Digital Storytelling in the Evolving Publishing Landscape for Magazines Canada May 2017

Here are some notes and links to the stories, features and resources mentioned in the Digital Storytelling in the Evolving Publishing Landscape presentation for Magazines Canada.

Feel free to share comments or email questions to jeffreyyamaguchi52 AT gmail dot com, or connect with me on Twitter @jeffyamaguchi.

I’m excited to connect with all of you here and share some thoughts, insights, and examples of interesting ways in which publications, platforms, and organization are working to push digital storytelling in new directions.

I was really cognizant also of going beyond the big budget storytelling experiences and have made sure to highlight ways to engage and explore digital storytelling immediately and affordably — if only to experiment and get a feel for things like how different devices can impact the way you write, publish, share, and experience a story.

The overall goal: To provide a framework for leveraging assets and platforms to enrich story/campaign presentations and engagement in the digital space.

Setting the Stage: An overview of the things you need to think about when you’re developing a feature rich story, or a program/series that is going to be anchored and positioned in a strong way on your publication’s site:

— Compelling story (of course)
— Assets (video, audio, photos, music, maps, graphs)
— Interactive experience (timelines, data, maps)
— Budget
— Development resources
— Platform (Custom? Integrating another platform?)
— Social media channels — how is the social component going to be leveraged? Integrated? Push for conversation by readers? Is a social media channel actually the hub of the story?
— Timetable / Life of Project
— Reusability
— Reader engagement plan: don’t just assume the conversation is going to happen on Twitter. You’ve got to make this a part of your programming. How are you planning to encourage/incentivize this activity?
— Advertising / Sponsor integration

Define the Focal Point Early On

This is at the detail level, but it’s important to know this early on as it has an impact on how you develop and anchor your project, both internally (team members from development, production, sales/advertising, marketing, editorial), and externally (readers).

— Determine the hub:
— Showcase and share the hashtag for the project: #storytitle
— Audience capture: newsletter sign-ups, conversation/comments/participation, subscriptions, etc.
— Delivery of commitment to advertiser/sponsor.

Social Storytelling, Mobile Experience

— Ephemeral.
— In the moment, on-the-ground, unpolished.
— Quick moving, over quickly.
— User controls the pace with finger tap.
— Viewed through mobile device, likely without sound turned on.
— Requires new editorial process, and a new skill set.
— Opportunity to reach a new, younger audience.
— Can be the story, or a component of a larger storytelling experience.

Links to stories and platforms showcased in the presentation:

Snow Fall in the NY Times.

The Fine Line – Simone Biles Gymnastics

Lessons from judging nearly 400 multimedia stories and a Q&A with Steve Duenes

25 Songs that Tell Us Where Music Is Going

Nieman Lab: Predictions for Journalism 2017

Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work (paid post by Netflix for Orange Is the New Black)


Rising Tides, Rising Costs – Atavist platform

Backchannel – Medium platform, publication owned by Conde Nast

Inside Hearst’s Turbulent Quest to Build a Snapchat Brand

Sweet – Brand from Hearst

How 3 Publishers Are Using Instagram Stories for Visually Compelling Storytelling

How publishers from the HuffPost to The New York Times are using Instagram Stories

Introducing All the News That’s Fit to Snap

Medium Series

Hatch For Good – Storytelling resource site from the Rockefeller Foundation

In the Dark Podcast

The United States of Debt – Slate Academy

How to Start a Start Up Course

Start Up Class – Teachable Platform

Quartz Created a Slack to Help Readers Around the World Follow the Election

Gumroad’s Small Product Lab

Creative Mornings Newsletters

The100DayProject on The Great Discontent


The100DayProject Course

Digital Storytelling Takeaways:

— Storyboard on platforms like Medium.
— Engage ascendant platforms like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Medium Series, and Podcasts.
— Look to online course delivery for structure and engagement strategies.
— Develop with template creation in mind — Think about reusability.
— Programmatic approach to editorial calendar.
— Keep navigation simple and clear and always present.
— Stay focused on the heart of the story.