the data about a topic can become the story. In addition, I am going to search out specific digital stories that use data as a large component of the story in order to see if my audience finds this type of story more interesting or engaging.

In terms of interactive databases, the field of digital storytelling actually has a lot to offer that I could utilize to reach more of my audience. I’ve already actually shared a few of these on my digital storytelling blog, such as the holocaust museum survivor database. A few resources I will use are Mashable, Econsultancy, and a Huffington Post media blog. Showcasing more of these interactive databases will help me enhance my topic blog because they are incredibly visual and can help attract more eyes to my blog. These more media-driven databases will enhance my blog more than visually. These types of databases are becoming more popular, which can assist me in gaining a bigger audience.

I did a lot of reading this week about data visualizations and digital storytelling. Most of the articles I read said to focus on context. This video gave great advice for how I could use data visualizations on my topic blog.

http://video.mit.edu/watch/data-visualization-in-digital-storytelling-the-map-is-key-5915/

Then I explored a project conducted by University of Colorado journalism students on digital storytelling. This project highlighted interactive infographics that are told in the form of a story. While showing these data visualizations may help enhance my blog, the idea of context is important to include as well. Thus, I’ll be using the interactive stories, as part of a post. The other part of a post will be a video digital story concerning the topic of the interactive web story. For example, for a interactive web story about Pakistan drone attacks and kills, I will supplement the post with a video digital about the same topic that is more personal in nature. This way I can enhance my blog though data visuals, while remaining true to the original concept of my blog.

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Data, Data, Data

No, I’m not talking about the kid from the movie “The Goonies.” I’m talking about data-driven journalism.

This week I read “Data-Driven Journalism Trends for 2014” on Digital Amy’s blog. She gives her top 5 trends for 2014 starting with sensor data. Sensor data comes from devices that contain sensors such as a running watch or your fridge. This is an upcoming trend because we expect to see sensors in more and more products. “All these devices contain tiny bits of data that in aggregate can be quite eye opening of bigger societal patterns and trends of what is happening in the world today,” the blogger writes. Often sensor data helps third party entities or manufactures to gain information about the consumer and it’s a guess as to what sensor data will be used for in 2014.

The second trend was a growing use of d3 for mapping. Mapping data continues to be a hot topic and with Data Drive Documents (d3), this looks to continue. She uses this awesome Wired article to explain how more people, especially journalists will use d3 in the future.

Trend three is all about libraries, which we know I love. Instead of physical libraries, these are data libraries and should be helpful to all of us. There is a growing number of data libraries, although that’s not terribly surprising as collections of media are becoming more popular. It’s much the same with digital storytelling, which you can read about on my What’s Your Story blog.

Trend four looks at JavaScript, HTML5 and jQuery. Now if you haven’t worked with these three before, you are in for an interesting year in 2014. As more developers and web gurus begin to use these three in combination, interactivity and intuitively are really going to see an increase on many websites. HTML5 already fascinates me with how it encompasses and alleviates issues from previous coding languages so I can’t wait to see what these three can do together.

The last trend deals with analysis and meaning of the data, which is fantastic because sometimes it seems like journalists are a bit scared of actually explaining those statistics they included. I definitely agree with Digital Amy that we want to see the beautiful infographic or display, but we also want to know the meaning behind what you’re showing us.

That was the only reading for this week so this was a short one. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.